Georgia Jan. 31, 2006


On Friday Nov 25, we left Beaufort, SC and headed for Georgia.  We crossed the Savannah River that marks the Georgia-SC border and anchored in St. Augustine Creek less than one mile southwest of the river.  This was a fairly narrow creek with a fast current do to a 5+ foot tide.  After we were settled, I saw a large ship headed down the ICW from the river.  The area we were in was all marsh, so you can see far.  I was wondering what it was.  I didn’t need to wait long to find out as much to my surprise the ship turned onto the St. Augustine Creek and was coming our direction.  As it squeaked by us, we found out it was a casino ship.  Must load/unload at a terminal on the creek.    We saw the ship pass us again around 7pm leaving the creek.  It must have returned later that evening but we did not see it until morning at its terminal.

On Saturday we proceeded down the ICW and anchored at Wahoo River just off the ICW.  This anchorage actually had trees that provided shelter from the wind in the direction it was blowing.  The ICW in Georgia consists of river and canals going from ocean inlet to inlet.  The depth varies greatly as the Corp of Engineers was not funded to dredge the ICW in Georgia.  We heard much chatter on the radio from various boats warning of shoal areas on this portion of the ICW.  Several boats went aground.

We decided to stop at St. Simon’s Island next and left on Sunday Nov 27.  Again, there were very shallow areas especially the Muddy River where were saw depths down as low as 5 feet at low tide.   It was a bit tedious going through this area.   Next time we will probably go out to the ocean (weather permitting) to bypass this section as there are many inlets back into the ICW to allow you to find protection.  We anchored in the Frederica River just off the ICW.  We took the dinghy to the marina (Golden Isles) near the anchorage and found out the town was at least two miles away.  Also, the marina charged $5 for leaving you dinghy there.  There were no other places to bring the dinghy ashore.  On Monday, we went to the marina and took showers ($10).  After, we were walking through the marina and we saw another Island Packet.  We walked over to it and saw it was Melaka II from Tulsa, OK.  The original name of Island Time was Melaka.  This boat belonged to the Bates from whom we purchased Island Time.  We asked the Dockmaster if they were around and since he thought they went to St Simons, we went back to Island Time.  Tuesday’s forecast was for rain and thunderstorms due to a large cold front moving through from the Midwest so we decided to stay put.  Wind gusts over 30 knots moved through about 6am for about one-half hour then subsided.  Genie checked the weather radar which showed another line of storms scheduled to arrive around noon, so we stayed with our plan to stay put for the day.  Later in the morning, we heard a knock on the hull and Sam and Carolyn Bates were outside in their dinghy.  The Dockmaster had told them about our visit and they came to see us.  They bought their larger Island Packet to sail in the pacific, but decided since that would require them to be away from the states for over a year (away from family) they would not go there.  They have spent the last few years sailing in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coast.   It was a nice visit and again proves what a small world it is.

On Wednesday, Nov 30, we left St. Simons Island headed for Cumberland Island near St. Marys Georgia.  Again, the ICW had many shallow areas along with confusing markers in the area of St. Marys.  There is a large submarine base in this area.  Our chartplotter started to act strangely in this area with the magnetic heading deviating significantly from the course over ground (COG).  I first blamed it on the sub base, but after further investigation I found that our chart plotter was using a magnetic variation of 15 degrees instead of the 8 degrees shown on the charts for the area.  After correction, the magnetic heading agreed with the COG.

On Thursday, Dec 1, 2005 we took the dinghy over to Cumberland Island, which is a US National Park.  It is a barrier island which is not developed like all the other islands such as Myrtle Beach.  There are wild horses still on the island. The island was sold to the feds by the islanders, but they still live on the island and are allowed to drive their own cars as one of conditions of sale.  They are descended from slaves and servants.  Thomas Carnagie, brother and partner of Andrew Carnagie had an estate on the island.  It was a complete community as it was remote and needed to be self sufficient. 

The main house burned down in the 1930’s but the ruins of the estate are still intact.  It must have been opulent based on the fountains and other garden areas still standing.  They had their own ice house.  There were several old cars (model T’s etc) still rusting on the site.

There are self guiding trails on the island with placards in front of many of the interesting flora found on the island.  We saw an armadillo just off one of the trails.

We left Cumberland Island on Friday, Dec 2, 2006 bound for Florida, specifically Jacksonville where we made reservations to leave Island Time at Seafarer’s Marina on the Trout River just north of the St. Johns River about 9 miles upstream.  It took a day to get to the marina in the cold north wind.

Our schedule was to leave the boat in Jacksonville from Dec 14 to Jan 11 while we went to Vermont for the holidays.  In reality, were arrived at the marina on Dec 2 and left on Jan 18.  I did manage to get the water maker we purchased in Annapolis almost installed.  Still need to make the final water and electrical connections.

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Armadillo and cars at Cumberland Island Jan. 31, 2006

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Dolphin in Island Times Wake Jan. 31, 2006


Birds Following Island Time Jan. 31, 2006

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Florida Jan. 31, 2006



Jacksonville:  We left Cumberland Island on Friday, December 2 and crossed the St. Mary’s River into Florida.  We had a short trip down the ICW past Fernandia Beach to the St. Johns River.   The marina where we planned to leave the boat over the holidays was nine miles up the River in Jacksonville.  We arrived at Seafarers Marina about midday.  The cruising community is relatively small.  The boat next to us at the marina is sailed by a couple who we met in Beaufort, SC. They were also leaving their boat to fly home (Montana) for the holidays. We worked on boat projects before flying home on December 14th.


St. Augustine:  We left Jacksonville on January 18 and spent the next three nights in St. Augustine.  We anchored just north of the Bridge of Lions.  However the marble lions had been removed while the bridge was being renovated because the Florida Department of Transportation had declared the bridge “structurally deficient and functionally obsolete”.  As in Vermont the bridge is being saved as it is on National Register of Historic places.   The city is very pretty from the water as the buildings are outlined in white lights.  The city provides a very nice and friendly marina where we tied our dinghy and they provided the use of showers all for $ 10 per day.  


The city has a very well preserved Spanish  Fort with the typical star shape.  This fort also had a moat which is still quite evident.  In the downtown area the old Spanish section has had many of its building reconstructed.  There is a stone archway that marks the entry into the old city.  During one period of history, the Spaniards killed a group of French Huguenots from Jacksonville that tried to attack the city.  The Huguenots were buried outside the city gate as only Catholics could be buried inside the gate.


The City’s development also was impacted by Henry Flagler who owned the railroad in Florida.  He constructed a grand hotel in town in 1887.  There are 79 Tiffany windows in the hotel including large windows in the dining room.  The hotel complex had a large swimming pool with a retractable roof.  The pool has now been converted to a shopping area with many boutiques.  The water and electrical system was designed by Thomas Edison.  According to local legend, the use of electricity was so new that the guests were afraid of it so additional staff was hired to turn on the lights in the quests rooms.  Also, according to the locals only people on the social register could be quests.  The hotel today is now part of Flagler College.


Islands:  We have a book entitled “Managing the Waterway” that has interesting facts. Islands covered with hardwood or pinelands in sawgrass are called hummocks; an island covered in mangrove or pine is a key; an island with willow or bay is a head; an island of cypress is a dome; and islands with canals and houses are developments.


Daytona Beach, Titusville and Melbourne:  We wanted to make some time so we only anchored at these locations along the way.  We covered 141 statue miles with only nine drawbridges in three days.  Fortunately many drawbridges have been replaced by fixed high rise bridges (65 foot clearance).  In Titusville if we were two days earlier we could have watched a space launch.


Sealife:  While transiting the Indian River we had birds flying off the back of the boat and then we had dolphins swimming with the boat.  The dolphins must have been with us about 15 minutes. 


Vero Beach:  The Town of Vero Beach does not allow anchoring but they have a municipal marina with moorings for $ 10 per day. Cruisers do not need to worry about not being able to get a mooring because the city expects rafting on the moorings with up to three boats each.  We ended up on a mooring with a family from NC.  Also in harbor that night were the previous owners of our boat (who we had met in St. Simons, GA).  The marina also provides showers and the ever important trash disposal.   


The city provides free bus service that picks us up right at the marina so shopping was easy.  The bus would also take you to the beach.  We were there on a Wednesday which is the day that the cruisers meet at a restaurant for a cruisers breakfast.    30-40 cruisers were at the breakfast.  As chance would have it, the couple sitting across from us at breakfast we had met in the Dismal Swamp in North Carolina where we had rafted with them at the North Carolina Welcome Center. 


We had only planned two days in Vero Beach but could have stayed longer; that’s why some have nicknamed Vero Beach as Velcro Beach.          . 


Jenson Beach was our next stop for just an overnight anchorage.


Lake Worth:  Our last day traveling the ICW was only 33 miles but we had 8 drawbridges with 6 in the last 10 miles.  Some of the bridges are on request, some on hour and half hour and one at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour. We stopped in a marina where our fiends Steve and Joanne have their boat.  We rented a car and spent two days provisioning the boat many cases of beer and soda, caned goods and as much meat as our freezer will hold.   We spent one evening with Steve and Joann and their family. Tuesday (January 31) we left the marina and anchored near the Lake Worth inlet waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream for the Bahamas.      


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The Crossing! Feb. 18, 2006


We anchored adjacent to the Lake Worth Inlet in anticipation of leaving on February 2.  Many other boats were anchored who also planned to cross.  We arose at 5 am and planned to up anchor at 5:30 am.   Well we were all set:  engine running, anchor light off; turn running lights on; deck light on (to see the anchor) but wait!  There was no light coming from the forward running lights.  Upon investigation not only was there no light but there was no fixture, there were not even any dangling wires.  So shut everything down and wait until the marina opened so we could back and fix our forward running light.  All the other boats departed – however the weather window turned bad and of the seven boats that we know left six turned around and came back.

Back at the marina we ordered a new light fixture from Defender who overnighted it to us.  John spent the weekend installing the new light.  The trickiest part was installing new wire from inside the boat up thru the bow pulpit (several bends and a 90 degree turn) and out the little hole where the light is mounted.  We used dental floss as a chase string.  I fed it into the little hole and John used a vacuum to suck it through nary a wrong turn with the floss. (I am sure my dentist had envisioned another use for our floss.) Then we used the floss to pull a sting and then the wire (greased with Vaseline).  Slick!

We got to visit with Steve and Joanne, who brought us some Spanish mackerel fillets that Steve and son Jason caught (boy was that delicious), one more time and then on Monday, February 6 we went back to the anchorage in preparation to leave on Tuesday.  All the boats that tried to cross last Thursday were there also.  Of course this time we overslept and did not pull anchor until 5:45 am – but the running lights all worked!  By the time we cleared the inlet the sun was starting to rise.  The wind was behind us at 10-20 knots so we motored sailed with the jib.  The seas were a 3-5 feet in the “the Stream” initially and diminished to 2-3 feet.  The water temperature increased about 5 degrees once we entered the Gulf Stream.

We arrived at West End, Grand Bahama Island about 3 pm where we raised our yellow quarantine flag.   At the Old Bahama Bay Marina we checked into the country.  After filling out many forms and paying our $300 we received our cruising permit and replaced the yellow flag with the Bahama courtesy flag.  The first time we sailed our boat into another country.


We met many other cruisers at the marina half were going north over the banks to the Abacos and the other half was going south along Grand Bahama Island.  We had originally planned to go north through the Abacos and then down to the Exumas to Georgetown.  But waiting for weather windows put a little behind schedule. (I know we are retired and cruising  - so no schedules should rule.)  So we decided to go south.  We buddied up with two cats; Lioness III an Australian boat and Pirates Hideout with a home port in New Mexico.  We planned to go to Lucaya but on the way down Mesmariah was in Xanadu and suggested that we anchor in there. 

Xanadu, a hotel and marina, is an older facility built by Howard Hughes and on grounds of the hotel there are three “bungalows” where members of the rat pack stayed.  The hotel and marina had extensive hurricane damage.  The anchorage included two canals for private homes a la Florida.  There was not enough space for all four boats to anchor so we tied up to the marina (basically four poles to tie onto).   We stayed five nights in Xanadu waiting for a cold front to pass.  The front had NW winds up to 25 knots.  When we looked out across the ocean it looked like marching elephants the sea was so high.  
We left Xanadu at 11:00 pm Tuesday night (Feb 14) to cross the Northwest Passage heading for Great Stirrup Cay in the Berries a 60 mile trip.  The crossing was a little more rough than planned the wind was gusting to over 20 and almost on our nose and the seas were confused – no swells from any direction just large waves.  We managed to motorsail most of the way and the wind changed more easterly at the end so we actually sailed the last 10 miles with reefed main and working jib.  We finally reached the anchorage at 10 am – very nice.  Finally the aqua water we been looking for.

Great Stirrup Cay:

We are in a secluded anchorage no houses, sandy beach, aqua water and only five boats (our four boats plus a boat from Switzerland).  Did I say secluded well need to clarify that – cruise boats moor on the other side of the island and a gaggle of jetskis came by but eventually they get back on the cruise ship and leave.


Can you find Waldo?  Actually can you find Island Time?  We send e-mails through our SSB radio with a Winlink program. To send e-mails we need to enter our lat and lon.  So if anyone wants to track us you can log onto and locate us with our ham names.  John’s is KB1KYU and Genie’s is KB1KYV.

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The Berry Islands, Nassau & Exumas Mar. 4, 2006

Thursday, February 16, 2006


We are at Great Harbor on Great Stirrup Cay in the Berry Islands in the Bahamas.  That's a mouthful.  You can see our current location on a map if you go to and lookup our location listed under my call sign of kb1kyu under the locate ship (or something like that) page of the website.  Everything is great.  We are traveling with 3 other boats we met at West End, our first port in the Bahamas.  One boat Mesmariah has been cruising in the Bahamas for several years and is leading the way.  Our anchorage is picture post card with the island in the background and white sand beach.  Tonight we had a barbecue on the beach with the other boats.  Someone caught barracuda and we grilled that up over a fire.  It was good although Genie was reluctant to try it.

We left at 11:00 pm on Tuesday night from Xanadu and sailed all night to get here arriving at 10:00 am Wednesday.  The ocean was quite rough making it a bit unpleasant sailing, but Island Time handled it well.


Little Harbor – Berry Islands


We stopped at Little Harbor where the only building on the island is Flo’s restaurant.  We anchored behind Cabbage Cay where you have to catch the edge of the sand to get good holding (too shallow to go all the way onto the sand bank).  The wind was light so it was not a problem for the anchor to hold.   We had to call ahead to order our meal at Flo’s.  The Entrée choices are fish, lobster or cracked conch.  We had left our buddy boats and had dinner with crew from two other boats Idunno and Quest III that were in West End the same time as us.  The meal was excellent served with sides of conch salad, rice and cold slaw.


While in Little Harbor John discovered that a bolt holding the alternator has sheared. We checked with the other boats in the area and we managed to find a new bolt that would work until we got to Nassau.  No matter how many spare parts you have there will also be something that you don’t have.




The trip to Nassau across the Northeast Channel was uneventful.  Thirty miles with small seas and no wind.  Upon entering Nassau we had to call Nassau Harbor Control to request permission to enter the harbor.  We stayed at a marina so we could get our shopping done and laundry etc.  There were a number of marine supply stores where we could get more spare parts including bolts. John did a permanent repair on the alternator.  Of course the cruisers got together for dinner at an all you can eat ribs place. 


The strangest thing about the stores in the area of the marinas is that you have to ring a bell and then the door is unlocked to let you in.  We did not go to the tourist areas where this probably is not case.

Heading for Exuma National Park in Warderick Wells tomorrow.  They have moorings so we are planning to wait out the coming cold front due Sunday/Monday with 20-30 knot winds there.



Thursday, February 23, 2006


We finally made it to the Exumas in the Bahamas.  Right now we are anchored at Norman Cay.  Very nice spot right next to the wreck of a DC-3 airplane that crashed in the harbor.  It was part of a drug ring that operated on the island.  There are many ruins here left over from the drug operation.


Saturday, February 25, 2006


We are at Exuma Sea Land Park in Warderick Wells, Exuma which is a Bahamas National Park.  We stayed put today as the wind was blowing 25 knots and we didn't feel like going anywhere.  We are on mooring in a well protected harbor still it was rocking and rolling all day as the area has a large current which opposed the wind.  I goofed off all day, but Genie worked on making side curtains for the cockpit.  We will probably be here until Tuesday as a front is projected to move through tomorrow.

We will go Staniel Cay then Black Point before going to Georgetown for the rest of March.


Sunday, February 26, 2006


We went ashore today to Pirates Lair where there is a sweet (fresh) water well used by real pirates.  They unrolled there sleeping mats in the clearing near the well and inadvertently left seeds of non-indigenous plants which took hold.  So there is an area of hardwood trees among the palms.  We are in the south anchorage not near the park office.  It is a 2 mile dinghy ride to the office and with the winds it would be wet.

Water is warm (77 deg F) but we have not snorkeled yet as I injured my foot last week while on a walkabout with an Aussie we met up at Big Stirrup Cay, so I and somewhat limited in mobility.  Saw a barracuda and a shark swimming under the boat.  The water is unbelievably clear.  You can easily see down 30 feet. 

Ate fresh Mahi Mahi the other night.  The boat we were traveling with "I Dunno" caught a 60 pounder on the way down from Norman Cay to Warderick Wells and invited us over for a fish fry.  It was delicious.


              click on
Map of the Exumas

Norman Cay:  From Nassau we crossed the Great Bahama bank to Norman Cay.  Forty miles of water 20 feet or less.   Norman Cay was famous in the late ‘70’s and early 80’s for cocaine smuggling.  All that is left representing that era are some buildings with bullets holes and the airplane in the middle of the anchorage.  There are many photos of the plane with only its fuselage above water.  Now the body of the plane has rusted and you can still see the wings under the water.  


Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park


We motored (no wind) about 20 miles in Exuma Sound to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.  The park is comprised of 176 protected acres of cays, reefs and water where no fishing is allowed.  The park headquarters is on Warderick Wells Cay.  The park has 22 moorings in the north anchorage near the headquarters and 4 moorings in the south anchorage at the other end of the park.  We obtained a mooring in the south anchorage.  Very few boats left during the time we requested a mooring as a cold front was approaching so we were fortunate to get a mooring.  The cold front swept through at night of course with winds gusting to 30 mph.  Boats called in from the Abacos up north and reported winds up 50 mph.  I am glad we listened to the experienced cruisers who said go south to the Exumas first and then go back to the Abacos in April.


Idunno the boat we were traveling with caught a Mahi Mahi on the trip down (outside the parks boundaries) so they invited us over for fish fry that night- excellent!!


The south anchorage was supposedly a hangout for pirates.  A trail inland to Pirates Lair, an area where the pirates camped on land where there is fresh water in the crevices of the rock.  Non native vegetation grows here due to the pirates.  The woven mats that the pirates brought ashore to sit on had seeds from the trees in the southern US. 


After the front passed and the seas quieted we dinghied to main headquarters about 2 miles to pay and investigate the other end of the island.  The “hills” in the area are actually large sand dunes that have vegetated.  On the top of one hill is Boo BOO Hill where cruisers have left items with their boat names inscribed.  The items consist of wood with the names carved, rope nailed on to form the name, the name spelt in nails; painted shells; painted rocks; painted pie tin; and, most impressive, a rock with the name chiseled in beautiful script (very high quality).  We were not prepared so we didn’t leave anything but we will next time.  We recognized several of the boats as we had crossed paths with them some where along the way.


Staniel Cay:  Sixteen miles south of Warderick Wells we stopped at Staniel Cay.  Our anchorage was west of Big Majors Cay with a beautiful beach.  As one approaches the beach the piggies run out to greet you into the water in anticipation of being fed! According to the bartender at the local restaurant there are about 25 pigs on the island most of which are feral.  We only saw four that had the beach begging to an art.  The pigs are very particular; they would not eat lettuce or tomato but liked the bread and cheese.


Staniel Cay has a small village with couple of small resorts and three small stores; the pink store, the blue store and the Isles General Store.  At the pink store we arrived just as the bread came out the oven – so we hot fresh bread. We tied our dinghy at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.  The dock is about 10 feet above the water with ladders to climb up.  The height gives us a great view of the water at the dock where fish where being cleaned which attracted a large ray (about 5 feet across) and numerous sharks (also about 5 feet long). 


The mail boat only comes on Fridays so we hustled to get a card in the mail for our son’s birthday. We mailed it on Thursday, March 2.  So we’ll see when it arrives in Vermont.  


Staniel Cay has a small airstrip where flights can be arranged to Nassau.


Friday night we went to a bar-b-que at Club Thunderball.  More ribs.



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March 13th Mar. 14, 2006
We are about 25 miles from Georgetown at Cave Cay.  This is a private island with a large resort, so we have not been ashore.  The wind is blowing about 20 knots from the southeast.  Since Georgetown is directly southeast from here, we are not leaving today.  Why you may ask, and the answer is we don't have to.  Tomorrow is going to be less wind and waves, so we will probably leave tomorrow for Georgetown.


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Georgetown Mar. 14, 2006

Island Time is safely at anchor in Georgetown in the Bahamas.  We made our goal for going south this year so today was very satisfying.  It is quite nice here as we are anchored off Volleyball Beach close to the town.  We went to a free concert given tonight by Eileen Quinn (a Canadian singer of cruising songs).  She is quite entertaining.

Tomorrow we are going into town to provision as supplies are running low.

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Black Point Great Guana Cay to GeorgeTown Mar. 18, 2006

Black Point Great Guana Cay, Exuma

Six miles south of Staniel Cay is Black Point the second largest community in the Exumas.  We anchored in beautiful clear water with star fish scattered along the bottom.   The town has two restaurants with Lorraine’s being the more widely known.  Her fried conch was excellent, sweet and tender, but she would not share her secret of how to tenderize the conch. 


There is a small grocery store but it was closed as many of the island residents were in Nassau for a funeral.  The island has a small school for up to grade 8.  For high school the children need to move to Nassau where they stay with relatives while in school. 


Our paths crossed with Octopus (member of our boat club in Vermont) and we had coffee with them after our dinner at Lorraine’s.  They are headed north after spending time in Georgetown.  Apparently Benoit’s volleyball team in Georgetown was the champ.


The anchorage in Black Point has no protection from the west so we headed to Little Farmers Cay as a cold front was arriving the next day with strong nw winds predicted.Weather – We get a daily weather update on our SSB radio.  We usually listen to Chris Parker every morning (except Sunday) at 6:30 to get updated weather. 


Little Farmers Cay, Exuma

Little Farmers Cay has 55 residents most of whom are descended from the original settler, a freed slave who brought the island from the crown.  The island has its own flag and the inhabitants are very proud of their island.


We picked up a mooring between two islands, Little Farmers Cay and Great Guana Cay.  Between the islands we get better protection from the winds but we are in the channels from the cuts from the Exuma Sound so we get a lot of current making the anchorage rolly.  


The island has a local restaurant (Ocean Club owned by Terry Bains) serving Bahamian food.   Choices are fish, conch, lobster, chicken, steak and mutton (in season).  (Apparently mutton is in season when Terry goes to Big Farmers Cay to hunt a goat.)  According to Terry a Vermont ski resort owner has a modest home on the point on the next island.

We got tired of the rolly anchorage after a few days and went back to Black Point where the current is non-existent.  We had a great sail with the wind on the beam.


Cave Island, Exuma

We left Black Point again and had another great sail down to Cave Island.  Cave Island is just south of Little Farmers Cay.  We anchored in the lee of the island waiting for a better weather window before entering Exuma Sound for the last 30 miles to Georgetown.  The anchorage was better protected from the effects of the current so it was smoother than Little Farmers Cay.  Cave Island is private with security cameras in its harbor.  The cut from the banks to Exuma Sound is wide and deep just south of Cave Island.

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Georgetown, Great Exuma Island Apr. 8, 2006


We arrived in Georgetown after a 30 mile motor sail into the wind with four foot waves that diminished as the wind diminished.  Georgetown has been described to us by another cruiser as a summer camp for adults.  The fun started on the eve of our arrival.  Eileen Quinn gave a free concert on Volleyball Beach.  Eileen is a well know singer among the cruising crowd.  She sings songs about the cruising life usually with a lot of humor.  One song involved docking angst and one episode of “taking out” the sanitation station during the docking process.  Many of Eileen’s songs are based on true happenings, and she still vividly remembers the smell.  (A note to our friend Gerald – see a water spigot was not so bad.)


On our trip down we had a little white smoke coming out the exhaust which John discovered was a worn sea water impeller (worn to say the least - only portions of two vanes were left).  So our first order of business was to replace the impeller.


Every morning at 8:10 on VFH 72 the cruisers net is on.  It includes general announcements, question from cruisers, items needed, taxi share for guests coming and going, specials from local restaurants, the thought of the day and the day’s activities.  The activities could include daily volleyball, bridge, pot lucks, yoga, basket weaving classes, and water color classes.  Most of the activities are on Volleyball beach on Stocking Island across Elizabeth Harbor from Georgetown. Volleyball beach is also the home for Chat n Chill a beach bar and restaurant.


Georgetown is a wonderful little town that reminds me of beach communities in the northeast.  The town surrounds Lake Victoria with the dinghy dock located on the lake behind the Exuma Market.  To get to the lake there is a small channel that is only large enough to support one way traffic (in coming dinghies have the right of way).  The Exuma Market is a well stocked grocery and the Top II Bottom has marine supplies.  There are several barbers and we were able to get our hair cut. 


Pam and Bruce visited for a week of leisure.  We picked them up at the marina and spent time in town for shopping for provisions. After provisioning we crossed Elizabeth Harbor to anchor at Volleyball Beach.  Pam & Bruce settled into the cruising life where very little was done until after the cruising net in the am and then about noon we decided on a plan for the day which is still flexible.  It took two days to get to the beach (ocean side) as the first attempt did not get any further than Chat n Chill, several Kalik’s (local beer) and several games of Volleyball.  The second attempt we made it the ocean where for a while we were the only people on the beach.  We snorkeled a small reef with some fish.  Our sailing day was a no starter as the wind was forecast at 10 knots. We had several “sundowner” parties with Bob and Carol from Time Enough.  On Pam and Bruce’s last day we went back to the marina to “relax” with a dinner on board.  As often happens our plans changed, we were invited to a sundowner party on Rose.  Pam and Bruce left on a 6 am taxi and we went back to the anchorage at Volleyball Beach.


We spent the following week doing what cruisers do.  Visited town, provisioned the boat, and visited the beach bar.  The last Saturday of our stay a large beach party with a pirates theme for pirate Bob’s birthday (I am not sure who Bob is) was held on Hamburger Beach (to the north of Volleyball Beach on Stocking Island).  Everyone came in costume.  There were eye patches galore.  It is amazing what people carry on their boats.  There were stuffed parrots, hooks for the hands and clothing that Errol Flynn could have worn in his swashbuckling movies.  As Pirate Bob was the theme Bob had to written on the outfit somewhere.  We wore our most look alike pirate clothes; I made eye patches, scarves for the head, and cardboard knives with foil cover.  For sashes we used surveyor’s ribbon (we were the only boat with surveyors ribbon on board).  For the party everyone brought snacks to share.  A lot of good food.  The entertainment included dancing; best costume contest; visits by the Blues Brothers, the Supremes, Willie Nelson, Sonny & Cher (karaoke); and a coconut bra contest (women not men).  Sorry, no pictures as we forgot to bring the camera.


During one of our last dinghy rides across the harbor we had a dolphin swimming next to the dinghy.


Our friends on Lioness III left Sunday on there way south to Trinidad.  It sure was tempting to go with them.  The following Monday, April 3, we left Georgetown to start our trip north.  The day before we left the harbor there were 195 boats still there (with plenty of room for more).  Our first day we traveled 46 nm North in Exuma Sound back to Black Point.  We had a large group of small dolphins swimming with for a ways.  I counted at least 7 dolphins including a baby in the group.  We saw many flying fish along the way.  Its amazing how far they can fly (glide).

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DC3 on Norman's Cay Apr. 8, 2006

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Apr. 8, 2006

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Apr. 8, 2006

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  Apr. 8, 2006

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Apr. 8, 2006


Eleuthera Apr. 15, 2006

Hi All

We sailed today from Rock Sound Harbor on southern Eleuthera to Royal Island Harbor near Spanish Wells at the north end of Eleuthera.  Winds were 20-25 kts on the beam with gusts to 30 kts in squalls seas running 3-5 ft.  Had the best sail of the trip.  With main and jib, we were doing over 7 kts over the ground consistently with speeds as high as 8 kts in the gusts.  Island Time was maintaining about 10 degrees of heel.  Love this boat.

As we wanted to make Current Cut at slack to minimize the current which can get over 3 kts, so we had to slow the boat down as we would have been two hours early for the slack.

Spent the last week in Rock Harbor Sound waiting out the weather.  It was rainy and windy from Sunday through Thursday with tstorms on Monday/Tuesday.  Worst weather of the trip.  Rock Harbor was a nice little town.  Clean and neat with lots of flowers growing the the yards of the homes.  Lots of churches as we have seen throughout the rest of the Bahamas.  Especially noticeable since this is the week before Easter.  Went to the homecoming festival at Rock Sound.  Had many booths set up with great ribs and conch prepared many ways.

Sunday or Monday, its on to the Abacos across the Northeast Providence channel which is the Atlantic Ocean.  Wind should be 10-15 from the SW with 3-5 ft seas.  We will be heading north so it should be a comfortable sail.

Keep you posted on our progress.

John & Genie

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Eleuthera and on to Abacos Apr. 18, 2006


We left Warderick Wells (Exuma Park) for a 30 mile sail to the northeast across Exuma Sound to Rock Sound Harbor on southern Eleuthera Island.  We had a wonderful sail in 15-20 knot wind on a close reach with all three sails up.

Many other boats took advantage of the weather window.  When we arrived in Rock Sound there was only one boat anchored and within two days there were over 20 boats here.  What happens when more than five boats show up at the same time?  We have a sundowner party on shore where snacks, sailing stories and boat cards are exchanged. The local store, Dingle Motors provided the gazebo and the ice.

The area is decidedly different here.  There are more flowers and flowering shrubs. They must get more rain here.  The grocery store is well stocked and they even have a strip shopping center comprised of 4 or 5 stores with a well stocked grocery store.

We did get our first rain since we arrived in the Bahamas last February.  The rain was welcome as it washed three month worth of salt off the boat but the squally weather was not welcome.  A spell of bad weather moved in with squalls (30 knot wind), thunderstorms followed by three days of heavy winds.  So we sat out in the Harbor waiting for a “weather window.” Our last night in Rock Sound was their homecoming festival where we had some wonderful Bahamian food.

We left Rock Sound for Royal Island on the northern tip of Eleuthera a 60 mile sail.  We thought it was a good weather window but we had squalls and some wind gusts to 30.  Fortunately we were on the banks so we only had wind driven waves to contend with as opposed to open ocean swells plus the waves.  Even so we still had green water over the side of the boat.  We had one cut to go through.  These cuts are narrow and usually bordered by reefs that are sometimes below the surface of the water.  The cuts can be tricky as the tides flow through these cuts with strong currents.  For tide changes all the water that flows on or off the banks must flow through these cuts. To get to Royal Island we went through Current Cut where we tried to time our arrival for slack tide.  We arrived early for slack due to the wind and the speed we were going although we tried to slow down by reducing sail.

Royal Island is the staging area for boats waiting to go to the Abacos across the ocean.  Spanish Wells is near Royal Island but we skipped it this year as we lost time waiting for a weather window in Rock Sound.  We did explore Royal Island where the remains of an old abandoned estate can be found.  We only waited two days for a window to make the 50 mile ocean crossing to Little Harbor the Abacos.  The sea swells were down to 3’-5’ for the crossing but very little wind.  While waiting in Royal Harbor Benoit on Octopus (from our boat club in Vermont) arrived so we sundowners on his boat the night before we left.

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Great Guana Cay, May 2 May. 8, 2006

Hi All

We are in the Abacos in the Bahamas specifically anchored off Great Guana Cay near Marsh Harbor.  The weather has been really windy lately so we have stayed in the Sea of Abaco which is sheltered from the Atlantic.  Seas in the Atlantis were running 16 or more feet.  Since we didn't need to be anywhere special, we decided to stay put.  The next move puts us into the Atlantic through the Whale Cay cut which is experiencing a rage right now.  As we are on the Bahamas banks (shallow water 6-15 ft) which are open to the Atlantic in several small openings.  When the seas in the Atlantic are running, all this water tries to get onto the banks causing a rage which means breaking waves at 6-12 ft in height across the inlets.  Its nasty to get a small boat through the opening.  In fact in this area, one of the primary occupations of the residents was salvaging from wrecks on the reefs outside the passages.

We are leaving the Bahamas around May 15, 2006 (weather dependent) from Great Sale Cay and will head directly to Charleston, SC.  We had enough of the ICW on the trip down.  This is a trip of about 350 nmiles most of it in the Gulf Stream, which will give us a 3 knot boost in speed.  We calculate about 60 hours to make it to Charleston.  Needless to say, we are apprehensive (and excited) about our first long ocean passage.  There be no dragons out there (at least we hope).  After visiting my brother in Charleston, we will probably go to Beaufort, NC in the next jump.  Then we will stay on the ICW to avoid Cape Hatteras and go to Norfolk, VA.  We will probably skip the Chesapeake on the way north and go from Norfolk to Cape May, NJ in one jump.  Then on to Sandy Hook, NJ and then into the Long Island Sound via Hells Gate.  We are invited to a July 4th celebration at the Bristol, RI Yacht Club.

We will probably pull Island Time in New London, Ct in mid June to redo the bottom and other maintenance items.  Plans are to be in Maine sometime in July, hopefully the third week so we can get back to Vermont for the last week of July.  This will give us time to visit with Jack Drake in Southwest Harbor during early August.  Things are getting very busy after a leisurely winter in the Bahamas.

We are really looking forward to visiting Vermont in the summer to see our granddaughter and of course all our friends from MBBC.  We will keep you posted on our progress.

John & Genie


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Green Turtle Cay, May 6 May. 8, 2006
Hi All

As we are subject to the wims of the weather gods we are leaving tomorrow from Green Turtle Cay headed for Great Sale Cay to stage our return to USA.  We will leave from Great Sale Cay early Monday, May 8, 2006 headed for Charleston, SC.   If all goes well, we should be in Charleston on Wednesday, May 10, evening.  We will need a day to clear customs and immigration. 

John & Genie


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Great Sale Cay, May 7 May. 8, 2006
Its is Sunday evening, May 7, 2006 and we are staged at Great Sale Cay leaving tomorrow with 4 other boats headed for Charleston.  Based on our best guestimates we should arrive Charleston late Wednesday or early Thursday.  We will be in cell phone range and will call Beth, Jason, Peter and Donna and Tom and Betty during Thursday or Thursday evening to let you know of our safe arrival.

John & Genie


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Monday May 8 at 6:00PM, John and Genie Have Left the Bahamas May. 8, 2006
Its Monday, May 8, 2006 at 6:00 pm and we are off the Little Bahamas banks headed into the Gulf Stream.  Already picked up 1 knot of speed anticipating 3 knots at the center.  Should make Cape Canaveral area by 3:00 am Tuesday.  Then we decide to go for Charleston or bail out early at St. Mary's Georgia.  Depends on the weather.  North winds at 10-15 predicted.  We will go west of stream for a while during the period of north wind and see if they turn south again as predicted on Tuesday.  Keep you posted.

John & Genie


Editor: click on the following link

to track John and Genie's positions



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Northern Bahamas May. 8, 2006

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Alternate route to Charleston, SC May. 20, 2006

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Fernandina Beach Fl May. 20, 2006

It is Wednesday, May 10, 2006 and Island Time and Crew are in Fernandina Beach Fl (St Mary's Georgia) at the Marina.  The weather was not as forecast so we bailed from the Gulf Stream early to avoid sailing in the stream against a north wind to Charleston.  We did encounter squalls with thunder and lightening which are not pleasant in a small boat at sea.  Had a great ride in the stream for a while with southwest winds and waves pushing us at 9.5 knots speed over ground (SOG).  The revised forecast for northerly winds  was correct.  By the time the wind changed, we were at the western edge of the stream with the current at 1.5 kts.  This made really steep short period waves and a rough ride.  I am glad we weren't in the middle of the stream with the 3 kt current as it must have been miserable there.

We had a great sail last night and early today to  get here.  We meet our buddy boats and are going to dinner tonight to celebrate our successful stream crossing.  We will also plan our trip to Charleston when the weather is favorable.  Looks like this weekend.

John & Genie

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Cumberland Island, Georgia, May 13th May. 20, 2006
We are at Cumberland Island, Georgia waiting for a front to pass before going to Charleston, SC.  We did stop at Fernandina Beach for a few days waiting out another front.  Promise, one of the boats we are travelling with wanted to stop at Cumberland Island to see the horses.
John & Genie


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Abacos, Recap Jul. 1, 2006


We have neglected our blog and I will try to fill in our exploits since arriving in the Abacos, the Bahamas.  The Sea of Abaco lies between a chain of islands and the main Abaco Island so it is protected from the Atlantic swells resulting in a pleasant area to sail.  This area is a major cruisers mecca with its own cruisers net in the morning.



Little Harbor


We arrived in Little Harbor on Easter Sunday but could not actually enter the harbor itself as we had to wait for at least half tide as the entrance channel only has three feet deep.  We anchored nearby for the night and went into the harbor on the next morning’s rising tide. 


Little Harbor was the home for sculptor/artist Randolph Johnson who created many bronze sculptures.  His son Pete sill runs the foundry where bronze castings are still produced and an art gallery.  Of co**** there is Pete’s Pub, a well known beach bar, which served wonderful food.




Our next stop was Hopetown where we picked up a mooring.  Hopetown is a beautiful little town.  Island homes in pastels with a profusion of flowers and flowering shrubs.  The streets are concrete about one car width wide with narrow lanes as cross walkways.  There is a lovely lighthouse that is open to the public.  Great pictures from the top.  Captain Jack’s had a trivia contest where we teamed with crews from three other cruising boats (two of which are Island Packets).  These three boats we cruised with off and on for the next month.  Our trivia team came in second in the contest. 


Marsh Harbor


Marsh Harbor is a large harbor with good shopping and a great restaurant.  We reprovisioned the boat and sat out one cold front.


Great Gauana Cay


This island is best known for Nippers beach bar.  We bided our time here waiting for the Whale Passage to subside before continuing north.   The whale passage is an area where we need to pass through an area where we need to jump out into the edge of the Atlantic and then pass back into the Sea of Abaco.  When the Whale is raging large swells are breaking across the passage making the passage very treacherous. The condition of the Whale passage as well as all the other passages is announced on the morning net.


Green Turtle Cay


We easily passed through the Whale passage and anchored in White Bay in Green Turtle Cay.  Green Turtle has many reefs with great snorkeling.  There are 18 sites with mooring buoys where we could tie the dinghy.


Back to the US


We wanted to make the jump from Great Sale Cay, Bahamas to Charleston, SC.  The plan was to ride the Gulf Stream north and then jump off for Charleston.  The weather window didn’t hold for us (front came through with northerly winds) so jumped off at Fernandina Beach.  We spent several days at Fernandina; it’s a beautiful little town.


When the weather improved we did an overnight sail to Charleston and after a brief stay in Charleston (and a repair of the alternator again) we did another overnight to Cape Fear River in NC.  Going up the Cape Fear River we developed a rumble in the engine so we hauled the boat in Hampstead, NC where we found that the engine was out of alignment.  While we had the boat hauled we had the bottom painted.


We followed the ICW up to Norfolk with stops at Bellehaven and Coinjock (the home of the 32 oz prime rib).  While passing through Norfolk their Harborfest was underway with a huge boat parade which was going south and of course we were traveling north so we were definitely going against the flow.  The boat parade had private pleasure craft, navy and coast guard ships and tall ships including the Eagle.  The fire boats were spraying their water cannons and it’s very impressive.


We waited three days in Norfolk for weather window to go all the way to New York (48 hrs).  We were two days ahead of Alberto.  We timed our arrival in NYC to be at the battery two hours after low tide (4:40 am) so we could ride the current through hells gate.  We timed it well so we had an 11 knot ride through the East River to City Island where we picked up mooring.  The mooring belonged to a very nice couple we had met in the boat yard in Hampstead.


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