Thursday, March 27, 2014

Zen and the art of waiting for wind

Little Farmers Cay--One of the friendliest and most
charming settlements we have visited.
Although you wouldn't know it from listening to us at certain times (like when we yell at the boys for quiet when they're going crazy right around the time we're doing something critical like anchoring or maneuvering in tight spaces), Matt and I are becoming more patient.

Shroud Cay has beautiful mangrove-lined rivers but there's
no fishing allowed, which doesn't agree with Matt
We decided somewhere along the way that we should sail more and motor less. It may have been around the time that diesel  prices went up quite a bit. It hurts to pay $700 to fill the tanks and generally we have lots of time with no set schedule. It's not that we used to motor all that much but if winds were light, we would turn on the engines rather than go 4 knots an hour or slower. For reference, you can probably stroll faster than that while sporting a slight limp. Nowadays, we will endure 3 or 4 knots or, preferably, will simply wait for better winds if we can.
That's what we're doing at Norman's Cay now--waiting for good wind and for storms to pass through. We sailed up here from George Town on one slow day and a couple of fast days. On the slow day, it took us over 6 hours to sail 20 miles. In contrast, the next day gave us 45 miles in less than 6 hours. We didn't catch any fish the first day because we were too slow or on the second day because we were too fast. Just call us Goldilocks.

 On our way up, Matt shot some of the Nassau groupers that were taunting him the last time we were at Leaf Cay because it was a few days shy of the start of their season. Matt also got a bunch of other fish and a lobster, most without a spear tip, which somehow fell off after the first fish.
The fishing at Norman's Cay has been pretty sparse. Matt got a decent sized lionfish. He would have shot another one except that a large bull shark showed up. Other than that, there is plentiful conch and Matt traded a beer for a lobster from a thirsty fisherman.

While we wait, Matt is fixing various things. Since we filled up with fuel in George Town, the galley had been smelling like diesel and we feared that there was a leak somewhere, which could mean ripping apart the guts of the boat. Fortunately, Matt discovered that there were several bolts missing from an attachment point for the tank gauge. If you looked carefully through one of the screw holes, you could see down into the tank and see diesel sloshing around. We think maybe the holes used to be blocked with the crud that falls from the galley (thereby allowing us to not notice it was actually a hole) and became unblocked when we fueled up, allowing fumes to waft up. While digging through the big box of random screws and bolts, Matt found a package with 3 bolts that fit perfectly and matched the 2 bolts that were installed.  Why these bolts were apparently purchased but never put in is but another mystery. After bolting it all up properly, the smell disappeared.
Conrad fishing with his bamboo pole spear, just like Dad

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