Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time


Cruising the Coast of Eleuthera

We missed Bandit on Tuesday when we went to Harbour Island, as he usually comes by the boat to collect our mooring fee. He was away piloting a boat through the Devil's Backbone. I called him on the radio and got his wife, or somebody, and told her we'd pay the next morning. So, early on Wednesday, Jock (Bandit) came by at 7:30 and we paid up for two nights on the ball and said our goodbyes. We went over to Ronald's Service and filled up with diesel at $5.96 per gallon. This is a cash price. Credit cards are hit with an extra 4 percent, plus VISA charges an extra 1 percent for transactions outside of the U.S. We learned that, particularly in the out islands, the Bahamas is a cash economy. A longtime ex-pat over here told us that the typical Bahamian doesn't...

Posted at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments


Harbour Island

We survived our first night on our mooring ball with nary a mishap, with nature or with the sailboat next to us. The view above is of Spanish Wells from our mooring ball. "Bandit" came by Monday morning to collect our $20 fee. His real name is Jock Morgan, and he is a local pilot and probably jack of all trades if he needs to be. I asked him how much he charges to pilot one's vessel through the perilous Devil's Backbone on over to Harbour Island. He smiled and said "A hunnerd dollars." I nodded in reply and only offered that we had some business to attend to before we could start thinking about a trip over to the famous Harbour Island and the town of Dunmore. We have no less than four printed guidebooks, or chartbooks, plus the advantage of...

Posted at 08:37 AM | Permalink | Comments


Spanish Wells

Just a quick note today. We left our anchorage just off of Lynard Cay this morning at 7:30 after a nice breakfast consisting of a corned beef hash omelet, toast and hot coffee. Big swells passing through the Little Harbour Cut, and they didn't let up once on our more than five-hour crossing past "Hole In the Wall" on the southern tip of Great Abaco and then on to Ridley Head, just on the northern tip of Eleuthera, a total of 51 miles. The waves were on our port quarter bow and fairly consistent, and we were only ringing the ships bell on every fourth one or so. We only passed one sailboat going the opposite way of us, but we saw three sailboats way off in the distance when we finally spotted land as we approached Eleuthera. We wanted to go on the hook, but...

Posted at 08:56 AM | Permalink | Comments


Hope Town and Pete's Pub

As soon as we left Harbour View Marina, I heard a distress call on VHF 16. A boat was sinking nearby, and there was a request for assistance. Even though the boat sinking was eight miles away, I decided to try to help once I cleared the harbor, but by time I got out to where I could put the boat on plane, there was already help on the scene and all vessels were told to "stand down." The person making the distress call was hard put to describe his location, initially making it hard for anyone to come to his aid. Things to remember. Our cruise over to Elbow Cay and Hope Town was a short one, only a few miles. Hope Town Harbour is small and mostly mooring balls. We anchored just outside on the harbor entrance, along with four or five other vessels. It was my birthday, and...

Posted at 08:37 AM | Permalink | Comments


Reflecting on One Year of Cruising

One year of living on the boat was celebrated on April 20, but we didn't leave St. Louis until May 8 of last year. It was my birthday, and what a way to celebrate a birthday! I'm now a year older, and I think I'm a bit wiser, as far as cruising and living on a boat goes, anyway. Rosie and I've faced a few challenges in the last year, but we've met them and have overcome them. We're in no worse health than we were a year ago, and the boat is no worse for wear, either. In fact, the boat runs better than it did a year ago. But it hasn't been without a lot of work. Rust is a constant issue, but much better and more expensive yachts share the same problem. It's said that stainless doesn't mean stainfree. Everything on the boat works as it...

Posted at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments

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