|Discovery of a small rip in our jib did not dim our joy!|
This would be the first time we've used the sails since the recent high winds. We quickly realized that they had left us with a small gift. A small rip in our headsail would provide us with entertainment at our next anchorage...
It didn't look like it could get much bigger so we continued to sail on!
|Bruce on the bow spots a coral head to our port side|
Bruce would call out when he spotted one of the dark blotches that signifies a coral head.
|sliding right by...|
|Small coral head|
There were a number of sailboats preparing to leave our marina when we left earlier in the day. As some of them began to approach us from behind, our need for speed increased. As you well know.. anytime there are two (or more) sailboats going in the same direction... it's a RACE!
|Bruce and Jezabelle trimming the mainsail...|
Bruce did all he could to get every bit of speed out of the 8-12 knot winds. We averaged about 5 knots of speed and the other boats soon overtook us.
|Coming around the rock into the anchorage|
There were already quite a few boats anchored on the glowing sandbar between Cays. We wondered as we picked our way through them, why they were all clustered in this spot when there was a much better and deeper spot just ahead.
Unfortunately, we found it lying on it's side, completely NOT secure. We would get to do this anchoring thing again!
We moved a couple hundred feet away and found a sandy spot to drop our hook. A repeat of the dinghy/looky bucket routine told us that this time, we were set! Time for a sundowner!
It was so quiet... nothing but the sound of the current swishing against our hull. The sun peeked through a low bank of clouds and changed the morning from orange and purple...
We were soon visited by other Cruisers we had met at Palm Cay. They were out exploring and wanted us to come along. We had to decline, a sail repair project must take precedence with us today. But we would join them on the beach later for a bonfire.
|Hunky Dory and Ocean Dreams came to visit|
I made some measurements and quickly figured out how I would go about patching the sail
Luckily we have been carrying around a small stormsail (we have two) that we could cannibalize for sail material. We spread it out down in the saloon and I used our hot knife to cut it in strips. The hot knife is another of those purchases that we doubted at the time... would we really ever use it? We have been thankful that we splurged and bought it because it has come in handy SO many times.
|I used basting tape to keep the patches in place while I sewed them|
It's been a while since I used my Sailrite machine. I took the instruction book out on deck and made sure that it was all threaded correctly. I changed to a new needle. We chose black thread from our supply in hopes that it would be the better one for UV resistance.
There was no internet of any kind here. It would have been nice to be able to consult the Sailrite website, or my WWS sisters for advice regarding thread/needle choices, but this is what we've got... so it will have to do!
|The sun got hot as I tried again to get the bobbin tension adjusted|
Eventually I was able to get both sides patched and stitched well enough that I thought they would hold for a while. I can always rip them all out and redo it with the help of some more knowledgeable cruiser somewhere along the line.
It looks less awful from afar.
The beach was empty until we got close. Then they began to swagger to the waterline... beady eyes upon us as we approached.
We eventually got brave enough to turn our backs to them... Soon they lost interest in our lack of snacks.
Bruce tried to talk to them while they were all assembled, but they just stared blankly at him. I guess he'll have to talk Basketball to someone else <me>...
Bruce did a bit of swimming while I checked out the critters beneath the dinghy. I found a small conch schlepping along...
Soon enough we began to get chilled. The waters here are still a little cool, what with it being winter and all... Still, it's very difficult for us to connect the calendar date with the weather here, and the intermittent news of blizzards and cold fronts back in the US...
The current runs through Allen's Cay Anchorage pretty swiftly in the shallows between the cays. The waters are more swirling in the deeper spot where we are anchored. We don't have the definite in and out here, giving the wind a bigger influence on which way we lie. It also makes it very important to be far enough from your neighbor because the swirling causes boats to act unpredictably.
The sun was just beginning it's descent making shadows long. We met on the smaller crescent of sand to the north of the iguana beach in hopes that there would be fewer (or none) of the beasts.
I had brought a few lettuce scraps for them but one of the long time live aboard residents of the anchorage asked me not to feed them.
Not wanting to make waves, I complied. Maybe it's like back home when we see tourists feeding the gulls and wish they wouldn't so that the birds wouldn't poop on our heads...
|AnnMarie, Donna, Marie, Kathy and Me|
We are settling into the routine that really IS no routine. We're enjoying whatever each day brings and expecting something completely different from the next...