log of THIRD REEF
THIRD REEF ran westbound across the Gulf Stream Tuesday, completing a four month visit to the Bahamas. It has been a long cruise, in July we left our home port in Maine to travel east thru the Bay of Fundy, the Reversing Falls and the Saint John River. Beautiful, once you escaped the Fundy fog. Back to Maine and departed again the end of August, headed south. We ran our usual schedule, October in the Chesapeake and Florida by the first of December. We caught a window the second week of December and crossed West Palm, West End, Great Sale, Green Turtle and finally Man O'War. We enjoyed the holidays in MOW, and used it as a base to cruise the Abacos. In February we were joined by a GB46 BALEEN, and ran Lynyard Cay, Spanish Wells, Royal Island, Allans Cay, Highbourne Cay and Compass Cay. Our friends had some medical issues in Compass, so after a week in Nassau hospital, they returned to Compass and we brought the boats back to MOW. They are remaining there while we retraced our route back to West End, dodged the sunken barge at Fort Pierce Inlet and are currently at Patrick AFB, reveling in free fresh water and commissary privileges. While this is our fifth trip to the Bahamas, two under sail, and three in the GB, some things remain constant. Weather is a continual worry, particularly in the Exumas and south. This was a windy winter, we actually wore out two Bahamian courtesy flags. We use Chris Parker for weather via SSB, backed up by Windfinder and Passageweather when we can get Internet. They worked great, correctly forecasting the window that moved from Thursday to Tuesday in time for us to hustle from MOW to West End to be ready for it. Secondly, some degree of self sufficiency is a must, even in the Abacos. We carry spares for every pump aboard, oil and filters for multiple changes etc. Particularly south of Eleuthera, assistance gets to be few and far between. Despite the effort, the trip is well worth it, as the spectacular water and the wonderful people are ample rewards. We are now headed back north, looking forward to the Chesapeake in May, New Jersey and LIS early June, Newport and Maine by the end of the month. So if you spot an elderly GB36 passing by, give us a shout.
Roger, Anne and Spice the Lab