Thursday, March 16, 2017

Marsh Harbour - 2017

Mar 13 thru Mar 16

--Blogpost written by Bob

On Monday, March 13, we woke up to a very still morning.  After breakfast onboard we rode the dinghy into the dinghy dock and walked to the laundromat and the Betelco office to get our internet access arranged--this took the entire morning.

This complimentary dinghy dock allows cruisers to land their dinghies
and get access to the garbage dumpster, the grocery store,
and the laundromat.  There are also a couple other
complimentary dinghy docks close to
the waterfront restaurants.

In the evening, we shared pizza with Ken & Nancy (s/v Hafli) and Jonathan & Marion (s/v Eleuthera II).  We had the pizzas delivered to the dinghy dock and we picked them up there and brought it to our boat by dinghy.  It was excellent pizza and we had a very nice evening get together.


We expected to leave for Man-O-War Cay today (Tuesday, March 14) but the weather was not cooperating--we had winds in the 15 to 25-knot range!  Similar winds are expected throughout the remainder of the week.  The two three-strand nylon lines on the anchor bridle made a noticeable improvement in the reduced shock loads caused by the wind gusts.  Our new 20-kg (44-pound) ROCNA Vulcan anchor was thoroughly tested (and performed flawlessly) and we used our anchor bridle for the first time.  (Up until this time, we simply used our chain stopper to hold the chain to the boat since the winds have been relatively light.) 

We first went to the Jib Room for lunch but found out that
they are only open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Then, we went to Wally's and had a great lunch.  We both
had Cobb salads with grilled grouper on top.

The use of these simple showers outside the Conch Inn
cost us $5 each but how we felt afterward

These are some of the outdoor plants
by the pool at the Conch Inn.


On Wednesday morning, March 15, the northwest wind is still strong and the sky is partially overcast in the east.  It's cool--probably in the mid-60's but it's early in the day (7:30 AM).  Except for the occasional thump of the boat coming down on a higher-than-normal wave, the conditions for sleeping last night were perfect: cool temperatures and a gentle rocking motion.  (It's always reassuring to wake up and confirm that the boat's in the same position as you were anchored the night before!)

In the morning, construction workers are lined up waiting for the 
ferry to Great Guana Cay or Scotland Cay, where a lot of 
home construction is underway.  Two full ferries 
head out each weekday morning and 
return each evening.

In the afternoon, the wind velocity dropped and it turned into
a beautiful day, albeit a bit cool.  This is the entire
Marsh Harbour anchorage looking to the east.

We really didn't do much of anything today--just read and relaxed.  We stayed on the boat the entire day.  We did plan tomorrow's activities: fill our two 5-gallon water jugs and put the water in our boat's water tanks AND go out for pizza night at the Jib Room in the evening.  Maybe we'll even pick up another bottle of rum.  This really sounds like we've become a pair of sub-tropical slugs (and maybe we have).


Today, Thursday, March 16, started out very cool (in the low 60's) and 10 knots of wind out of the north.  There are a lot of puffy white clouds overhead but the sun is already bright at 9 AM.  Our solar panels are hard at work this morning producing between  3 and 4 amps--the output typically increases to 10 to 11 amps by mid-afternoon.  In the afternoon, the temperature got up to the high 70's.

This photograph of our solar panel monitor was taken in late
afternoon by which time our batteries were nearly fully
charged.  As the batteries become charged the
voltage controller cuts back on the
power to the batteries.

We made three trips with the dinghy fetching water 10 gallons (two 5-gallon jugs) at a time from Marsh Harbor Marina--the fresh water there costs 35 cents a gallon (and its city water!).  We had pizza for lunch at the Jib Room.  After lunch we went to the liquor store for a bottle of local gold rum ($8). 

Harbour View Marina is a new marina that wasn't
here 25 years ago when I was last here.

After we got back to the boat, I switched fuel tanks in the dinghy and filled up the one we've been using and stored it onboard s/v Rainy Days. (I've been using high-octane aviation-grade gasoline with no ethanol content that I brought from Annapolis.  Ethanol creates havoc in marine outboard engines.)

As we were stowing the empty water jugs on deck, a guy (Pierre from s/v Le Caboteur) from Canada stopped by on his dinghy to tell us that he previously had a boat exactly like ours and crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times with it.  He had recently downsized his sailboat because he thought it was too big for daysailing on the lake in Canada (?) but I could tell that he missed his C&C Landfall 38 down here in the Bahamas.  His current boat is a Beneteau 31.  He later brought over a portable CD player with the CD describing his last transatlantic trip--it was all in French but very interesting.

Pierre's current sailboat--a Beneteau 31.

In addition we had the joyous task of emptying our solids container in our composting toilet.  Doubling up on the fans to circulate more air certainly improved the composting from the last time we changed it in Rockville SC.

We'll be here in Marsh Harbour for a couple more days before we leave for Man-O-War Cay.  Stay tuned for more about our ongoing adventure...

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