Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Leaving West End

Well, the last couple days have been amazing. We left West End, Grand Bahama Island heading for Hole in the Wall. It was very calm and we motored all the way arriving there the next morning. The bay was crystal clear and we had it entirely to ourselves, with the exception of an old tanker wreck. The next day the wind picked up so we decided to continue moving South. We had a great day sail going wing on wing most of the way. But as the evening arrived so did trouble.

The first thing that happened was the genoa rolled itself up backward when I took the whisker pole off. I couldn't man handle the sail so I tried motoring around into the wind to get the sail to release. The wind was so strong I actually pulled the prop shaft out of the transmission trying to get power to the boat. Bummer - the prop shaft had come out twice before while I was in Mexico so I had holes drilled in the shaft to hold setscrews. Obviously that didn't work.

So, the prop shaft is now hanging partly out of the boat. We sailed to the nearest beach and dropped anchor. I then went over the side (thank god I scuba dive) and hammered the shaft back in place. It’s now almost dark. We went to pull up the anchor but it was stuck. I dove on the anchor (we were in about 30ft. of water) and found I had dropped it right in the middle of a large coral outcropping. I tried moving the anchor and chain to a better location but could not get it unstuck.

So ... now it's dark. I decided to let out enough anchor line that the anchor rode is exposed since rope will stretch more than chain. I then tied the rope to the front of the boat and tried to get some sleep. The boat was tossing and spinning all night. Well, at least up until 2am when the anchor rope snapped and we started drifting toward the beach.

I quickly got the motor started and headed out to sea.

And guess what? A major storm had come up and we spent from 2am to almost 5pm riding waves that were from 15 – 20 foot high with winds to 30 knots.

But we made it. We are now sitting on the lee side of Eleuthera Island in a lovely little sandy cove. The anchor is firmly set in sand, the wind is low as we are sheltered by the island, and the water is crystal clear.

And oh yes - in case you are wondering I carry a spare anchor and chain which I installed while coming down some of the 20 foot waves today.

Man, I am bushed.

So, the adventure continues. Tomorrow promises to be a beautiful day and we aren't going anywhere.

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