Swing Set

May 21, 201301:19 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Governor's Harbour To Rock Sound

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Ten Bay beach is just beautiful. The beach has such a gentle slope that you have to be aware of when the tide is going out or you might have a long haul for the dinghy when you want to go back to your boat.

We took a long walk on the beach and met some women who loved dogs. Holly made some friends and also made all three of the girls homesick for their pets at home. Rosie and I took Holly in the shallow water and let her swim. We sat a bit apart from each other in a couple feet of water and let Holly take turns swimming from one of us to the other in the crystal clear water. Holly had a ball.

Back to the boat, and Rosie and Holly took a nap while I had a few beers and chatted with friends on Facebook until Rosie got up and made us a dinner of roasted chicken and red beans and rice. We'd been cooking our beans in our small crock pot that morning, and they turned out great.

We have some bad weather coming our way, so this morning we left yet another great beach and anchorage and set out on a 20-mile cruise to Rock Sound Harbor, which is just about at the end of Eleuthera Island, before we have to come around the southern tip and head east to Little San Salvador, a trip that needs to be done in settled weather to avoid strong prevailing southeast winds and giant swells coming in from the ocean.

When we left Ten Bay, the steering on Swing Set didn't seem right, and as we traveled to Rock Sound, the steering got worse, as in there wasn't much steering to be had. I put the anchor down and did a few quick checks. (No, there was NOT a loose nut behind the wheel.) I suspected low steering fluid, and decided to nurse us in to harbor until I could take a better look at the problem.

Once we got settled I got my tools out and my extra bottle of steering fluid. What I don't have is a proper filling tube and fitting to add steering fluid properly, so even after more than three hours of messing with the steering, I wasn't able to get it working like I wanted to.

Today is Whit Monday, a holiday here in the Bahamas, so going to the local NAPA store couldn't be done, but first thing tomorrow, I'll go and get what I need to do this job right.

If I can't fix the steering, I'll have to ask around for a mechanic that's familiar with hydraulic steering, especially the part about bleeding the cylinder that actuates the steering arm for both rudders. This mechanism is way back in the bilge toward the stern, in a spot that's a little tough for me to reach, especially with two wings that are not in the best of shape.

After getting drenched with steering fluid, I took a hot shower, and Rosie did, too. I spent time contemplating my plans for getting our steering fixed while Rosie made us a nice dinner of Italian sausage on pasta with a small side salad.

It was a perfect dinner, but we found out that we are anchored in the direct path of the smoke from the town dump. Every town has one, and anchoring downwind is typically avoided, but we didn't see any smoke when we dropped anchor, and the reviews on this anchorage don't mention it. If it gets worse tomorrow, we'll have to move.

As you can see by the picture, Rock Sound is not much to look at, but there's a good market here, and several restaurants are in the guide books. Like I said earlier, there's a NAPA, and a hardware store. The water is blue, but cloudy. We hope it's just because the wind has the bottom churned up, but we're not sure.

We might be here a few days, so we'll make the most of it and keep in touch.

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