This morning we awoke at 6:15 to attempt another first aboard Beatitude: Actually using our SSB (single side-band radio). And, it’s a good thing I had the antennae repaired in Spanish Wells! With our upcoming crossing back to the United States, we were encouraged by Jim and Marcie Grantham, fellow cruisers we know from our time on the Manatee River, to listen in on Christ Parker’s weather transmission for the Bahamas on channel 4050. We attempted to tune him in on 4050, but could not. When I experimented with nearby frequencies, I found him on 4045. The transmission is a little static-y, but understandable. We’ll try to listen in for the next few days as well.
In anticipation of a weekend crossing of the Gulf Stream back to the United States, we continued northward through the Abacos. We weighed anchor shortly after nine a.m. and proceeded past Man-O-War Cay and Great Guana Cay. We then went through the infamous Whale Cay Passage without difficulty. When traveling southward in January, we had to wait several days for appropriate conditions to pass this dangerous section where one must exit the Sea of Abaco to go around Whale Cay. Today, it was a breeze.
After making it through the “Whale,” we hailed Green Turtle Club Marina over the VHF. They had no room for us, so we then hailed Bluff House, the marina at which we previously stayed while in Green Turtle Cay. They had a slip for us, so around 1:15 we entered the marina and tied up to the dock. We’ll stay here for one night before moving on.
I thought this was a good time to see if I could fix our navigation lights on the bow (the red and green lights). They’ve not been working for a few weeks, but haven’t been needed. Well, I am on a roll. I tested the connections at the bow light and did not find power reaching this point. The wiring at the bow was sitting in water and one of the wires was corroded through. I suctioned out the water from the compartment through which the wiring ran. I then reconnected the wires and… Voila! We now have functioning navigation lights.
We had dinner at the Jolly Roger restaurant at the marina before returning to Beatitude to watch the first TV program we’ve seen in over a month… American Idol. Cindy and I have watched virtually every episode of every American Idol starting with Season 1. We’ve missed the season so far this year, but tuned in this evening to see the episode on which the final 12 is revealed. We’ll probably watch the rest of the season from here on out.
We will try to go to sleep fairly early tonight, since we must awaken early to listen to Chris Parker’s forecast, do some provisioning, and head further north.