Monday, 28 September 2015

BALTIMORE IN THE BAY. 18th September 2015

Approaching the mighty Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

A gorgeous day was forecast so we decided to go take a look at Baltimore. Departed Galesville around 10.30am and motored out into a flat windless glassy bay. Lots of other vessels of every shape and size were out doing the same, cris-crossing each others wakes on business of their own. Our business was a mere 26nm run north up the Bay. Once again under the mighty Chesapeake Bay Bridge with clearance of 183 feet so we didn't expect to hit it. 

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

There are several interesting light houses enroute and we detoured to get pictures. The first was Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse was built in 1871. Widely recognised by locals, it is the only screw-pile lighthouse still on its original site. The building is a 1½ story hexagonal wooden cottage, equipped with a foghorn as well as the light.

Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse

Next there is Sandy Point Shoal Light, a brick three story lighthouse on a caisson foundation that was erected in 1883.
Its a brick, three story lighthouse on a caisson foundation,  erected in 1883.   The whole gamut of light sources has been run, from oil wicks to incandescent oil vapor (1913) to electricity (1929). The present light is powered by a pair of solar panels attached to the roof on the south side. After automation in 1963, it was vandalized and the original lens was destroyed, apparently smashed with a baseball bat. What a terrible shame.! In 2006 it was sold at auction. Nice isolated little nook if you like a remote getaway!

Baltimore Harbour Lighthouse
The Baltimore Harbour Lighthouse was Commissioned in 1908. Like an iceberg, there is much more to this lighthouse than what appears on the surface. Its sunk deep into the Chesapeake muddy bottom to prevent ice in winter dislodging it! The three story octagonal brick cottage is constructed on a one hundred and three foot tall concrete and stone filled cast-iron caisson. The main deck of the cottage is sitting room, storage area and galley. The second deck is keepers quarters in two bedrooms. The third deck is one large open space, known as the watch-room. The watch-room provides a 360 degree view. On the the 3rd story sits the lantern room. Connecting these levels is a spiral staircase that leads from the lantern room to the cellar floor, ten feet into the caisson. 

7 Foot Knoll lighthouse has been replaced by a tall tower 

The 7 Foot Knoll Light has been replaced with a tower and now stands in Fells Point Historic District.

After taking in the light house sights along the way we continued to motor into Baltimore City Center where, in the inner harbor we juggled in tight confines with 3 yachts already at anchor, to nestle into a tight spot. The guide says there's room for 1 boat but 4 is possible at a pinch. 
The harbor has quite a lot of tourist traffic so anchoring is only permitted in a very small corner. Somewhat miss-led by the placement of some buoys which appeared to limit the anchorage to a narrow strip between the paddle boats and the line off the docks we discovered from the Water Police several days later that the buoys were placed by the paddle boat operator as a disincentive to yachts from anchoring into the small cove. So we all picked up our anchors and moved further into the area.
Anchorage is inside the blue line.

Our foray ashore on Saturday found us in the National Aquarium right on the waterfront beside the anchorage. It is hard to miss. There are several impressive modern structures clustered around the old docks and linked by overhead walkways. The Aquarium exceeded expectations. All the glass aquariums were clean and the displays were excellent. Good information and not too much of it!  There is an exceptionally good reproduction of a Northern Australian canyon in a very large glass terrarium. Birds crocodiles and snakes included. It just felt like the Kimberly in there.
Northern Territory in Baltimore.

Fells Point Historic District and Federal Hill, overlooking the inner harbour were all easy walking destinations so we strolled and nibbled and photographed.

Anchored next to the Aquarium and the old Chesapeake Ship Lighthouse.

Fells Point was a center for a "Nest of Pirates", ship owners, who, provided with a Letter of Marque, (a government license,) were permitted to harass and capture vessels of the British Fleet. The plunder was divided between owners of the vessel, crew and the Government. This was in effect a private navy and was very lucrative for the ship owners who had to outfit and arm their own vessels and for the Government.

 We ended up spending 4 days in Baltimore before heading south to Galesville.

Fells Point
For more pictures from around Baltimore go to CHESAPEAKE BAY

Saturday, 26 September 2015

CHESAPEAKE BAY September 8th 2015

On the weekend our some of our American family visited. Fun night at anchor and a good sail up to the Bay Bridge and back. Great company good food and pleasant weather.

Light house at Thomas Point Shoal

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Some lovely old architecture around New Bern and Oriental.
It's been 5 days since we splashed in the Core Creek at Bock Marine and its official! The knock is gone! Whew! How many times have we tried to find that noise. After a night on the dock and  a test run of the shaft we were confident we had nailed it so we sneaked under the Core Creek bridge a low tide we pushed north into the Pimlico Sound and the Neuse River. 

One of the many Shrimp boats operating on this coast

This is part of the Intra-coastal waterway. It's a feature of the U.S. Which never ceases to amaze me. This waterway, much of which is man made and maintained by dredging, runs from Delaware to South Florida along the coast but there are also inland waterways which enable boats to traverse the country from the Great Lakes to Florida and then north from New Orleans to The Great Lakes. This is called the Great Loop. 
One of the many Bears in New Bern. Town emblem.

We are slightly challenged in the waterway by the height of our mast. The fixed bridges are 65 feet. Our mast is officially 65 feet but we are a little precious about the stuff on top of it... Lights and instruments etc so rather than challenge the bridges we go at low tide and only under bridges which do have tide. Some areas, such as further up the Pimlico Sound and Dismal Swamp, don't have any tide so we are not game to give those bridges a shot.
There are beautiful anchorages everywhere.
That's why, tonight we are motoring in flat calm water, with our new quiet shaft, up the coast . We rounded Hatteras at midnight tonight and we are headed to Chesapeake Bay, home of the cities of Annapolis and Baltimore. Just round the corner from Washington DC.

The blue dot is Galesville
There are allegedly over 11,000 miles of contiguous coastline in the Chesapeake, including rivers and marshes. But there must be at least 4000nm which we can get close to. No wonder many yachties from this area never leave.... although the snow gets deep and the yachts ice up in their pens if left in the water. Many yachts are pulled out and winterized on the hard. Those who leave make the great migration south with the geese towards the end of October. The waterway is stem to stern with boats of every shape and size. The larger ones head to sea. Many go to Bermuda then turn south towards the Western Caribbean or Bahamas. The run south down the coast is against the current and can apparently be a bit of a slog.... we will see!

Galesville anchorage.

For now we are happy at anchor fixing things... usual stuff. Water-maker Inverter  Radar... so on and so on ... its a boat. not major stuff. Just maintenance type stuff.

Some boats dont get used as much as they should

Apparently the Ospreys were becoming so rare it became illegal to remove an osprey nest from your property once it has been established, until the young are hatched and have left the nest. This means you have to be very vigilant and remove the early attempts by these birds to establish residence. The owners of this boat were obviously outfoxed by the ospreys! 

 Its a very lovely relaxing anchorage surrounded by very pretty waterfront homes with the odd white swan casually swimming by. The locals are friendly and there are at least 2 good restaurants a short dingy ride away.

More Photos from the Beaufort new Bern and Oriental visit.


Why, you may well ask, are we out of the water again. Taipan is wondering if shes a sail boat or a rock. Well we sailed north from Fernandina with the expectation that a niggling knock we have lived with somewhere in the stern tube had been fixed. (You cant know this for sure till you are back in the water.) 

Ever since we have owned Taipan she's had a knock in the stern tube or somewhere which we have never managed to locate. It became somewhat worse after we put in a new shaft in South Africa, which instead of being 38mm went to 40mm. Long story but basically a lack of available shaft material there and we were already well down the path.

It was certainly a lot less aggravating after modification in Fernandina and we  could do 2000 RPM comfortably but above that it would start knocking again. We had resolved that one way or another we are going to fix this once and for all. Its annoying! All the alignment has been adjusted and is perfect.
Well we decided to haul out at Bock Marine. They have very good expertise here having been in the industry over 30 years. They once built steel boats here. Their price is very competitive, which becomes pretty important when you keep hauling out!! The are also the only marina we've ever been to which has a complimentary car for the use of patrons. Its available for 2 hrs at at time and you just replace fuel used. (Not quite true... there was one in north Queensland years ago.)

So out we came out.....and out came the shaft..... again and this time a good look up the stern tube with a torch revealed a 5mm collar in the bronze casting which was apparently there for the old packing gland system. I don't believe Taipan ever had a packing gland but it was a standard stern tube casting. Expert opinion was sought and it was decided it should be removed to allow more clearance. So armed with the trusty Milwaukee 18v drill and a hole saw of the correct size on an extension......An hour later it was out. We can see where the tube has been rubbed by the shaft in the removed ring of bronze. so now there is a full 5mm clearance around the shaft. Fingers crossed!
Offending bronze casting.

Now just fit a new cutlass bearing to be sure to be sure.... old one seems fine but......
Then we splash again and try it out!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


Recovering from jet lag! Mum on the mend again.
Have been frantically getting ready to haul out.

Tuesday 28th July. hauled and washed... let the fun begin

Well the haul-out took a week and we had a reasonably leisurely time of it considering we did anti-foul and modifications to the stern tube flange. The heat was manageable because we jagged some decent weather over the weekend for below waterline work. The hull was pretty clean and a quick wet and dry saw it fit to paint. I put a bit of red lippy.... boot stripe for the yachties..... on the waterline. looks pretty.

All pretty in Red lippy.
Taipan was re-launched on the 4th of August and on the 5th at 3am we departed Fernandina for Savannah. Spent the night and the following day at Daufuskie Island Savannah before weather moderated in the late afternoon and we headed out towards Hatteras. It was a struggle!. The wind and current fought us the whole way and we finally gave up on Monday morning and headed into Beaufort, North Carolina. We were going to miss a suitable weather window for the notorious cape by 6 hours. We followed the radar images of the forecast storm the following day and were relieved we stopped. Followed Chris Parker's advice! Well done team! It would have been very unpleasant off Virginia Beach and in the entrance to Chesapeake had we continued.

Next we had to find a spot to leave Taipan and drive to Alexandria in Virgina to meet my brother and Jo before they headed back to Australia after touring the east coast in our trusty Cadillac. We put Taipan on a dock at Bock Marine and drove to Alexandria on Tuesday. We stayed with darling cousin Judith and husband Bob, for 4 nights full of fine food and family frivolity. More trips into Washington and a couple more of the Smithsonian Museums ticked off. We had fabulous weather and a great time. 

Return to Taipan on Sunday was arduous, with the terrible traffic it added 4 hours to the trip. Uuugh!. 

Monday, 29 June 2015


We left the Bahamas in a hurry on the 5th May as we had news that my mother was failing fast after deciding to give up all medication. The trip took us up the Exuma chain and out into the Tongue of the Ocean near Nassau. Then we went north around the Berries and on to West End for fuel. We had little wind and contrary current and had to motor more than we would have liked. Then the run up the Gulf Stream elevator and into Fernandina Beach was uneventful and without fish. We were on a plane back to OZ on the 13th with Taipan tied up in Tiger Point Marina once again.

We did have a visit from some little bird, apparently well known to frequent sailboats for a free ride on this coast. They were completely unafraid of us and helped themselves down below to water and a good look about. They stayed the night and left next morning.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Since my last post we have sailed north to Nassau again to get new US Visas. We've been out to Conception Island and we've had the Bahamas Family Island Regatta here in Georgetown.
All tracks from vessels over 7' 2"

Before I write further on these events, I would like to attempt to dispel a myth we keep hearing. "Boats with deep draft cannot sail in the Bahamas." We have had several yachties tell us that they skipped the Bahamas after seeing how shallow it all is. That is very sad because the Bahamas is an excellent sailboat destination. There is usually good sailing wind combined with calm protected waters on the banks. The water is exceptionally clear and the sand banks are vast flat sand. We draw 7'2" and we have sailed across the banks from Bimini, along inside Eleuthera &  all down the west side of Exumas. We have been back and forth over the Yellow Banks to Nassau. We have not had any depth issues and apart from several cuts we would not attempt because they are quite obviously too shallow we don't feel at all constrained.
Lovely Conception Island.

Conception Island is about 40nm East of George Town. It's a nice day sail and the anchorage is spectacular. The whole island is a National Park. Both in the water and out. There is a turtle hatchery a short dingy ride south of the anchorage which takes you inland through a maze of creeks and flats teeming with young turtles. There is some snorkeling off the cliff near the old steel works from a wreck on the way to the creek. Often the swell makes this site a bit tricky but it's worth a look if at all possible. We searched other locations for snorkeling sites but were disappointed to find almost everything is dead. Never mind the water is clear and warm and the setting is spectacular. Our beach BBQ was great fun marred only by the ferocious sand flies. Once they went to bed we had a pleasant night ashore with Ausie Tactical Directions, and Kiwi cruisers Wyuna and an American Boat. Elan 

Bahamian Family Island Regatta. Look at the length of that boom!

Our trip to Nassau, after returning from Conception, to get new US B1 / B2 Visas, was a very pleasant run north with a stop in Staniel Cay to catch up with Walter on Marnie, a boat we met crossing the South Indian Ocean in 2012. We had some fun nights aboard each other's boats during time together in George Town. 

Nassau arrival on a Monday for Visa Photos and paperwork a routine blood test for David and a bit of provisioning on Tuesday, then Embassy all Wednesday morning with a departure on Wednesday afternoon. Another brief stop in Nassau. Beating south was slower than running north but we were back in George Town by the following Sunday. 8 days all up.

This week the Bahamian Family Island Regatta was held in George Town. These spectacular local boats were traditional fishing vessels in days gone by. The craft of building and skill of sailing these boats has been preserved by the running of several regattas around the country every year. The boats arrive on local shipping or are towed in by larger boats, some coming in from several hundred miles away. 

The crews on the larger boats are big. Up to 16 people, depending upon the wind strength. The photos will give you an idea of the skill required to handle these vessels. The massive sail area and very low boom requires a lot of agility. Sometimes crew fall off! It is a requirement now days though that all boats finish with a full compliment of crew. 

The cruisers, along with the local spectator fleet, race about in dinghies and small boats following the race. It gets pretty frenetic but the whole thing is conducted with plenty if friendly banter and it would seem the racing, whilst competitive, is still very friendly.
Yesterday a dolphin arrived beside the boat and myself and a couple of other cruisers swam with it for 15 minuets. It was very interactive, swimming just out of reach and making small squeaking noises. Very fun. 

David as usual has plenty of projects but recent ones have included helping Tony on Tactical Directions with a mast and sail car issue and Tony kindly bought over his dive gear and helped David clean the hull. So what goes round comes round is working well here. Tony's mast issue is just awaiting a part and our hill is clean ready for departure.
Our Passports, with nice new 5 year Visas, arrived in George Town on Friday so now we will top up the fuel and wait for a weather window to head north on. Back to the US. Circuitously probably. 

You will find all the Bahamas photos at:
Taipans Bahamas Album.

Monday, 9 March 2015

BAHAMAS March 8th 2015

Opening Night Regatta
Its amazing how time flies. We have been languishing in George Town in the Exuma group of the Bahamas since the 24th of January. Lots has been happening with lead up to the Annual Regatta and then the Regatta which was  a week of silliness and fun. 

I won the design competition for next years Regatta T shirt so everyone will be wearing that for the 2016 Regatta here in George Town. 

We played silly beach and dingy games during the regatta which were pretty hilarious. Blind Dingy rowing with me instructing David and he blindfolded was pretty funny!

The weather hasn't always been fabulous but its getting better by the day now. There has been a lot of very cold weather on the big continent to the north west of Bahamas and so we can blame them for the sometimes inclement and windy weather we have experienced from time to time. Now into March and officially Spring is here so we expect it to be all up hill from here as the northern summer is just around the corner.

Down Wind Dingy Sailing event.

We attempted to get back to the Florida coast to fly back to Australia for a couple of months but the weather windows were all too short to risk the Gulf Stream crossing and so we changed the flights last week to August.

Taipan in Regatta Colours

Today we are anchored with two other boats we did the Indonesia Rally in 2006 with, Silver Fern NZ and Tactical Directions Aust. Amazing. So far away! Of course there will be plenty of catching up to do and notes to compare. Sea Rose another Kiwi boat we knew well in Thailand have just left the anchorage for points south and Cuba and we had a fabulous and long overdue catch up with them here. New boats are arriving and leaving all the time but very few are Australian.
Racing the Leopard. Geniet Lewe.
Silver Fern

The Bahamas is a playground for the Canadian and American yachts primarily. There is a scattering of other nationalities but the majority hale from Canada or USA. 

At the peak of the Regatta there were over 370 boats here. Apparently in its heyday.... before the GFC there were upward of 500 yachts here. It is easy to understand why they come here. Its an easy trip. Most of the boats never have to go to sea all the way from Canada because they use the Intra-Coastal Waterway all the way down the East Coast and then make the short crossing of 60 NM to get them across the Gulf Stream to Bahamas from Florida. Once arrived, there is an infinite number of good anchorages and relatively warm weather compared to their homes north. One boater told us yesterday they had 12 feet of snow at home in New York State at the moment. So the Bahamas looks pretty good! Many leave their boats in Florida and return north to spend summer. Many others however do take their boats back every year.

More Bahamas Photos here. 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Shroud Cay
Georgetown. There are 260 boats anchored here as of this mornings tally. As far as we can ascertain we are the only Australian boat.! Imoogi, with its new Australian owners Dean and Sally from Brisbane, left yesterday. Our quiet BBQ will be postponed until our English friends Barry and Lindy on Samarang, an Australian yacht, can join us. So its a quiet day here catching up on blog and fixing stuff! Normal day really.

Waderick Wells. Exhuma Land and Sea Park
The Furuno is still defunct. The water maker was leaking and has taken several days to fix. The weather is awful today but we cant complain as we have had some really nice days and good sailing to get here.

Rock sound at the southern end of Eluthera was a neat little spot with a good grocery and nice anchorage. Sadly we fare welled Jo and Paddy from here. They caught a flight to Nassau and returned to Cuba to continue their adventures.

Sailing from Eluthera to Highbourn Cay was fantastic but on entering the narrow and tricky channel the throttle quit! We had to rapidly deploy the head sail to get to a suitable place to drop the pick and repair. Lucky the wind was right. After discovering that the cable had just come loose we were able to re anchor in sheltered water.
At Big Major Spot a family of pigs will swim out for food.
Several short day sails south and we arrived in the Exhuma Land and Sea Park. There are some spectacular anchorages along this island chain in absolutely gin clear water. Shroud Island has some neat dingy trips up the mangrove creeks to the ocean side. No crocs!. Big Major Spot, near Stanley Cay, has a resident population of pigs which have learned to swim out to the dinghies to be fed. Cute.

Its come to my attention that since last year, when we were trawling the net for info on the subject of Foreign Flagged Pleasure boats arrival procedures into the USA, the CBP have put up a new web site which is quite explanatory.

Monday, 26 January 2015

OH NO FURUNO! Jan 2014

We have had a Furuno navnet 3D MFD unit with DSS Radar on Taipan since late 2010. There have been a number of issues. The first problem was with the charts. We had purchased the Navionics MapMedia wide area folio for Asia. The charts were so inaccurate that we had to use the satellite overlay to see some of the islands in Phang Ng Bay. Furuno, eventually supplied replacement Jepperson charts for our unit. Now we will only use the Jepperson MapMedia Charts and have found them very accurate in Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Bahamas and USA.
The Navnet has had a few unexpected shutdowns which are always alarming. Usually at a most inopportune time. The first fright was "HDD Warning. Consult Dealer" I received a lot of conflicting information on this one.... including replacing the hard drive as an option just around $800 to $900 and luckily we were in South Africa at the time where repairs were not a really enticing option. I eventually found out that that is just an error which should not appear and was incorrectly written in the coding somewhere. It should be ignored and will go away if you turn off Tides and Currents. In our experience it does!
If the unit has been on continuously for a long passage we have found that trying to do lots of functions will crash it. If we turn of the main power and then re power and re boot the issue will go away again.
The Radar has failed on route to the Bahamas with a "Tuning Warning" The magnetron still spins but the Radar Display wont come on. David, following various tips on websites, unplugged the plug in the Raydome after confirming that there were no wires preventing the Magnetron from spinning, and replugged it but then we lost everything. Now the GPS is not being seen by the MFD.
We also had to Reset Defaults in the Chart Menu because the purchased charts would not show up any more either.
We spoke to Technical Support via Skype in Maryland and I have to say they were extremely helpful.
Now we are removing the Raydome and the GPS to send them back to the Service Center.

UPDATE. August 2015 Well the 4 year old Radome has been in for repairs. New Magnatron! It is currently in transit to us. $850 dollars later.
We were able, with the help of cruisers Bob Anderson on Elan and Brian Waters on Hayfu II to connect the chart plotter to the GPS using NMEA 2000 wiring. This works well thankfully. The lesson was.... don't have too much equipment reliant on each other.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

BOUNCING BOOBY. 31st December 2014Party animals

Very narrow passage to enter Hatchet Bay, Alice Town.
Bouncing Booby OR WHAT! We left the anchorage at Nassau fully loaded with gorgeous supplies from the fabulous Solomon s Grocery at the Plaza Shopping Center, East Bay Street Nassau. Fabulous range and quality. Also got SIM card to the iPad at Batelco. 

Beautiful weather and pleasant sailing to Booby Island. Just an overnight stop on the way to Eluthera. Well we bounced around in the current all night and were pleased to leave. Thankfully the weather was calm but the currents are strong.
Now we are tied to a mooring at Hatchet Bay. Paid the $20 per night for the Mooring. Collected by the very charming Francis. This is apparently only a new charge and he doesnt have any paper work. Francias also owns The Porch restaurant and we were off to give his stone crabs a whirl but at $55 per serve  we decided to give it a miss and trotted off round the corner where we enjoyed a nice evening for around $20 per head including tips taxes etc.

A lean lunch!

This is a very secure harbor but anchoring is allegedly difficult.... hence we paid for the mooring on that advice..... Its a short walk to "town" where you will probably find very little.
Lenny Kravitz was allegedly in town night doing a karaoke show and we had to hog tie Jo and drag her home or we'd have all been exhausted before the new year even began!. I should elaborate here. Jo Drummond has a gift, it you can call it that, for sniffing out a party. Any party. Your party wont be immune. If she can get there she'll be there dancing in the  crowd all night long!

Party animals prepare for New Year.
Well New Year has come and gone and a fabulous night it was. The Rainbow Resort Gatsby themed evening was full of fun and good food. The Junkanu put on by the local team was spectacular as usual with great music and yes...Jo danced all night!

On New Years Day we sailed south 15NM to Governors Harbor. The sail was easy and the weather good. There is a lovely Atlantic beach an easy 15 min walk over the hill and a quaint little town with good facilities for grocery fuel mail etc. 
Hatchet Bay
Farewell 2014.
It is a neat little town with a nice new small resort called French Leave. Right on the bay. Good prices and nice food.

Dunmore Town

We hired a car and drove north to Spanish Wells and Dunmore Town. Both small villages at the top end of Eluthera Isl on their own islands. Spanish Wells was all closed down and everyone was in church with the doors shut. So we left by way of the ferry which bought us and went by another ferry to Dunmore Town a short drive away. Quaint but quiet on a Sunday. The little houses are cute and many are old, dating to the 1700s. We ate, walked and swam before returning to Governors Harbor for a delicious dinner, courtesy of Jo n Paddy, at the French Leave Resort. The weather has been fabulous although a front is forecast so we may move further south to more shelter in Rock Sound. 

 Photos of  Jo and Paddys Visit to the Bahamas

Saturday, 27 December 2014


Hope you all had a fabulous Xmas and that Santa was bountiful and that the booze and food was flowing freely.
We arrived in Nassau Capital of Bahamas, at 8pm on Xmas Eve having left from Fernandina on Thursday 18th Dec to sail non stop to Deerfield Beach 300nm. 


Midday on Saturday we made Deerfield Beach and we spent 2 nights with cruising buddies Jim and Barbara off Contrails, t Had a great party at their home and met lots of lovely people. Taipan spent the night rafted to a boat belonging to friends nearby. Monday afternoon we set off south again tacking to and fro all day and well into the night. It was only 37nm but we must have done 70 to get there. There is up to 4 knots of current flowing north and the wind was on the nose!

We needed to clear out of the USA by phone so had to hang off the coast south of Miami for a frustrating hour while the Customs n Immigration got all their ducks in a line ! Someone had tampered with the phones and the calls had all been diverted to a closed office. I guess it went pretty quiet at Customs and finally someone twigged and fixed the problem and we were able to get through. Not the most reliable sort of service ....Phones!.... no email facility so if you arrive there you better have somehow got yourself a USA cell phone!

We got clearance and left Miami at 1pm on Tuesday morning. We spent a long night making a Gulfsream crossing, being carried steadily north again. It was pretty uncomfortable but at least it was finally warm!. Once on the bank ,a large area about 5 meters deep, it was blessedly flat for the day as we motored across. Nightfall and we were back in deep water and deep doo doo as it got rougher and rougher. Eventually we abandoned the course east and motored south back onto the bank, taking another route. It was a long slow slog with lots of adverse current and an adverse wind, We were enormously pleased to see the lights of Nassau on dusk.

Didn't get cleared in to leave the boat till after lunch on Xmas day. Had a lovely evening with Jo and Paddy and a great Boxing Day Parade starting at midnight. Tried to message from Jo and Paddy's hotel but doesn't look like it went out there.

We will have frustrating times getting connections here so if there are gaps in our communication We apologize in advance.
Jo and Paddy are aboard and we plan to head to the islands. They will be with us till around the 9th of Jan and we are planning to have a big New Year celebration in leu of Xmas.