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Old 27-12-2008, 06:06   #1
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In Hock, or The Twists and Turns of Nassau

Apologies if this is a duplicate - my server shows as not posted...

In Hock, or The Twists and Turns of Nassau

So, we arrive in Nassau in fine fashion. When we left you, we were waiting for Customs, and, later, Immigration. Immigration was a very short, sweet, encounter, and had the same courtesy and casual nature (though far less involved, Customs involving umpteeen forms and about an hour sitting on the dock) as our experience with Customs.

We moved out of Yacht Haven, as the only reason for us to be on the dock was the requirement for checking in, on Saturday afternoon. That financial nuisance aside, their process was extremely convenient for those submitting to it – they come to you, basically either wandering the docks looking for yellow flags, or, if the marina has notified them that you’re there, coming directly to you.

There’s plenty of anchoring room in Nassau, but the Explorer charts caution against scoured bottoms from many anchorings and other foulings which might make the experience less pleasant. The wind had essentially died when we arrived, but by Saturday PM it was picking up strongly, and by the time we anchored, was piping right along, right on schedule.

We had an oncoming wind and tide against our port side, in the wrong direction to take advantage of our stern walk in reverse (we’d backed into our slip), so we cast off all but the bow line, to use it as a warp (pull against it while powering the boat). Lydia went aft on the dock and used our port stern line to pull the stern around as much as possible before tossing it on the boat. She then hurried to the bow and kept it in place while I rotated the stern around to the point where we could motor out.

Unfortunately, in all the excitement of getting off, we’d neglected to stow the mooring lines as we headed to our anchorage…

We started near to the last marina east, but were unhappy with both our position and holding, so moved to the far east of the anchorage, just before the breakwater. In the meantime, as we were moving forward to remove our anchor from the first location, Lydia complained of no power. I asked her to go into neutral to see if that made a difference. It did, and the power returned when we went back into gear.

Anchoring was relatively uneventful, using a Bahamian Moor, where two anchors, well spread apart, keep the boat relatively still as the current changes direction. We were to find that the wind was strong enough, however, that we didn’t turn during our entire time on anchor.

Once hooked, I got the dinghy down, and as I was putting the engine on, noticed, in the current, a line with a mass at the end. I’d thought that our “Kitty Rescue System” (the braided lines we have over the side for Portia to climb out with should she go in the water), had unravelled. No such luck…

It was our stern mooring line, ½” nylon three-strand, which we’d made from some cast-off line we’d found in Saint Simons Island. Dang! Just like in our delivery trip all this time ago, except that it didn’t’ jack the transmission out of the plate, for which we’re very thankful! I picked up the mass and heaved it up, for later inspection.

Lydia and I sat on the patio, as we often do, admiring the view, and I pointed out the ball next to her. She didn’t recognize it, the lovely line she’d put the eye splice into not so long ago, until I identified it for her. It had gone into the prop, and, fortunately for us, once the pressure was relieved, just popped out. However, it had become what looked to be hopelessly hockled – that is, wound up so tight that the individual strands unlaid and made curly loops like monstrous wool.

Also fortunately for us, it hadn’t become tight enough to get engaged in our linecutter, which would have otherwise just sliced it off, and perhaps left a ball on the prop. Lydia was convinced that it was toast, but I thought that we could work out the twists, as, in the end, if the end hadn’t entirely unraveled, it would be a matter of reversing the direction of the prop twist.

So, for the rest of the afternoon, that’s essentially what we did. I started it alone, but the re-laying of the lines proved challenging with only two hands. Eventually, we separated all the strands, and, basically, re-manufactured the rope. We lost perhaps two feet off the end, but, using winches and cleats as holding points to take up slack, we individually twisted each strand, which induced twist on the rope, which, inch by inch, remade itself.

When we got to a rather frayed area, we declared victory, whipped it, and cut off the remainder. As long as we’re stuck waiting out the wind, we may as well amuse ourselves with the twists and turns of getting out of hock(le) :{)) The end result was a mooring line only a few inches shorter than before, and the satisfaction of having overcome another of our stupid pet tricks :{))

You’ll recall that we installed new batteries and an inverter-charger; previously we’d been having to run the charger rather more often than not. With the new gear and understanding, we’re paying more attention to cumulative amp hours, with zero being good, a positive number being great, and a negative value approaching 200 causing us to think about charging our 840AmpHour bank.

Christmas Day was one for communication with family and friends, and all the computers were running, in a relatively calm (10-knots) wind with little sunshine, making our outside charging minimal. As a result, we ran up our deficit in great speed. So, during our movie, another power sucker, we also ran the Honda generator.

For the first time in nearly a week, despite regular use of computers and all the other stuff other than navigation electronics, we had to charge, but it was all over not long after the movie (Braveheart, a long one) ended. So far, we’re well pleased with the experience of our new power supplies. One curiosity has us scratching our heads, however, as the reset button on the TM500A for the inverter doesn’t seem to work. The last couple of times we’ve restarted the charger, it’s required entering the engine room to push the button on the inverter itself. As that was a chief reason for purchasing that (relatively expensive – nearly a third of the inverter price) remote unit, I’m not very happy about that right at the moment. As we get data successfully, and can turn the inverter on and off (but not reset it), the cable to the inverter from the remote unit is connected. Further study is required…

Dinner on Christmas was a Pork Roast, done in our pressure cooker, accompanied by roasted potatoes, parsnips, peas, carrots, stuffing, gravy, and a salad. We popped open the champagne given to me as a thank you by my broker who sold the last two properties we had in the corporation which had kept me (barely) alive these last 20 years or so before getting on the boat. It was a nice way to remember him – thanks, Bill…

Back to the anchorage, after we’d set our double anchor system, a 55# Delta on all chain, and a 75# CQR, likewise (at the length we had out) also all chain, a couple days later we weren’t all that happy with our position, appearing to have moved slightly, and the angle between the primary and secondary anchor having narrowed, suggesting we weren’t holding all that well.

As the winds were supposed to keep up, we pulled forward on our primary anchor as I pulled up the secondary, and then let out another hundred-plus feet as we angled away from our primary anchor’s set. That put us pretty well forward of the primary anchor, and well out, as well. Dropping the secondary, heavier anchor, I let it set as we drifted back, and then let out a very substantial amount of chain (about 100’ in less than 10’ of water), doing my usual intermediate settings (letting the chain come tight multiple times).

Running in some of the additional primary chain put the two anchors in approximately a 60 degree angle, and very firmly held. However, with all the extra rode we had out, we had moved quite a bit back from where we were originally. So, when we went to bed at about 10, we were astern of, instead of forward of, a small sailboat, and about midway on an equilateral triangle from two boats astern of us.

At 11:30, there was a frantic banging on our hull, and shouts from outside. !@#$%^&* - we must have dragged. Groggy, I pulled on my shorts and went topsides. We hadn’t dragged, but the guy in the boat to our starboard stern hadn’t seen us move with all the lights blazing, and since the last time he saw us, we were about 100 feet forward, had assumed we were in danger of running him down :{))

When I anchor, I use as many reference points as possible to make sure I can tell if we have moved. Our first reference points did, indeed, show that we’d moved slightly, which is why we started over. However, the new ones in our second anchor position were very exact, and would have shown a movement of as little as a foot. I’d lined up on three posts in the adjacent small marina, and we were right where we’d been when we set the hooks.

So, we both had a bit of a chuckle about it, and went to bed…

We intentionally missed one of the highlights of the season here in Nassau, Junkanoo. If it hadn’t been a midnight-to-8AM affair, we might have gone, but stories from those who had been to it in the past got our attention. When we were at the dock, waiting for Customs, we heard a very loud marching band from across the channel, in the area of Atlantis, the mega-resort. It not only carried very well across the channel, but it was most annoying and, did I mention, loud? – not to mention that they didn’t’ quit until after 2AM. Meanwhile, another cruiser who’d arrived just before us is a 17-year veteran of the Bahamas, and his relating of the experience convinced us we’d not much like it.

According to him, it’s so loud that they not only hand out earplugs to the stadium-seating ticketholders (they set up bleachers along the road where it passes – for 8!! Hours), but the speakers are so powerful that they actually move your clothing – and some of the semi-trailers, with people dancing on them, bounce so much their rear wheels actually leave the ground.

Between the hour and the noise, we’ll leave that experience to our friends who were so high on it as to make a point of trying to be here. However, they’re still in Florida…

Meanwhile, barring surprises in the weather report, we’ll be heading out to go south on Saturday, to places unknown, other than a first stop at Allen’s Cay to inspect the Iguanas that run around on the beach, anxious to see visitors (reports have it that they come running to you when they see a dinghy approach). No internet service there, and we don’t know when the next will be, but you can see our progress on our SPOT page, SPOT Shared Page

For now, we wish you a joyous holiday season, and a happy new year.

L8R

Skip and crew

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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Old 27-12-2008, 06:30   #2
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Hi, and thanks for the blog! Just so ya know, your links for the groups down at the bottom of your post seem broken. I get email addresses for both of them. Thanks, Chris
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Old 27-12-2008, 06:49   #3
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sigline interpretation

Thanks for the heads-up.

The name of the group is proper; you just go to the site of either google or yahoogroups and click on the group.

However, I'll see about modifying the sig to be more informative.

Thanks again...

L8R

Skip

The Society for the Preservation of Tithesis commends your ebriated
and scrutible use of delible and defatigable, which are gainly, sipid
and couth. We are gruntled and consolate that you have the ertia and
eptitude to choose such putably pensible tithesis, which we parage.


>>Stamp out Sesquipedalianism<<
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Old 27-12-2008, 07:08   #4
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This one should work...

L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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Old 27-12-2008, 09:00   #5
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Links work now. I really like some of your posts, and I'm reading more when I get a chance. I saw the pics of the boat up on the reef... where is the blog about it? THATS got to be a nightmare!
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Old 27-12-2008, 09:45   #6
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Look in either log about February-March of 2007, I think....

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