Monday, 7 January 2013

1/2013 Welcome to 2013

Hi from Clare,                                                           Sunday 6th January 2013

This is our first newsletter for 2013 and I am wondering if we will beat last year's effort of 43 newsletters for the year. We will certainly try but life on the boat can get busy at times, not because we achieve a lot, it's just those routine jobs take longer and we keep moving the house. We did twice the miles in 2012 from the previous year in the Med. We thoroughly enjoyed the East Coast of America and Maine. This year we hope to explore some of the NW Caribbean.

The weather is very pleasant at present with daily temperatures in the high twenties and water temperature in the low twenties. However this year there has been a lot more moisture in the air than the Med. It is a constant battle against mould, mildew and musty smells. We now have food, clothes, linen, electronics, leather goods and books sealed in zip lock bags and that's just to name a few. Whenever we motor we open the engine room and turn the fans on to circulate warm air throughout the boat. So far this seems to be working well, but then again we haven't been in the wetter areas yet. Our friends Mark and Amanda on 'Balvanie' spent summer in the Panama and called it the Green House Effect. Mark said he could sit and watch the mould grow - Oh what fun!

Jenny's birthday and New Years Eve
This last week we moved some 50 miles along the Exuma Chain from Staniel Cay to George Town. The scenery of aqua water and white sandy beaches is picture perfect and the calm conditions made for a very pleasant week. We travelled in company with Jenny, Will and children Justine and Colin on the American catamaran 'Full Monty'. The best part of the week was celebrating New Years Eve and Jenny's birthday with them. We watched the count down in Time Square on TV. We looked for Matt and Mim but they were sensible enough not to attend in such freezing conditions. Sitting comfortably on 'Full Monty' and celebrating the New Year with a glass of champagne, we couldn't help but remember that our previous New Year's Eve was celebrated nervously in the Cape Verdes before setting off across the Atlantic the following day.

Bahamian anchorages

This week we have learnt a new skill - spear fishing. Will and Colin had provided us with Lobster and Lion fish for dinner. It was so delicious we decided we better go out with them on the next hunt. In no time we had enough Lion fish for another delicious meal. The Lion Fish is an introduced species and has flourished so well it is now considered a pest; so we are doing the environment a favour by catching them. Andrew bought a spear when we arrived in George Town. Apparently Lion Fish and Lobster are plentiful in the NW Caribbean so we have high hopes. All we have caught with a fishing line recently is Barracouta which we throw back.

We are now in George Town which is a very popular cruising destination for the American and Canadian cruising community who spend their winter here. It is a large waterway between two island protected from the NE and the SW. It has three or four good size anchorages. There are currently around 150 boats here and there are social activities every day. The other night we gathered for drinks and a bonfire. The cruisers brought their musical instruments and a sing along soon happened. Tonight we have a beach dance.

A few boats over from us a Scot plays his bagpipes at sunset on the bow of his yacht each evening. Just before sunset the cruisers from the surrounding boats are all sitting out with a drink in hand waiting in eager anticipation. The piper plays well and this coupled with a glorious sunset is a wonderful end to the day. It beats the chorus of Conch shell horns that precede and applaud his recital.

Our anchorage is very peaceful and a friendly dolphin visits us daily. The kids from the surrounding boats have been snorkelling with the dolphin. It is not at all shy and stays swimming around in circles with the kids until they run out of energy. I wonder where it comes from and why it comes alone.

We now have a SW North Atlantic chart permanently displayed on the saloon table. We found that when discussing passage routes we just couldn't picture where half the countries were. It has helped put things in perspective and we have learnt that passage making is dominated by the prevailing NE to SE winds and rolling Atlantic swells. If we want to visit the popular places we will need to do a few laps of the Caribbean Sea and go with the wind. More importantly we have to be patient and wait for the right weather windows.

We will be in George Town for a good week or more waiting for a southeasterly to pass through. If we have to wait, this is a good place to be.
Love Candy xx

At 3:04 PM6/01/2013 (utc) our position was 23°31.46'N 075°45.86'W

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