Getting into the Cruising Rhythm

We are 5 months into cruising…going on 30 days now in the Bahamas (Abacos). The old salty cruisers we’ve met so far say its been an unusually unstable Bahamas winter and we agree. It is, of course beautiful! We’ve not experienced any weather phenom that has troubled nor frightened us…just lots of strong wind as the frequent winter cold fronts blow through the Abacos bringing 3-5 days of chop and then 1-2 days of “ahhh…this is what it should be like” calm, settled, sunny periods.

Our “groove” seems to be starting to take shape. We arrive at a new Cay; find a spot perfect (enough) for our boat and go ashore to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and people of the local settlements. We have begun to take part in the local cruisers nets and have met some awesome people! The wealth of knowledge of “locals” and the value of emersing ourselves in the island culture brings a sense of relaxation that is truly liberating! We still struggle with small inconveniences like:

– Wet dinghy rides (in chop) from an anchorage that is just a bit farther than desired to the dinghy docks.
– Full mooring fields that force us to drop the hook in outer bights or open areas (thus causing wet dinghy rides).
– Windy conditions that prevent us from getting the tender out to the choice snorkeling (conch and lobster) spots.
– … and the 5 ft reef shark that cruised right under the dinghy as Brandon & Steve were hunting lobster.

…but, the experience more than makes up for the inconveniences – what a wonderful lifestyle this cruising is…and we intend to enjoy every second of it.

We’re beginning to run into cruisers we have met before (at another Cay). We met a cruiser in a sister vessel like ours (1975 Gulfstar M53 Ketch) and enjoyed chatting with them. We struck up a friendship with a wonderful couple (Sandy & Dirk on SV Catatonnic) that charters their beautiful Fontaine Peugeot 60 ft Cat…and of course our friends Thomas & Charlotte who got our engine running again a few weeks ago!

The weather patterns are getting better and better each week as February moves along…this week we expect some awesome weather for mitigating the aforementioned “little inconveniences” (except the shark) which just makes each day all that more magical.

We will stick around a bit at Hopetown (Elbow Cay). We toured the lighthouse (what an awesome view from the top) which is the only kerosene fueled, manually operated active lighthouse in the world! Kimberly visited the Hopetown museum and David wants to hit the Karoke event at Rays Bar that they have each week here as well as try to snag some edible sized lobster that we know are here just waiting to be grilled! We flew the drone today (ashore) to shake out the cob webs and for some novice practice. Steve needs to get proficient with it before we will launch and recover it from the boat.

The boat is performing well!…it’s been nice not to have to fix anything that has broken (fingers crossed) and Steve has even gotten to do some additional projects like adding LED lighting in some cabin dark spaces and scrubbing the hull in the clear turquoise Bahamas water. We are still ever watchful for our friends Brian and Joyce on SV Pawsitive Latitude (that are still struggling with engine trouble) and we hope to link up with them when if ferry over from Marsh Harbour to Hopetown to catch up on what solutions are brewing to get them back on track.

So – a new day has begun. The sun is up (and bright) over the lighthouse at Hopetown…its time to enjoy another beautiful Bahamas day!

The cruising groove continues to shape up as we settle into an Island rhythm mon…not necessarily in a hurry to get anywhere with the goal of enjoying all that cruising life has to offer.

Stay tuned!