Thursday, April 17, 2014

Important stuff ...

Deb did such a good job on the equipment review that I should just keep my mouth shut. Yeah, like that's going to happen. But I am going to touch on just one item, and I will say right up front that Deb completely disagrees with me. (Happens all the time yet she loves me anyway.)

I am not a big fan of our windvane. If I had to do it over again I would spend the money on an auto-pilot. The windvane holds a point of sail which sounds all well and good since (so we were told) the wind on open water is nice and steady, same tack for weeks, yadda yadda yadda. Our experience sailing down the coast and in the islands is that the wind swings back and forth through 15 to 25 degrees while gusting and fading 10 to 20 knots. (We sail for hours, not weeks.) The apparent wind is anything but steady and that is what a windvane sails to. It is cool that it doesn't make any noise, doesn't use any power, and doesn't have anything that cares about getting wet with salt water. But at $5000+, a seriously miserable installation process, the fact that it doesn't seem to work that well under sail, and doesn't work at all as an auto-pilot under power ... I'm not sure it was the right way to go. If you hit the lottery get a boat big enough for windvane (1) and auto-pilots (2) and live happily ever after.

On a more important matter I have been debating: if Spanish Wells is better with its $20 / day mooring ball than is Hatchet Bay with its $0 / day mooring ball. Spanish Wells is a clean little working town with a couple of places to eat, WiFi at the snack shop, store, very limited laundry; its a good place for cruisers. Hatchet Bay is poverty stricken, trashed out, one really great bar with okay WiFi, a store with good prices (and questionable shelf times), a couple of shacks for food (which have been pretty good) a resort restaurant (which we haven't tried yet) and no laundry at all. The Bay of Hatchet Bay is really pretty, has more marine life in it than anywhere else we have parked, hasn't been very crowded, and is perfectly protected. Mmmm ... if Spanish Wells was $10 / day it would win, but we are both growing very fond of Hatchet Bay.

And both of us still like Treasure Key the best.

We will be here a few more days which may give us a chance to finish up a couple of projects. Slackerville still reigns but when the water runs out one must abandon the cockpit and hump some H2O onto the boat. That got me all hot and sweaty so jumping in the water seemed a good idea. Unfortunately that gave me a good look at Kintala's increasingly fuzzy bottom, so scraping and cleaning was in order. Deb joined in the fun but we ran out of energy long before we ran out of fuzzies to scrape. I trust the water will be just as clear and warm tomorrow and we can work on it some more.

Early next week the winds are supposed to give us a good ride to Nassau; first stop on the trip States Bound. By this time next month I am going to be very far away from enjoying the Islands Mon. I'm starting to miss it already and I haven't even left yet.

1 comment:

Deb said...

He's right. I disagree. And I hear absolute nightmare stories about electric autopilots crapping out at the most inopportune times. I think we merely haven't figured out how to work the thing well enough yet. The times I've gotten Henry (the wind vane) working well it's been a joy, and much more relaxing. The problem is consistency. Sometimes we get it working, some times we don't. The sails must be absolutely perfectly balanced in order for Henry to perform at his best. There can't be more than 3° or so of weather helm or he wanders. Any other Cape Horn users out there that know the secret??