Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Leg 2: Nassau to St. Mary's City

Haven't had time to write anything about this until now.  I got to Nassau on Saturday, April 21.  Travis and Greg had gotten in a day or two earlier.  This is more of a delivery than the first trip with Jenny when we got to swim and snorkel a few times.  I found Greg on the Cruiser's Forum web site, not sure if either Jenny or Travis would be coming on this part of the trip.  Having the three of us would make it easier on the night watches in particular.

Everything was fine with the boat and the marina, until we tried to start the engine and it wouldn't turn over.  After trying to jump from the house batteries with old cables that also didn't work, I decided to spring for a new starter battery first thing on Monday.  The fishing guys in the nearby boats had a connection at a battery shop that would deliver.  The delivered battery wasn't right, so I got to ride back to the shop and get the right one in a car with a broken seat back.  Nassau is a big small town with no highways to speak of, so it was no problem.  Everyone in Nassau was great in general.

The battery worked perfectly, and all was well.  In fact, even though it seemed like it was the good battery compared to the house batteries, it had been the bad one during the earlier trip, because now it was possible to run the 12-volt cooler with the engine running and the batteries stayed charged. Electrical systems are often mysterious.  

So, we had been watching the weather forecasts for the crossing to Beaufort, NC, using either, or the phone apps with the same info.  It seemed like we could maybe keep moving and squeeze the trip in before the next north front came through, so we left that afternoon for the Abacos.  That was a bit of a rough night, and we went through the cut at North Bar Channel the next afternoon, anchored for the night, then went on to Marsh Harbor the next morning.  We had an engine oil problem and needed to buy oil, got some food while we were at it, and left just before sunset on Wednesday, April 25.

Dolphins in mid-ocean
We wanted to make good time, so we essentially ran the engine for the next four days.  The wind was light and from the south or east the whole time.  It was supposed to go north and get strong on Sunday morning, but fortunately it didn't come in very strong and we took a full four days to go almost 600 miles, averaging over 6 knots.  We did a poor job of sending out position messages with our Spot locator, so Jenny was understandably worried, and I'll know to send those out more often next time.  We were surprised to hear the Coast Guard on vhf channel 16 over 200 miles from shore (but not who they were talking to,) so they must have very good antennas.

Travis was taking videos during the trip, and afterward, he and Sophi put together this nice edited version, even if its still a little long.

In Beaufort, we cleared in by phone, but a CBP guy had to stop by the next morning, and he confiscated our apples, but not all the other leftovers we had, which was weird.  Greg decided he really like Beaufort, and he wanted to stay and visit the area, and since Travis and I could do fine without him, we wished each other well, and said goodbye.  For now, here is a quick summary of the rest of the trip so far. 

ICW scene

Travis and I left in the afternoon of Monday, April 30 for a short sail/ motor on the Intracoastal Waterway to a creek just short of the Neuse River.  This made the next day's trip to Belhaven not too long, and we got in there early enough to do some shopping and visit the funky town history museum.   

Tuesday was a fairly long run to an anchorage on the Little Alligator River just before Albemarle Sound.  The next day was only 30 miles to Coinjock, where we stayed at a marina and visited with friends I met through Echo, Lisa and Drew Wright, and their parents, and one of their sons, Ian.

The next day was "bridge day," only 50 miles, but just making the many bridges and the lock at Great Bridge in time before the last bridge opened at 3:30 pm and then was closed until 6:00.  It was also the day we met Lewis from London on day 62 of his rowing adventure from Miami, on his way to New York (if his Visa got renewed.)  We gave him a tow for a few miles to the first bridge.  We ended up staying at a great public wharf in Portsmouth, and he left us a note on Magus while we were out.  We hope the rest of his trip is successful.

Portsmouth, VA public harbor

The next day, Saturday, May 5, we left for Mobjack Bay, staying at a great little place Compass Marina, owned by Albert's friend from college Martin Coffee and her husband Keith Jones.  The next day had a good breeze from the north, so we stayed and went kayaking on the East River, eating some outrageously good fresh oysters we picked on the way.

Menhaden fishing vessel, Reedville, VA
On Monday, the wind picked up good in the afternoon and we actually sailed without the engine for several hours.  We went to Reedville, where we met Captain Emery Lewis on his 80 foot cruising motor-sailer ketch, and heard lots of great history stories about the area.  Everyone here was also very friendly, and although none of the restaurants were open, we could have eaten at the American Legion and heard more history stories at the local school, but we just stayed on the dock.  We also walked around the fishing/ marine museum that was closed. 

The next day we left for St. Mary's City, arriving at 3 pm, as predicted by Travis.  The trip log showed 997 nautical miles from Nassau, in 15 days, an average of 66.5 miles per day, including the stops and lay-overs.  That's good, meaning we had good luck and good weather.  By contrast, the trip from Puerto Rico to Nassau was about 920 miles in 24 days, about 38 miles per day.  However, the first trip had rougher weather and we had to wait out some fronts instead of swimming and snorkeling, which we also did some. 

1 comment:

Jenny Ruth Yasi said...

I loved reading that! Great story!