Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sharks and a cure for the winter time blues

(Ed note: Pictures will be forthcoming. We just don't have enough bandwidth for pictures here at Chub.)
Friend Kacey was scheduled to join us in Nassau, so Kintala took to a dock early yesterday morning at the Nassau Harbor Club Hotel & Marina. It was okay with a nice pool, good service, solid docks, and the price wasn't extortion level highway robbery. There were a handful of mega-yachts that, if you didn't think about what a thoughtful person could do with that kind of money, were pretty amazing bits of engineering. (One went by that rents for – I kid you not - $200,000.00 a WEEK!) But the bathrooms in the marina left much to be desired. I'm sure the mega yacht folks don't bother with them.

Taking a dock seemed the easiest way to get provisions, gas, water, booze, more data for the phone, do some laundry, and generally get ready for a guest. (Our first since departing Oak Harbor.) Kacey arrived without drama, we stopped at the Poop Deck for dinner, (nice place, good service, food was fine, not sure why I wasn't more impressed) then settled in for the night.

Deb and I debated the weather for a bit. This was to be Kacey's first open water experience and we were hoping to make a good introduction. (Not sure why he chose going with me for his first foray into the Big Blue; he has been reading the blog ...) Nassau to Chub Cay at the bottom of the Berry Islands is a nice, 40 nm run in deep, deep water; like 9770 feet deep under part of our track today. That makes for an ocean of color that just soaks into the soul and makes all well with the world. Especially so when the Water Goddess grants a day like today; a gentle Force 4 deep reach and run with waves of barely a foot riding a placid, 3 foot swell on something like an 11 second period. It just doesn't get any better and 7+50 later the hook landed on yet another perfect white sand bottom. It was the longest, best sail of the trip so far.

Deb served up a dinner of pork chops, corn on the cob, and sweet potatoes; after which Kacey hit the water for a tropical swim. He endured the mid-western season of subzero temperatures, howling winds, snow, and storm after storm. A day in the sunshine and sparkling turquoise water rolling up on a sugar white beach was a dream come true for a winter refugee, an opportunity not to be missed. A few minutes later he was back on board having caught sight of 6 feet worth of shark checking out the anchorage. Shortly thereafter it cruised under Kintala's cockpit giving Kacey and Deb a good look from a more comfortable perspective. (I was below pecking out this entry and so missed the first shark sighting of the trip.) Midwestern lake sailors and sharks are not well acquainted, and I think Kacey aims to keep it that way.

The plan for tomorrow is an oh-so-dark-thirty anchor up to make a 75 mile run toward Cat or Gun Cay. The edge of the Bahama Bank is about a 3 hour sail west and we hope to get there just as the sun comes up. Thirteen hours of daylight will then be ours in which to find a place to park for tomorrow night. I'm sure hundreds of boats have passed over the Banks on overnight passages in just the last couple of weeks, but Kintala isn't going to be one of them this year. On our three night runs since leaving the States we have taken three various kinds of beatings; cold and sick, cold and rough, rough and sick. I'm sure there is more of the same in our future, but I would like to hold off for a while before having another night like Hope Town to Egg Cay.

The intent is to send Kacey home thinking days like today are normal for full-time, live-a-board, curisers wandering the western edge of the mid-Atlantic. Someone else can spoil the illusion for him.

1 comment:

raybosailor said...

Hang in there Kacey. Those sharks aren't looking for just a snack.