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Sumner 30-04-2015 12:40

An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...tocking-17.jpg

This isn't a major trip I realize but there might be some that spend time on here that have dreams of cruising with a larger boat but only have a smaller one at the moment. I have both but don't have Ruth with me any longer so taking the larger boat out for the moment has been put on hold. I still wanted to get back on the water as the last trip with either boat was in 2011 and we had only been working on the Endeavour since then and at 71 I'm not getting any younger so had better do the things I still feel are important.

With that in mind I decided I could take a trip on the Macgregor since it would be eaiser for me to singlehand and I know her. I orginally had thought about the west coast of Florida again and then the Keys again also but longer this time. So I had pulled the Macgregor back down to the yard in Florida where the Endeavour is with a short stay in the hospital in Dallas for a pace maker after passing out while driving. At the yard I lived in the Endeavour while spending time finishing mods I had started at home on the Mac and had a followup Dr. visit. Also at the yard (Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage) I started thinking about the Bahamas since a lot of people who keep boats there make that trip almost yearly.

I got the Mac done and in the water and took off down Florida's west coast and over to the Keys with the idea of going if I got my nerve up. I had my passport so nothing was stopping me except myself. I got up to north Key Largo and a weather window that was almost perfect opened up so I went. Since then I've had some rather exciting weather days when I should of waited another day or so.

I made it down to Georgetown and I'm working my way back at the moment planning on being in Florida around the first of June. I'm at Little Farmer Cay now and have internet so thought I'd jump on here and post a link to my trip report that I'm updating when I have Internet.....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...Main-Menu.html

This for sure isn't a trip everyone with a small boat should take and I'm not trying to encourage one to do so (read about that on the link above), but hope that it might help someone if they do. When I get some updates to the trip I'll try and post that on here when I have Internet,

Sumner

CarstenWL 30-04-2015 12:47

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
... GREAT 'story' - enjoy every minute of your trip, many people are dreaming about what you did but never get out their chair to do it ...

Keep us updated!

Regards from New Providence

Carsten

Steadman Uhlich 30-04-2015 13:00

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

I will read your blog journal of your voyage with interest. Have a safe but fun voyage. :)

By the way, I have a few thousand ocean miles on an Endeavour 37, and enjoyed it, as it is a comfortable and roomy cruising boat. I saw that you have yours for sale (just noticed when I surfed a couple of pages on your blog), and noticed the link to your nice memorial for Ruth. I read that too, and sincerely say: "Sorry to hear of your loss." She sounds like a great companion/mate, smart (impressive several degrees), and I am sure will be missed.

onestepcsy37 30-04-2015 14:31

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Good on ya!

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. Seems like nowadays sailors are afraid to go Florida to Bahamas in less than a 40 footer....

Vasco 30-04-2015 14:49

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
About ten years ago a couple of mac26's used to be regulars in GT. but with all the big cats and monos now everything under 40 looks small. Enjoy your sail back. Right now weather is not too promising. Waiting in Nassau for weather to get to lake worth.


Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

HopCar 30-04-2015 14:53

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
A truly great adventure. If you hit Miami on your return, stop in and say hello.
I'll buy the Cuban coffee.

dpddj 30-04-2015 15:09

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb:
That's all I can say. :biggrin:

amytom 30-04-2015 15:59

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Very happy to hear you made it out there. Hope your adventure continues for a long time.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum

2kr 01-05-2015 08:04

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Great story...lots of old men and the sea...A life without adventure is not worth living. I am a bit younger and single handed my way to Panama from Florida, getting a bit of help here and there. Next, i will head thru the canal and go either west, south, or north.

jessehunt 01-05-2015 17:32

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
I would love to read your blog, but the link didn't work for me. Best of luck on your return trip!

Sumner 01-05-2015 17:49

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Thanks guys for the comments.

Lots of rain and wind here today (still raining as I write this) but not terrible just boring. Tomorrow hope the weather is better as they are having a conch festival ashore and named off at least 20-25 different ways it will be served. I wanted to stay for that.

Hope to move up to Black Point Sunday or first of the week but sounds like another system is kind of falling in on the backside of this one. I bucked so much E and SE wind getting to Georgetown and really want more of it so I could sail a lot more going back but that isn't happening right now. I might just wait until I can as I'm tired of running on the outboard so much. I have gotten in a little over 100 miles just sailing without it and that was nice but at this point I'm about 800 miles since I left the boatyard in Port Charlotte the 9th of March so I want more sailing and less motoring or motorsailing.


Quote:

Originally Posted by jessehunt (Post 1815279)
I would love to read your blog, but the link didn't work for me. Best of luck on your return trip!

Interesting? This should work (anyone else have problems?)....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...Main-Menu.html

... but should be the same link I posted before. If the link doesn't work click on the "Our Trips" link below my name. Then go to 'Trip Logs with the Mac' and on to the bottom of that menu page,

Sumner

DeepFrz 01-05-2015 18:02

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Sumner, I'm very sorry to hear of Ruth's death but it is great to see you posting on CF again.

zboss 01-05-2015 18:08

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Thats great! Glad you could achieve this dream!

Pilotocopilot 02-05-2015 06:01

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Jsut a comment after reading your blog and the issues of finding wifi through the Bahamas.
We've wintered down there now for five winters and our home port is in the Freeport area. If you have a phone that allows tethering as most Samsung phones do, and it's unlocked from any carriers, then the best route to take is to go buy a sim card from Batelco which is their national cell provider and buy data. Two gigs of data cost you 30 dollars which carries us for around a month.
The coverage of their network is impressive as even in the remotest island you'll probably have a bars worth of signal. For no other reason than the fact I hate getting up at 6:30 am to listen to Chris to get weather, to have the convenience of reviewing five days worth of weather on Passage Weather and looking at Wundermaps for frontal information and weather radar it's indispensable. Use it as a hotspot with a laptop or an iPad type of device and you'll never feel your out of reach.
We even had coverage while sitting at Great Sale Cay which is in the middle of nowhere heading back from the Abacos to West End this year.
I would say that we were within cell coverage at least 70% of the time anywhere from Georgetown to Grand Bahama and places in between while at anchorage.
Anyways great read on the blog and have a safe journey back.

Sumner 03-05-2015 06:53

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

Originally Posted by Pilotocopilot (Post 1815537)
Jsut a comment after reading your blog and the issues of finding wifi through the Bahamas.
We've wintered down there now for five winters and our home port is in the Freeport area. If you have a phone that allows tethering as most Samsung phones do, and it's unlocked from any carriers, then the best route to take is to go buy a sim card from Batelco which is their national cell provider and buy data. Two gigs of data cost you 30 dollars which carries us for around a month.
The coverage of their network is impressive as even in the remotest island you'll probably have a bars worth of signal. For no other reason than the fact I hate getting up at 6:30 am to listen to Chris to get weather, to have the convenience of reviewing five days worth of weather on Passage Weather and looking at Wundermaps for frontal information and weather radar it's indispensable. Use it as a hotspot with a laptop or an iPad type of device and you'll never feel your out of reach.
We even had coverage while sitting at Great Sale Cay which is in the middle of nowhere heading back from the Abacos to West End this year.
I would say that we were within cell coverage at least 70% of the time anywhere from Georgetown to Grand Bahama and places in between while at anchorage.
Anyways great read on the blog and have a safe journey back.

That is great advice and in retrospect wish I would of taken that route. I thought I might find open wifi more places than I have. Others would be wise to do as you mentioned above, thanks,

Sumner

Aird 04-05-2015 09:10

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Summer,
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!
Denny

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...
 
Quote:

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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aird (Post 1817236)
Summer,
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!
Denny

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 ....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...rgetown-41.jpg

.... The National Family Regatta there.

I also have some pictures from...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...r%20Cut-14.jpg

... 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...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...p%20Index.html

Sumner

Nivels 05-05-2015 21:58

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

:biggrin:

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,

Sumner

============================

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...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...Main-Menu.html

..... 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,

Sumner

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 ...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Bargain-1.jpg

... 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 ...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/misc-pics-1/...20Harbor-1.jpg

... Little Harbor in the Berrys.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/misc-pics-1/...20Harbor-2.jpg

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....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...p%20Index.html

Still need to add some text to the Warderick Wells page. Went over the 1000 mile mark yesterday since leaving the boatyard https://www.macgregorsailors.com/foru...lies/smile.png ,

Sumner

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.

Sumner 25-05-2015 12:39

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Chinook wrote:Hi Sum, You're making great progress. Your description of weather conditions confirms that you've had to deal with far rougher conditions than we experienced while down there. Just a few frontal systems hit us, and they were well mannered and past right by without excessively lingering. We don't get stalled fronts here in the NW, but back east they can really mess things up. ..., Mike
The weather has been something. Another day of strong winds now. I'm going to try and leave here (Fox Town) on Thursdays. Winds are suppose to be 16 gusting higher but dropping as the day goes on. I'm hoping that it won't be too bad that night out on Little Bahama Bank and the next day I can make either West End of Memory Rock. Saturday looks like the day to try a crossing as the prediction is 15 dropping to 10 and 2'-3' seas. Sunday might be ok but then Monday it starts all over again. I guess there is a system in the Caribbean that no one quite knows what it is going to do but wind speeds are suppose to rise again from Sunday on.
Chinook wrote:Hi Sum, You're making great progress............ I'll be extremely interested in learning about your crossing of the Bight of Abaco, since I'm hoping to make that passage next March or April. Any info on waypoints, depths, anchorages, and entrance and exit points will be most appreciated... Mike
To tell you the truth the Bight of Abaco was kind of anti-climatic. I think it has our imaginations up since not many boats do it. The night I got to Hard Bargain on the southern side there were two big (over 40 foot) cats there and they left going north over the Bight the next morning. I left the following morning and never saw them again. Sailed off anchor and right away had a small squall brush by off to port. Winds went up some, not bad, and it rained pretty hard for a few minutes. The squall sucked the air out of the winds and when I saw another approach off to starboard I was almost glad to get some wind back. It hit harder and the main tried to jibe over but having a preventer on (always have them on the boom when running) prevented that and I soon got things back under control More wind with this one but just a touch of rain. It moved off to the NE. Winds were non-typical being out of the SSW as they were clocking as the onset of the next weather system. This was Thursday and I wanted to be on the north side of Little Abaco by Saturday afternoon when the next wave of east winds hit.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...20Harbor-1.jpg

I had planned on a few days in the Blight but with the next system coming it I decided to anchor up at Basin Harbor Cay.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...20Harbor-2.jpg

I didn't sail directly there as I wanted to check out Joe Downer Cays in case I got back this way. I sailed by them but didn't go into the small bay there, and it is small. They didn't do much for me and I'd have no real desire to go back to them. I had also thought about going by Norman's Castle which was a lumber camp back in the 20'-30's. According to the guide book not much there and that looked to be the case using the binoculars so didn't detour all the way over there.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...20Harbor-3.jpg

I got to Hard Basin Cay and dropped the sails just off the Cay as by now the wind had picked up and there were a lot of waves going in the narrow cut to the inner harbor. Once in I first motored off to the SE side but a lot of surge with the waves running in right out of the SW and then went to the N side and the same problem and it shallowed pretty quickly (kicked the rudder). This would be a very nice place in normal east winds and very pretty with the high bluffs guarding the entrance. There is a house in there but looked deserted.

I made a retreat and cavitated the outboard a number of times trying to get back out the cut and couldn't wait to get the sails back up since the boat is so much more stable with them up. A few hundred yards past the entrance I did that and then sailed around the NW tip of the Cay and anchored in a small bay there. It proved to be a little too small as I got in close to shore and dropped the anchor but by the time I let the rode out I was back to the mouth of the bay and in some surge there. Still not as bad as the other bay.

That night I tried something different. I know from your trip report that you are familial with the surge over there at times where the wind has the boat cocked one way and the reflected surge comes in a different way and rocks the boat hard side to side. You try and sleep and it feels like someone is yanking the bed out from under you one way and then the other. I got to thinking that wind the waves and wind are on the bow I sleep like a baby as it is lifting me up and down over the length of my body. So what would happen if I slept from side to side in the boat? I put two oars from the dinghy inside the cabin from the settee on the port side to the one on the starboard side and put the settee cushions, turned around, on top of them. I slept that way for the night and it was much better. I'm going to make a shelf like piece that will span the two settee's in a situation like that and sleep in the cabin. Now when the boat rocks side to side it is lifting me up and down along the length of my body.

Part 2 of across the Bight of Abaco to follow...

Sumner

MidwestRefugee 25-05-2015 13:47

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
My first (and so far only) real cruise was back in 2000 in my MacGregor 26X. I so hope to go back again soon.
Your trip sounds awesome. I just hope I can do the same when I get to the same place.
Please, continue your story.

catshopper 25-05-2015 15:52

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

I'm 69 and will be headed that way this winter. Gotta go, gotta go.

I did not read your blog yet. Where did you clear out of U.S.?

Any problems?

catshopper

Sumner 25-05-2015 16:08

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

Originally Posted by catshopper (Post 1833440)
Hey old man,

I'm 69 and will be headed that way this winter. Gotta go, gotta go.

I did not read your blog yet. Where did you clear out of U.S.?

Any problems?

catshopper

I enrolled in the...

Small Vessel Reporting System

https://www.google.com/search?q=smal...utf-8&oe=utf-8

... and submitted a float plan and then went out Anglefish Cut by north Key Largo. I'll call when I go back in and should be good to go,

Sumner

Weyalan 25-05-2015 19:07

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Great stories. Fantastic to read about your adventures. Just goes to show you are never to old to have fun. Good luck and fair winds to you.

Sumner 26-05-2015 11:08

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Part two of across the Bight of Abaco

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...ve%20Cay-1.jpg

The next morning I sailed off anchor (starting to get better at this sailing deal) and headed west across the upper part of the Bight of Abaco towards Spence Rock where I would exit the Bight. Winds were still enough SW that I couldn't make a run straight to Spence Rock so had to tack to the north of it which meant a tack south later. As I headed west though the winds started to diminish and started clocking to the south more and as they did I kept bringing the boat around but still had to make one tack back down to the SE, but not a long one and then was off to Spence Rock again.

The tiller-pilot has a feature where if you push two buttons on it at the same time it will bring the boat about for you about 100 deg. So your can handle the sails. I hadn't had much luck as the boat wouldn't come about fast enough and would stall in the irons and then I'd have to go about losing ground doing that. One problem with the auto-tiller is that it has limited movement so doesn't put the tiller over very far. I decided to try it without the auto-tiller and put it on standby and lifted it off the tiller and swung the tiller all the way over by hand like one normally does, released the main and I'd already pulled the Genoa in so that it was less than a 100 Jib.. I back winded the Genoa and the boat came right about. I've done it since in very light air with the boat moving barely over 1 kt and still had good results, so no more using the auto-tiller to come about.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...ve%20Cay-2.jpg

As I moved towards Spence Rock the winds really died and passing it and going north I was under 2 kts running now. I was tempted to fire up the outboard but I still had a lot of daylight and I could now see coral formations under the boat as I was in the first shallow water of the Bight crossing. All the water before this was over 10-12 feet and more. Saw some rays for a while and slowly and I mean slowly made my way north to go out the cut between Cave Cay and Cashs Cay. I saw some 5' to 6' water there for a couple hundred yards but that was the shallowest of the whole crossing and this cut, the only one on the north side, is the reason bigger boats don't use the cut.

When I left Harbor Basin and looked back I saw a power yacht anchored north of the next cay to the north but didn't see another boat the whole crossing. Right a Spence Rock I saw 3-4 small boats with single outboards going from I guess Fox Town down in the direction of Grand Bahama Island or coming from it at high rates of speed.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...ve%20Cay-3.jpg

I wanted to sail onto anchor at Cave Cay and managed after two attempts. There are rocks everywhere there and I didn't know how far I could get in towards two very small beaches there. My first pass I tacked back towards where I wanted to go too soon so had to tack out and then back around for another attempt and ran closer to shore before tacking parallel to it in the direction of the two beaches. Problem there was the shore blocked almost all of the light wind I had and I was making less than 1 kt. Just enough to keep some steerage and couldn't use the auto-tiller as it could handle the very light conditions. As I approached the beaches I found rocks coming out of the water just before them so anchored just off the rocks. It took about 3 hours to make it from Spence Rock to when I dropped anchor a distance of only about 6 miles but it was worth it. Since I had sailed off anchor at Hard Bargain on the south side of the Bight I'd only fired the outboard up to try going into the bay at Harbor Basin and back out again, about 15 minutes. Since leaving Black Point in the Exumas I'd traveled right at 300 miles to Cave Cay and only ran the outboard for 5-8 of those. I was really liking the silence!!

The next day though I couldn't get into Fox Town without running it for the last 8 miles into there, but I tried real hard.

So the Bight was a lot of water. All of it plenty deep and not that much to see. I'd use the passage again but only as a passage and spend my time in places that are more scenic. I'll have more pictures up on my trip report later for this part of the trip,

Sumner

powsmias 26-05-2015 12:53

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
you must be miserable... have a blast. nice read.

Sumner 27-05-2015 10:57

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Change of plans. Not going to leave here until Friday getting to West End Sat and crossing Sunday. This system is moving slower than they said a day or so ago.

Highest sustained winds I've had on the trip other than a couple squalls but they didn't go on for hours/days. They were suppose to be around 20 today but I swear they have been 25-30 all day. Lots of long rows of foam even in here.

Tomorrow wind going across towards West End is still suppose to be 15-20 with 3'-5' seas. That would not be comfortable with this boat. Fri. 10-15 and 3'-4'.

Sunday crossing around 10 with 3'-4' seas about a foot less than Saturday. I could probably cross ok on Saturday but it is getting from here to West End by then that is the problem.

All of the above is subject to change. It is NOAA info and Chris is close to it and so is Passagemaker.

Timing with the tide at St. Lucie will be better Sunday also and they are predicting 3'-4 foot seas there also so that will be important.

Sumner

============================

Sumner 28-05-2015 10:58

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
Sitting here waiting on weather at Fox Town on Little Abaco has given me a chance to work on the trip blog on my site and finish some more pages there. I thought I'd put up a few teaser photos from the blog in case you aren't following that and only this but if you like the pictures there are a lot more there and a lot of other info, probably too much https://www.macgregor26x.com/forum/im...ndifferent.png .

So I think the last ones I posted going north from Georgetown were the mermaid/piano at Rudder Cut so working north of there...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...20Farmer-6.jpg

One of the structures on Moosha Cay which is next to Rudder and also owned by David Copperfield and where people stay.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...20Farmer-4.jpg

Little Harbor at Little Farmer Cay.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Farmer-10.jpg

Ocean Cabin restaurant at Little Farmer Cay

link to Little Farmer...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...s-Page-16.html

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Farmer-48.jpg

One of a couple supply ships that came in at Little Harbor and anchored off and people went to it in their boats.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Farmer-39.jpg

North shore of Little Farmer by airstrip and ....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Farmer-42.jpg

.... a sunset there.

Link to Little Farmer stay waiting on weather....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%20Ba ... ge-17.html

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...%20Point-2.jpg

A boat on the beach https://www.macgregor26x.com/forum/im...ies/frown2.png on the way to Black Point. The whole area had been hit with a squall with 45-55 kt winds a couple days before and not sure if that was what caused this or not? I don't remember seeing it on my way south earlier.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...%20Point-6.jpg

Town dock at Black Point. One of the few places it is convenient to get water and dispose of trash.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...20Point-10.jpg

Laundry at Black Point with its own dinghy dock.

Link to Black Point....

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%20Ba ... ge-18.html

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Grotto-11.jpg

One of two reefs that are easy to swim on at Fowl Cay. The one above is right at the entrance to one of the two grotto's there that you can..

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Grotto-18.jpg

... swim into.

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...0Grotto-24.jpg

This was a great stop.

Link to Fowl...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...s-Page-19.html

More later or go to the trip index and see many more pictures of the above places and later dates...

https://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...p%20Index.html

Sumner

Rainh2o2 28-05-2015 17:21

Re: An old man takes a small boat to the Bahamas...
 
This is a great story ! Inspiring. I wish you ask the best of luck!

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