Monday, January 13, 2014

Homeward bound- Sort of

We spent the last few days at Cambridge Cay on a mooring ball. It is part of the Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park. This was one of my favorite spots, thus far. It has a tricky approach (for our draft) which makes it adventurous. It is just beautiful. And it has great snorkeling. What else do you need? Oh yeah- beaches for Roux.

Bell Rock at Cambridge Cay. Roux's beach.

We ended up here by a fluke, really. We were going to make a short,one hour hop north from Black Point. But, when we left Black Point,the wind was perfect. We hoisted sails as soon as we cleared the harbor and had some of the best sailing ever. It was soon time to turn to our target destination and we couldn't do it. We just couldn't abandon this great sailing day.
Cambridge Cay mooring field from a sandbar exposed
at low tide. And, yes, it rained.

We just kept going for three more hours and ended up at Cambridge Cay. We had a great time, met some more nice people (Hello Rick and Eva!).  As it turned out, when we left there, the sailing was still great and we sailed almost all of the way to where we are now.

Bell Rock from the ocean side. With the ever-present
ocean trash in the foreground.

We are back at Highbourne Cay Marina for some refueling - us and the boat. We have been living self-contained for the past ten days. On mooring balls or at anchor, we need to make our own electric, have enough water and dinghy everywhere we need to go.

Our watermaker has not lived up to expectations. It has been kind of hard to test since you really can't run it until you get to fairly clean water. No muddy water, never harbor water. So, by the time we could test it, we already needed it. Turns out, it was only managing to make marginal water. According to our water tester thingy, it was not even up to minimum EPA standards for tap water. Guess it is time for a new membrane.

We did run the watermaker and put water in our aft water tank for washing and such. We reserved the front tank for drinking and cooking and only used the foot pump (which, you may recall, we replaced just before we left Miami). We filled that tank with good RO water from this marina when we were here at New Year's. Along the way, we shuttled in some jerry cans of good water from Black Point's free water. It is a little odd. It is just a spigot sticking up along the street with a stainless steel nozzle. It is great RO water -some of the best we have seen. Free, but the only way to get it is to dinghy in, fill cans, haul them back and pour them into the tank. But, worth it.

Electric-wise, we do OK. Our refrigeration sucks a lot of power but the generator replenishes. The wind generator does a good job if we are getting higher winds. Solar panels come in a distant third. It may be time to upgrade those. After a while though, you need to go plug in and let the batteries equalize - basically a slow soak to drive the charge all the way down deep.

And then, there is groceries. We still have most of the basics either canned or frozen. No danger of starving. But, there are some things we run short of and miss. Bread. Snacks. Snacks. Snacks. It is amazing how many meals on a boat end up just being crackers, nuts, chips, granola bars, etc. Ice Cream. But that just doesn't happen much. Consequently, we have both lost weight just by default. We went to the little 'grocery' here today and got a dose of island pricing. Town House Crackers $7.35, broccoli $5.85, bread $6. They are the only game in town and everything arrives the same way we did - by boat.

We are rested, fed at the restaurant, met some nice folks (Hello Ed and Janet!), topped off all of the tanks, equalized the batteries and checked the weather for the coming week. We have decided to start making our way back home, knowing that it will take a while because the weather doesn't always cooperate. Like, this week for instance. We thought we might start heading north and west and stage for a crossing back to Florida sometime. Chris Parker (weather guy) says we should find an anchorage and wait until next week before we bother trying to head that way. So, tomorrow morning we will leave here and move about 20 miles south to Hawksbill Cay to hang out. Such is life on a boat.

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