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Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

05/23/13

Flexible Cruising Plans are the Key to Succcess

I barely got any sleep Monday night, as all I could think about was how I was going to successfully add hydraulic fluid to our steering mechanism without the proper equipment. The more I thought about finding what I needed in Rock Sound, the more pessimistic I became. At about 2 a.m., I went online and found out as much as I could about the job I needed to do, even watching a video on how to do it, and I went back to bed feeling a little more confident on being able to fix our steering. On Tuesday morning, I was up at daybreak sorting through my collection of hoses and fittings, seeing what I had that might serve my purpose. I did have an ample amount of hydraulic fluid that met the specifications of Sea Star, the manufacturer of the steering system on our Sea Ray, so it appeared...

Posted at 03:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/21/13

Governor's Harbour To Rock Sound

We couldn't decide whether to leave Alabaster Bay or not, because we liked the beach and we were well protected from the wind and swells coming into Eleuthera Sound from the southeast. But, we had lots of places we wanted to see and they pretty much have all been better than the last place, so by mid-afternoon on Saturday we made way for a short hop over to Governor's Harbour. One reason I was reluctant to enter Governor's Harbour was because everything I'd read about it said that holding was poor, being a slim layer of sand over hard rock, not leaving much for an anchor to grab. As we entered the harbor, there were five sailboats settled in, and they looked to be holding just fine. We picked a spot that wouldn't be intrusive to them, dropped the hook and...

Posted at 01:19 PM | Permalink | Comments

05/18/13

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

05/14/13

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

05/12/13

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

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