After a couple of weeks we then decided it would be best if I got Nati back to the states to make the logistics easier for the coming few months. We aren't sure what is in store for us but only time can address that.
We will wrap up the final days in the Abacos in this manner:
- Once we decided that it would be best to slowly head west I took Nati across the Whale Passage to Green Turtle Cay. The mooring in Black Sound are secure and I spent 6 nights there, first of all trying to find a good window to cross the Gulf Stream and secondly to check out the cay since it has been 4 years since we last stopped. It was almost like old home week as many of our friends over the years were also doing the same thing so I got to see s/v Old Sam, s/v Sangaris, s/v One with the Wind, s/v Windward and s/v Maluka. Some of us left earlier than others and I was trying to find a quiet window to cross as it was the first time I crossed by singlehanded.
- One of the highlights of the stay was to have my lunch one day at the Cay's elementary school. Susan (Old Sam) was subbing for the 4th grade teacher for two weeks so Don & I went over to Two Shorty's takeout and picked up our lunch and went to school. It was fun to meet a number of the kids and see the insides of the classroom. One computer for the whole room! (sorry for now pictures….camera battery was dead)
|Shorty's take out|
|Black Sound looking west|
|Black Sound looking east|
- On the 21st of April after debating pros and cons I dropped the mooring at 0740 and headed west. I had motor sailing weather and elected not to put the mainsail up since there were squalls all around and I didn't want any fire drills. I got to sail 20+ NM and then the wind (forecasted to turn west at 5kts) did in fact turn to the west. Only now, with a good, big squall just to the south of me had wind out of the west at 25-28kts, straight on the nose! Go figure!
- After about 3 hours of that stuff it did lay down and the motor past "Center of the world" rock was uneventful.
|Here comes the rain|
|Washing Nati off good!|
|Center of the world rock|
- We were pass Great Sale Cay when the sun went down and it was a dark night. Being on the Little Bahama Bank at night is not too bad. Boat traffic is almost non existent and the water is an almost constant 15 feet deep. If you touch bottom out there you have done something bad.
|Sunset on the Bank|
- By 0300 the next morning Nati went off the bank and into the deep water of the Gulf Stream. The forecasted wind was for NE going to SE at 10-12kts so I was looking forward to putting the sail back up. NOT! The wind stayed north and fortunately stayed light so the "stream" was only bouncy and not unmanageable. With about 20nm to go the breeze came up to 11kts and I finally got the sail up again and coming into the Ft Pierce inlet was calm, sunny and warm.
|Ft Pierce in the distant|
- In summary……173nm in 29 hours. Only had the sails up for 30-40 miles but the bottom line is Nati is now in a safe harbor and our logistics of getting back and forth from Syracuse are much easier.
When we know what is going on next I will, once again do an update. For now we will take a couple of weeks off and deal with our short term future. Thanks all……