Saturday, May 12, 2007

Emerald Rock, Exumas, Bahamas

I'm sitting at the porch of the Exuma Land & Seas Park, where they have (very slow) wireless internet. I've been updating the blog for the last two hours, while reading a book stolen from the book exchange. We're anchored around the corner instead of taking one of the moorings here, and we're probably three decades younger than anyone else we've seen, and we have a cheap little boat instead of all the big expensive sailboats and trawlers in here. I feel very out of place. Our little rowing dinghy doesn't belong at the dinghy dock, and we can't stay for the cruisers' bring-your-own happy hour, because we have to ride the tide back out to our boat. Nor do we have anything to bring.

Still, I feel very loved by everyone's comments on the website. I'm glad that everyone was worried about us and missed us, and I hope I've done the last several weeks justice. I wish we could really stop to enjoy this gorgeous park the way the other people chatting on the park have been able to do, to go snorkeling with the giant lobsters and take the kayaks out, to go hiking on the trails to the top of Boo Boo Hill and leave something that represents our boat, to dinghy out to Rachel's Bath and the grottoes of the Rocky Dundas, to have the best crack conch in the Exumas at the Farmers Cay Yacht Club. But we'll probably head out again tomorrow, limping along with our wounded engine, drinking our rain water and eating our sausages. We'll have a good time in our own way. But I do feel a little bit of displacement.

They don't have much of the stuff we need here--a phone, or water, or trash disposal--but they have internet, which is what we needed. Hopefully we can get it back at the boat when we ride the tide back, so we can do some research on our engine problem. All our love to families and friends--we miss you, and hope everything's well. Our open invitation remains: there are flights into Georgetown. Come visit!


Anonymous said...

In many ways your travel woes and dingy limitations will end when at Georgetown. You will find more boats your size and people with your budgets, but this time of year few boats are were you are compared to winter. Your relatively shallow draft will be good. But do remember this. Most sailboat folks are similar even the ones on those 50 foot yachts. So if you feel left out, just give them a call on the VHF and someone will be happy to ferry you over to a gathering and will marvel at your travel and be reminded of things many have forgotten. That it is not now much one has, but how little one really needs. Also boat people (well rag sailors more so) waited so long to do what you do now because they were "chicken" not for fear of danger, but for fear of finances. They will marvel at your decision and given that many are headed home, may want to unload much of the stuff they do not need or want, which you may need.
About your engine, what kind is it?
also, if you sailed with a bow in your mast leaving florida, that is why you may not have gotten more than 50 degrees. Your boat will sail well to weather. And given her age was overbuilt. But if your head door will not close, you may have your rigging to tight anf if I recall the Ranger is deck stepped (mast) so do check your deck where the mast meets the deck. Also check the compression post that is likely not far from where your head closes. Check the compression post at the cabin top inside, and also where it meets the floor. Under the floor there should be a support either glassed into the hull or a frame support lateral port and starbord upon which the compression post sits. Check each for sag and if the compression post sits in water, the condition of the wood that has been sitting in water.
Remember what you are doing beats weeks at the office any day. One day you will tell your children or grandchildren of your travels and perhaps inspire them to dream of what is possible.

fair winds

Anonymous said...

Sorry i cant come out and fix the engine for ya this time good luck .Email me if you cant figure it out just remember that diesels are pretty simple fuel and compression .Check your oil check your coolant and make sure they havent got mixed at all ie head gasket or warped head and chnge your fuel water seperator with you keeping that tank 1/2 full most of the time you get condensation in it and if your not using stablizer you can get algae growing in your tank .if you get water in that engine you will blow an injector not fun .good luck and dont feel bad about not having an engine its not that bad .Cost me 250 to fill my tank the other day but i still wanna get a bigger smoke pot .luv ya boys miss ya st

Anonymous said...

If anyone has heard from m and k since may 14 would you please post a message here .That is the last time his family had heard from k and he was supposed to be heading to georgtown about three days sail at most . thank you k's brother sam

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about the same thing for more than a week now. There is internet access in Georgetown, though it is a bit expensive compared to soem other places and I know they are on a budget. That might explain. I remember that sending faxes was cheaper years ago. Hope they are ok. Given their route, would not think anything bad could happen. Lots of islands along the way from where they last reported and where they were headed. I suspect there are fewer boats in that area as I was the in July once and though there were more than a dozen boats at anchor in George Town, that is nothing compared to how many there are there after storm season. I mention this because many of the larger boats have email by way of SSB radio and I am sure someone would let them use it once and a while.


Anonymous said...

thanks to those who responded to me k and m have made it to georgetown and im sure m will be posting her logs soon k's brother sam

Anonymous said...

glad to hear it. We should find some way to get those guys a small used outboard. 2 1/2 or 3 horse power. They are small and can fit in checked baggage if anyone in your family plans to fly down to visit them in George town. Easy to get to by air. I have two I carry on my boat, one is a spare 3 hp air cooled unit that is makes lots of noise but works. One might try ebay or local news paper then perhaps a collection is in order.


Melissa said...

Hello Terry and Sam--
Thanks for all your concerns and advice and worries. We wish we hadn't worried everyone, but it's nice to feel cared about too. Thanks too, Terry, for all the tips, and Sam for the engine advice. I'll have to make Karl read it so I'm sure I understood everything.

We have been making friends, too, and I feel much less isolated. People do admire how we're living out here (without refrigeration or watermaker or other luxuries) and we're getting more involved in the barter system.

We actually had a 2-HP outboard that we left at home--stupid, stupid. But Karl said that he'd rather row than work on it, and considering how much trouble people have with their outboards, I understand. I wasn't the one that would have to work on it, so I could really say anything.

Secret's sailing a lot better to weather--we can tack across about 80 degrees these days, although she still sails better on a port tack. She's super-light right now, too, after drinking all our water, throwing out pasta, and eating tons of cans!

We may have over-tightened the mast compression. I know it's something Karl checked, and if I recall, our year was keel-stepped. But I'll remind him about that.

Our life certainly does beat life in an office, that's for sure. I don't have to be reminded of that too often, even on the worst day, stuck in a muggy boat in thunderstorms in ninety-degree weather and a choppy anchorage. Life's still good. I know it.