Friday, March 24, 2023

June 6-9, 2022 planning and crossing from Eleuthera to the Berrys, Bahamas

6-6 Monday. We still didn’t have any wifi to get weather updates, so we set an alarm to listen to the Chris Parker on the single side band radio at 6:30am.  The squalls are continuing in the Abacos through tomorrow.  So we’ll 1) wait to leave on Wednesday, or 2) rethink going to Bimini, or 3) go straight back to the US, if we have several nice days together.
I spent the day cleaning heads and cooking meat that can’t be taken back into the US.  I then rewarded myself with a gin and tonic using the Empress Gin I have been carrying with us from the states.

6-7 Tuesday. We listened to the SSB radio weather at 6:30am since we still didn’t have wifi, but we had poor reception.  There were squalls again today.  
We started thinking about the wifi.  If it was a problem with the towers, it should have been up and running by today.  I began to wonder if our plan had expired.  We usually would add to the plan before it expired, but with the storm prep, we may have missed the date.  First we put in a Verizon sim card back into Dave’s phone.  We pay $10 a day for international service.  This didn’t work because we had suspended our plan for 3 months.  We couldn’t connect to BTC-Bahamian Telephone Company-by phone and didn’t have data to connect online.  Dave decided to use our SailMail through the single side band radio to contact MRsimcard.  We hadn’t used that in a long time, so first Dave had to relearn how it was done.  Dave typed an e-mail to Mrsimcard.  The e-mail is turned into a radio message by sail mail.  We were able to get a station in Panama to pick up our signal.  Then an automated system transfers the radio message back into an e-mail and it is forwarded to Mrsimcard.  Amazing how that works.
Eddie, from Mrsimcard, responded and was very helpful in reactivating our account.  WE HAD WIFI!  Our data plan had actually expired on the 4th!  You don’t realize how much you use the wifi until you can’t.
With the calmer weather, we decided to look for the pole spear Dave had lost.  We dropped our dinghy into the water (we had it lifted out of the water during the storm) and grabbed our snorkel gear.  I had marked where the boat was located with a screen shot of our position on my phone.  We both started swimming and looking, but the water had been stirred up, and there was poor visibility in about 12 feet of water.  Dave spotted it within 10 minutes.  Good job!
Next we used the dinghy to bring up the second anchor that we set for the storm.  The rodes (anchor rope) of the two anchors were fitted together having twisted across each other several times during the storm.  We followed the rode of the second anchor out to the anchor, since we couldn’t see it in the cloudy water.  Dave was able to pull the chain and anchor up and into the dinghy.  Lucky it was a light weight anchor.  Back at the boat, we stayed in the dingy to unknot the 2 rodes.  The worst of it was at the bow and was easier once the anchor was disconnected.

Dave stored the extra anchor and chain in our lazerette again.  We were glad we set the second anchor.  The top gusts of wind were near 50knots.  
6-8 Wednesday Today we used wifi and listened to a recording of the 6:30 SSB weather broadcast, so we could sleep in.  Weather for crossing to the States sounds good on Sunday-Monday.  And it would be better to cross though the Berrys instead of the Abacos.  We’ll listen again tomorrow.
I had packed several conch shells in bags in put them in our aft cabin for the trip home.  One or more of them were stinking.  When I took them out, the Helmut conch shell actually had a c
brown liquid and maggots in the bag!!  I rinsed it with copious amounts of soap and water.  Then I let it drain and dry overnight.
We had no rain today but also no breeze.  We made water and showered and went to bed early so we could leave in the morning.
6-9 Thursday We left the anchorage in Royal Harbour, Eleuthera at 10:00am.  We crossed the Northeast Providence Channel from Eleuthera to the Berrys to the west.  On our left was Nassau on Providence island and on our right was the Abacos.  I was fascinated by the contour of the depths on our navigation application.

leaving Eleuthera, heading to the Berrys
we're the red arrow leaving shallow water of Eleuthera

the numbers are the depth at the center of the cross

woah, there be sea monsters below

not much action our here
We had very little wind, and it was on our nose.  So we motored most of the way.  About 4:00, we turned slightly north to avoid a squall.  
squall ahead of us
pink blob is the squall on radar

We anchored by 6:30 on the east side of Great Harbour Cay in Petit Bay.  The holding was poor.  We moved 3 times to feel comfortable.  Dave was at the bow and saw a huge lobster while we were setting the anchor.  Too bad lobster season is over.

the Berrys Islands

anchored in the bay

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