Bahamas voyaging

Greetings from the Morris 48 Consulting Time II in the Bahamas:

It is 2015 EDT (7:15 PM in Houston), Wednesday, 2 May 2007. Consulting Time II‘s position is 25° 58’N/078° 02’W or about 50 nm SE of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. The wind has picked up to 16 – 18 kn from just south of east. Our course is 299M and we are making 5.5 kn wing on wing with the reacher poled out. Our destination is Riviera Beach, Lake Worth inlet, Florida and we expect to be there tomorrow afternoon. We are all flying home from there and the boat will get a 3 week rest before heading north to the Chesapeake.

We left Nassau just after 0800 this morning and had a lovely day sailing with the wind aft of the beam and generally lighter than it is now. The forecast is for the wind to drop and stay in the east or SE. We will probably wind up motoring the last part of the trip.

We arrived in George Town, Exuma, Bahamas on Tuesday, April 24 about 1300, some 18 hours in advance of our projected arrival. We really had a fast trip after the first day out of Tortola. The Family Island Regatta started that next day, but the partying began that night.

The big excitement for me was an invitation to sail on one of the Class B Bahamian sloops, Hummingbird. I wound up being the bowman for two of the races. It was entirely a pick up crew of eight Americans and Canadians, except for our skipper, Clifton Wells, from Long Island. Clifton has been sailing in the Regatta since 1958 and is a great character. Don’t ask me how we finished. I will just say that our second race was better than the first and we didn’t sink like the boat behind us on the second day. Sailing those wooden boats with huge sails, hiked out on the prys and with an anchored start is complicated compared with our modern machines!

We did a crew change in George Town. Kent, Andy and Mike got off and flew home on Sunday after the Regatta. Pete Denton, Mike Coppe and John Snyder joined the boat. John and Kent were busy taking photos of the regatta. Pete got to crew on Stephan Knowles’ Class B boat one day, a ride Mike Coppe arranged. They did well, mainly because Pete was the only non-Bahamian on Stephan’s boat and stayed out their way, I think.

We left George Town on Saturday morning and sailed up to Black Point. We had dinner ashore at Loraines’ after stopping in at Adderly’s Grocery store. These are all friends of Mike Coppe’s. It was a great stop with great Bahamian food. Conch is to the Bahamas as crab cakes are to Maryland!

We caught another Mahi after leaving George Town, this time a 17 pounder. It has provided two dinners and we have a third dinner in the freezer. So, the new reel is 3 for 3.

Our next stop was Warderick Wells Cay in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. We had some fantastic snorkeling since the fish and crawfish (lobster) are protected. We saw lots of big crawfish up close and personal and only wished we could have taken some back to the boat.

Then we stopped at Allen’s Cay to say hello to the rock iguana and do some snorkeling. From there we sailed to Nassau where we spent the night at the marina of another friend of Mike Coppe’s, Lundy Robinson. Lundy had just won the Class A division of the Regatta in Red Stripe.

So, that brings you up to date. Pete and Mike are on watch. John is asleep and I am headed for the bunk as soon as I send this note.


By Ocean Navigator