Waiting for one package to arrive DHL, then we can head out to the Exumas. It’s getting to late today, so may leave first thing on Thursday morning (9am)
The Yellow Banks. We will transverse this stretch of coral heads with one of us at the bow. It is advised not to sail over any of the coral heads as they may be very tall and within our draft. The chart is approximate, we will need use our eye :-). We will hit this stretch around 11-12noon, which is perfect for spotting coral heads and reefs.
Cool little plant growing out of the bulkhead.
Brain walking our little pipsqueak.
Isn’t he handsome 🙂
Getting the weather via Short Band. We will be out of cell range for most of the Exumas so need to break out the short wave radio. We have a Sony. Chris Parkers weather, we subscribe to via Email, also gives weather reports 6 am daily ( for Bahamas) on short wave 4045kHz. The National Weather Service can also be heard via short band ( we use 8764 kHz). There is a local daily weather from Highborne on VHF, channel 6 at 8 am daily. We NEED to get weather daily since we are traveling during hurricane season. We need as big of a head start as possible to get out of its way, or tie up in a safe harbor and fly out if unable to stay clear of the hurricane’s path. We would NEVER ride out a named storm aboard Rain Dog. My opinion on that subject may insult many cruisers who do this( ride out named storms aboard their vessels) but I just think it’s bonkers. Too many factors completely out of your hands. The mentality of “being there” for the boat, checking for chafe etc, is in my opinion, nuts. Sorry to be so judgmental but I’ve lived onboard since I was 19, I know what is involved riding out a severe storm, you do not want to do it if you can avoid it. So we listen to the weather closely to decrease our odds, there is still risk, nothing is for certain. The Queens Day Race storm is a good example of that. Anyways, rant over, that’s our short wave radio 🙂
I’ve been experimenting with homemade bungee systems to lessen the shock load on our dinghy hardware when tied up alongside at anchor. This is 1/8 black bungee wrapped around the chain plate to make a big loop of bungee strands(8). I then covered it with chafe guard to try and protect it from the sun. The white string Is just amsteel fishing line I lightly whipped to the chafe guard so it cannot be lost overboard. I used a carabiner permanently attached to bungee and a simple loop made in the dinghy painter to click in quickly and easily. We then tie off the bitter end of the painter in case of bungee failure. We also have a stern line that quickly snaps to a soft shackle looped around a stanchion. This gives us a backup in case the painter completely fails. We always have two lines tied to the boat from the dinghy. Hopefully this will keep us from losing the dinghy from line failure.
Our stern bungee is about 12 strands of 1/8 bungee wrapped in blue webbing with ss o-rings at each end. The towing painter is attached to this bungee (cow hitch) and the painters bitter end is attached to the cleat as well(blue striped line in bowline) in case of bungee failure the bitter end will catch the dinghy. The bungee is attached via soft shackle( grey) to the cleat. Under tow this set up works very well, the dinghy is not jerked around in chop. We also have a completely separate line as back up if the painter fails. We have found the dinghy tows very well close to the stern, about 1 dinghy boat length. But we only tow in calm conditions, less then 1-2 foot waves.
To de clutter our decks we brought the big cooler down below and stowed it under the salon table. We LOVE this cooler, a Yeti, given to us by a friend( thanks Sheila and Jason!!) I added a bubble wrap enclosure to add even more insulation. It gives us an extra week of food before we have to provision for butter, milk, eggs. We provision on average every 14 days. My sewing machine and life raft both share the forward settee. I plan on getting some sewing done in the Exumas. Brian would like our canvas gates to be revamped for better visibility and I’d like to sew some other little tidbits here and there. We rarely use the salon table for dining, we prefer our cockpit dining table. The little silver box on the table is our small ice chest. Our engle ( grey small fridge) is pulled out in this pic, it usually sits flush with the settee. It’s a bit cluttered and there are a few things that need stowing.
I cannot remember the last time we needed a top sheet or blanket. I have one tucked up against the port hull but it really is unnecessary in this heat. At anchor the temp at night is perfect, no a/c needed!! Yes, scupper has two lambs. He also has a antler he chews on for calcium and another squeaky tow in the cockpit :-).
Get up papa! It’s time to sail to the Exumas!