Yesterday, Cindy and I met up in Atlanta en route to the Bahamas. It looked like neither of us would be allowed on our flights as, for the first time ever, they said we needed visas (Although, U.S. Citizens do not need visas for short trips to the Bahamas) and proof of purchased return tickets. After some persuasion and producing our cruising permit (which allows our boat in the Bahamas for up to a year) they let us board. Whew! We finally arrived back on Beatitude at Emerald Bay, Exumas around 7:30 in the evening. Both our days began around 4:30 a.m., so our fatigue drove us to retire not long after arrival.
Today was mostly a work day. First off, was dealing with the dock lines. As I mentioned previously, two had snapped in the high winds we experienced before we flew back the the states. As I checked out the lines, it was apparent that two more had snapped and a couple more were almost chafed through. Fortunately, I had rigged 12 lines prior to leaving. The dock hand said the winds had persisted for 2 or 3 days after we left. The winds caused more damage than the hurricane which brushed the area early this year. One of the large trawlers broke from its lines and sustained damage to its stern and also damaged the dock. Today, on the other hand, was a perfectly calm day and would have been perfect weather to leave the marina, but we were not quite ready having just returned last evening.
The next job on the list was to deal with our freezer. I opened it to get some ice this morning and was greeted with the worst stench — the smell of rotting food. Somehow, it appears our freezer became unplugged while we were away. How? I don’t know. But, we lost $100.00 or so worth of food. There were a couple of inches of the most disagreeable-smelling water beneath the spoiled meat. So, we spent some time emptying the freezer and cleaning up the mess.
Then, I went to work on a couple of other projects for which I had brought back parts from the U.S. The first was to take apart and service our shower sump pump which was acting up. Once that task was done, I set about to install a vented loop in our bilge pump/shower pump discharge hose. For some reason, on this last trip to the Bahamas, water was backing up into our shower from outside. I’m not sure why it just started now. I’m hoping by installing a vented loop, the problem will be solved. A vented loop allows water to be pushed through by a pump, but once the pump shuts off, it prevents a back flow of water by breaking the siphon with the entry of air from the top of the loop. The job, like virtually every job I’ve ever attempted aboard a sailboat, was much more involved and took more time than expected. I had to drill new holes through a wooden shelf for the hoses to come up through to accommodate the width of the vented loop. But, now it is installed, and we’ll see if it prevents the back flow of water.
I, then, replaced a rusting, loose clamp on a hose on the dinghy outboard and made sure it was in working order. From, there we (I should have said “we” the entire time, since Cindy was of invaluable help during the performance of all the previous jobs) did some cleaning and organizing. And, finally, we brought out all of our Christmas decorations and dressed up Beatitudes interior to fit the season.
We finally relaxed long enough to have “lupper” at the Palapa Grill, overlooking the gorgeous Emerald Bay. The cubans and pork sliders were excellent. This grill has the best food we’ve had on Great Exuma Island. This evening, we came up to the Captain’s lounge for improved wifi to put up this blog. I met a crew member of a visiting 80 ft. yacht and played a few games of pool with him [4-0, in my favor 🙂 ].
Since, we weren’t able to take advantage of today’s light winds, we’ll hang out for a few days. As it looks right now, Tuesday may afford an opportunity to leave Emerald Bay for some more remote islands. We’re thinking of making the 45 mile trek eastward to Conception Island from here. The uninhabited island is part of the Exumas Sea and Land Park and is reputed to have fantastic beauty and snorkeling.