Cruisers & Sailing Forums (
-   General Sailing Forum (
-   -   An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas... (

Aird 04-05-2015 09:10

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
We met in Bimini. We Talked about solar panels, I had the 37 Irwin Ketch waiting for delivery of a water pump.
Glad to see you made it and are working your way home!

rognvald 04-05-2015 11:33

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
There is a saying I have lived by throughout my life:

Reward lives in the house of risk.

Sumner 05-05-2015 05:24

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...

Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 (Post 1814273)
.....Hard to believe that, not too long ago, sailors used to go to the Bahamas in little sailboats.

Oday 22, Cal 24, Macgregor 25, Albin Vega 27, Bristol 27, and many like them......

One reason I've taken this trip is that a good friend of mine and his wife have been to the Bahamas twice in their Macgregor. They have the 26' power-sailor that came after my Mac. Mine is the displacement hull with a 9.8 HP outboard. On their second trip they went past Georgetown to Long Island and then up to Conception, Cat and Eleuthera before returning via West End. They are starting on the Great Loop this fall and on that trip will go back to the Bahamas again. They live in Washington (the state) and have taken their Mac from Seattle to Alaska on the inside passage and back and also done the Sea Of Cortez and other destinations. Some impressive trips on a boat that doesn't weigh much more than 3500 lbs with the water ballast out.

Another Mac owner took me shopping when I got to Key Largo and he had been to the Exumas and back in his 22 foot Mac some time back so yes a lot of people have made this trip on smaller boats. You just don't get to travel some days that the larger boats do or at least not comfortably. So far I haven't seen a boat under 30 foot except I might of seen a 27 Catalina.

There is a guy here at Little Farmer, now a friend, that bought a 30 foot C & C in Punta Gorda and came here with no prior experience. He has had his moments but has made it. Interesting story is that he 5 feet of draft so has to anchor in the channel here and doesn't have good anchors, a danforth without a lot of rode although he has added to it. He kept dragging some so would get up every hour to check things. The other night a much larger boat was on a mooring ball near him. He got up in the dark and it was gone. He saw it over by the cut close to getting washed out into Exuma Sound. He got in his dinghy and ran over and woke the owners who then got the boat back inside. The line on or two the mooring ball had broke or come loose?

I was talking to Terry here who owns Ocean Cabin Restaurant about being here on a small boat and he said 'it is all just water'. We take our boats everywhere and almost everywhere we go there is a local sailing a small boat in the waters there. So the way I look at it is I'm just going from one 'local's water' to another's.


Originally Posted by Aird (Post 1817236)
We met in Bimini. We Talked about solar panels, I had the 37 Irwin Ketch waiting for delivery of a water pump.
Glad to see you made it and are working your way home!

Hi Denny, yes I remember you. Thanks for jumping on here and glad you guys got your problem fixed and got home. You need to come back when you can and get further over here. You will love it.

I hope to move north tomorrow if this front that has been back and forth over us ever moves on. The last couple days the winds have been pretty steady in the high teens gusting into the 20's and rain off and on and cold again. Haven't needed the fans to stay cool for sure. As long as I have the time I want to move when it is sunny, nice, and I have winds that allow me to sail so I'm not motoring into weather or not having fun.

I've updated the trip report to the point it is almost current to here and re-did the Georgetown pages for anyone that hasn't read them or did read them and have more pictures of ....

.... The National Family Regatta there.

I also have some pictures from...

... when I stopped and saw David Copperfield's life-size Piano/Mermaid in 12-15' water at Rudder Cut Cay when I moved back north.

A link to the trip menu...


Nivels 05-05-2015 21:58

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Go Sumner Go!!!


nicholson31 06-05-2015 09:01

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
My first boat was the Mac 26 classic and although I enjoyed sailing her and took her out in some good intercoastal weather, I became aprehensive about venturing out into larger seas do to the swing keel banging around, always imagined it breaking off!!! She could pretty well point straight into the wind unbelievable.
Haven't read your link yet but look forward to doing so, best wishes love to be doing the same right now.

Cheechako 06-05-2015 09:16

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Great Blog ... a lot of good details. Thanks!

Sumner 07-05-2015 08:26

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Thanks guys. No centerboard problems, but do have the aftermarket one.

Moved this morning up to Black Point. Have to dump trash and get water. Might stay overnight and might just move north more. After here probably no more Internet for a long time, maybe not until I get to FL.

We had lots of squalls down a Little Farmer the last two days. The worst was right at 50 kts according to people who had instruments. Also yesterday lightning hit the comm tower about 1500 feet from the boat and took out Internet and other communications. Very windy there and I only had the 25 lb. Manson down but it held fine.

Still hope to be back in FL around the 1st of June. I also added a couple pages to the trip report at Little Farmer,



powsmias 07-05-2015 11:08

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
6,7, 800 yrs from now you're still gonna be dead.. you're gonna be dead for a long, long time.. have as much fun as you can.. this ain't no dress rehearsal.. all the best.

LEOCAT66 12-05-2015 02:29

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Sumner, really enjoyed your story and will continue to follow your adventure. My wife and I are both 71, finally retired and out here too. We can relate to the problems associated with age and find that you have proven that age need not be a total barrier to adventure.

Simply could not put the iPad down and here it is 0430. Started reading at around midnight. Beautiful photos, one after the other. Love your solar setup, quite innovative. You certainly have it together.

Sumner 12-05-2015 17:37

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Quick up-date.

I'm on the north side of Rose Island just east of Nassau. Leave early in the morning for the Berrys as the wind is suppose to be 14-15 gusting 18 and will be the lightest day for some time. It will be about 40 miles across the deep water of Northeast Providence Channel. Thur. on the wind is suppose to go into the low/mid 20's so I'd like to get across tomorrow. Hope it isn't any worst than it was today where the wind was high teens and seas 2-4 feet with some over 4. I finally had to run on the Genoa about 5 as with the main up and reefed the boat just got too fast in the wind conditions and then some waves would make the boat fall off of them and start to round up if I didn't release the main. Tried different combinations of the Genoa with the main and saw high 6's and some 7's but then a gust would hit along with a 4 foot quartering wave and the auto-tiller couldn't handle it and I got tired trying to hand steer and deal with the main. Hard to explain what all was going on but with just the Genoa all the way out the bow would stay put and not roundup and the autopilot could handle it and I was happy with 5 as an average. I need another higher reef point in the main, only have one and with the one in it was still too much sail for today's conditions. It would run over 5 on just the reefed main but wasn't balance without some head sail or so would round up in gusts still. So 40 miles all sailing except the last 2-3 through a narrow cut with high currents and then dodging coral heads into an anchorage.

I'm finally getting some sailing in and it has been all sails and no motor for the last 114 miles except to get on and off anchor and even managed that a couple times without the motor. Tomorrow should be all sailing also and wouldn't want to have to motor as the seas are suppose to be around 4 feet again and this will be a deep water passage.

The dinghy took a pounding today with the following seas and would at times be higher than the transom on the boat and then surf down into it and then the tow rope would go slack and it would pop like a rifle shot when it took the slack out. I tow the dingy bow forward but from its transom (see my web site for more detail). I'm sure if I would of been pulling from the normal bow rings they would of been pulled out today. I'd stow the dinghy on the Mac but it is too big and I can't break it down or set it up on the boat. I need flat ground for that. Anyway I don't need to be in worst conditions than today as far as the dinghy is concerned. The Mac handled everything just fine as usual.

I haven't been able to add to the blog on my web site...

..... but after Black Point it was on to Fowl Cay with two really nice reefs, finally got to snorkel and see them and the fish. Also 2 really nice grottoes there that I got to swim into along with some guys in another boat. We kind of traveled together for a couple days. Then on to Warderick Wells, Exuma Park, and walked some there and also spent the worst night ever on anchor there. It was beautiful though. Then on to Shroud where there is a 3-4 mile inland loop you can do with the dinghy that also opens to the Atlantic side and that was really pretty also. Then on to Highborne yesterday where I gassed up and anchored out around the point and another miserable night with the surge rolling the boat side to side most of the night.

Then the 40 miles across Exuma Bank to here today. I'll post pictures when I can and more detail. I plan on working north through the Berrys and then jump over to the Abacos and up the center of them and to FL around the first of June if things work out. 914 miles since I left Florida's west coast the 9th of March,


gates_cliff 19-05-2015 06:42

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Sumner, your posts are an inspiration (I can't open the links). I am 71 and am exploring the idea of taking my boat to the Bahamas. I have a Cape Dory 27, but need to update and improve various equipment. Currently keep my boat on the Chesapeake and still work, hopefully I'll be able to get my boat ready and "really" retire to have the time to go down the ICW and cross over to the Bahamas. My wife will never go sailing, so I'll be single handing. Nonetheless, your posts give me hope that my dreams are possible. Thanks, and I look forward to being able to access your blog. It might be the filters here at work that doesn't allow me to open them.

Sumner 20-05-2015 08:49

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Checking in. I'm at Hard Bargain, Mores Island, at the southern end of the Bight of Abaco, west of Great Abaco and southeast of Grand Bahama, about 150 miles due east of Boca Raton, FL. Made it here last night after a long day going across the Northwest Providence Channel from the northern Berrys, 53 miles.

I wanted to try and go to Sandy Point further east but wanted to sail the whole way if possible, as I'd sailed almost all the legs before except using the outboard to get on or off of a couple anchorages but couldn't point far enough east so ...

... changed course to Hard Bargain and even laid in a route where I could get there if I had to angle more to the west, but didn't have to use it. Still I'm beat because over 9 hours of that was heeled over 18-20 degrees and having to brace myself up on the high side of the cockpit. Water at first was real bumpy but at the end of the day settled down. Still no where as bad as some of the days motoring into wind and waves.

I'll lay up here today and then head NE up into the Bight of Abaco north of here and work north there to the upper Abacos and probably east to Fox Town and then to West End and Florida over the next 2 weeks. Not many boats take the passage up through the Bight of Abaco so kind of expect to have that area to myself. Didn't see any sailboats to here yesterday but there are two cats here. Saw large tankers and freighters and a couple power yachts. Lots of big boats travel through the Northwest Providence Channel as it is very deep.

I went from Rose Island just east of Nassau up to Bond Cay and spent a few days there with a couple other boats waiting out the high winds that were in the 20's for a few days. Nice anchorage but not that pretty after the Exumas. Then north for a day to ...

... Little Harbor in the Berrys.

Little Harbor was one of the prettiest places I've seen on the trip. Pictures can't really do it justice. Shallow getting in and kicked the rudder up going in and out but other than that well worth the visit. Then if was north to stage off of Hoffmans Cay to make the trip across Providence Channel to here.

I have added some more pages for down in the Exumas....

Still need to add some text to the Warderick Wells page. Went over the 1000 mile mark yesterday since leaving the boatyard ,


Paul54 20-05-2015 09:18

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Hi Sumner,
I have been enjoying your posts. I hope to do the same trip next year.
Best of luck to you.

Jcolman 20-05-2015 18:18

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
I'm living vicariously thru your posts. Keep it up!

RKsailsolo 20-05-2015 20:20

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
Sumner, it's a long way to Utah!

I get a charge out of reading your experience. Simply awesome.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:44.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.