Monday, May 25, 2009

Newport to Cartegena Day 10

En Route 8 miles South 0f Great Inagua Island, Southern Bahamas
20 49.6N, 73 42.7W

Well, we know we in de Islands, mon, when we jerry jug fuel to the boat.

Yesterday was a pleasant layover day anchored off Great Inagua Island; the new boom awning does a masterfull job of keeping the sun out and allowing the breeze in. After the requisite boatwork in the morn, we all went ashore to explore. We learned that Hurricane Ike blasted the Island last year, and left much damage in his wake. It is sad to see that the island remains in disrepair, with much work left to do. Many of the large trees were uprooted, and as "Williams" (the man we met who became our agent) said, "Ike was mad at the roofs, mon". 90% of the structures lost some part of their roofs, and patches of blue tarps are still occasionally visible.

Yesterday happened to be a Sunday, and when we went ashore, the town was quiet. We ended up being very lucky when Williams drove by and asked us if we needed any help, fuel, or information. We explained that we were here for 24 hrs, and would like to buy some diesel, some foodstuffs, and supplies. He drove me to the home of a customs officer and then several conversations ensued between Williams and Mr. Customs, Mr. Customs and Boss of Mr. Customs, and thankfully not immigration. In the end, we were trying to avoid the cost of a $300 Bahamas cruising permit plus additional immigration fees, as we only needed 24 hrs on the island or in the Bahamas, and not 3 months. This is where the luck came in. It was agreed that we could buy some fuel from Williams, and that he would take us to the grocery 0730 Monday morning, but not later, as we needed to be off the island and back on the boat before customs opened.

Noon: Brief interlude as I gaff our second Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi). The hook was in the water for only 7 miles this time before a fish struck! Whoo Hoo. Good eating tonight.

Back to the island story. Williams also wanted us to fuel up yesterday, so as not to be around too much Monday AM. We jerry jugged 6 five gallon containers on board via our dinghy, and segregated these "comfort factor" 30 gallons into our otherwise empty aft tank. One never can be too carefull about the fuel we take aboard and I will transfer it and scrub it with our filters before we use it. We had already calculated that even accounting for a 50 gallon emergency reserve, we could motor sail all the way to Cartagena in light winds. Motoring into a stronger breeze on our bow would have left us short however, and this additional 30 gallons gives us 10-18 additional hours of engine time...just in case.

Finally, after a much anticipated 40 minute run and a few more afternoon chores yesterday (such as hanging hooks in the lazzerette for the scuba gear), we had cocktails and dined al fresco. After movie night, a good sleep was had by all.

This morning Chuck and Gram went on the early excursion for food and drink. Fortunately they were mostly successful, and did buy several gallons of that most desirable elixir, amongst other liquids. They struck out on bread and produce, but we have mucho tortillas (which have lasted amazingly well), a few heads of lettuce, and broccoli remaining, before we go on to the slaw.

After a good check and clean of the engine room this morning, we weighed anchor at 0933. We will pass between Cuba and Haiti, and then Jamaica and Haiti, before a 487 nm run to Cartagena. Conditions look good, with light tomoderate SE winds for the first 24 hours, with winds building out of the east over the next 3-4 days. Swells should be moderate. I do not wish to jinx us, but this has the potential to be an 80 hr leg to Cartagena. I hear the restaurants are quite exceptional there.

We'll let you know how exceptional soon enough!



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