Waiting for the Weather Window

Wednesday, December 11′ 2013

We have spent the last 8 days at Lauderdale Marine Center (LMC) getting ready to cross over to the Bahamas. What does that entail? We bought food and other items that you can’t get or are very expensive in the Bahamas, waiting for mail, troubleshooting when said mail hadn’t arrived and then waiting some more for it to arrive. Missing a weather window and waiting for more mail. We received our last package this afternoon; Katie’s sweater that I made for her, but too big. So now I will rip it out and make a different sweater that I hope will fit her better. We have more mail arriving later which Ken is nice enough to get for us and bring to the Bahamas. It’s been hot here, not that friends and family up north want to hear about it with your cold and snow, but it’s in the low 80’s and humid, so the showers taken daily have been a great relief and a blessing helping us to sleep better. Our Caframo fans have been worth their weight in gold to us. I have noticed that it is cooler on our boat than on friends boats. If we are a little hot, on goes then fan. When are cooled down, off goes the fan and they go on and sometimes off frequently.

Last Thursday I had the luxury of having a TV to watch, So I watched the live performance of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood. There I met a man, Jim, who has a pumpout boat business (to take care of the holding tanks for the head toilets).
I spent Sunday and Monday in one of the offices in the Captains’s lounge (in A/C no less) making bright yellow diesel covers for the yellow jerry jugs. They took more time than I thought to make but I kept the pattern to make others if needed. I can tell they aren’t a money maker from all the time needed to make them. Our friend Ken on SV Sail Away docked next to us many days ago, so we’ve had dinner twice on his boat with me bringing the veggie and he’s been on our boat twice with him bringing the veggies and both times bringing a very special treat which is even more special when cruising — Ice cream!! You may not know it, but my little freezer on boats doesn’t keep ice cream frozen on boats. Only those that have an Engle refrigerator/freezer can turn it down low enough to keep ice cream from melting, and that not us.

Phil has worked on a broken Alternator brackets and being at LMC, he had access to All Points Boats right on the premises to get it welded while he waited. He also took the opportunity of having ample fresh free water to clean the deck and wash the topsides of the hull. Our batteries are topped off, which is very good. We’ve been able to wash clothes at the on site laundry, get new sheets after walking to Big Lots to get 600 cotton/polyester sheets, which I hear from my Women Who Sail FB group are better than 100%cotton for NOT absorbing moisture in the air.

We’ve been meeting a few new people. One couple, Alan and Diane, work on the big boats (100-200 footers) and gave some advice if we were interested in trying that for ourselves. They have upgraded a Morgan Classic 41′ which looks like a Morgan Out islander on the outside, but has a few differences inside and under the waterline. They have done a very nice job. They plan to cross to the Bahamas and go down to the USVI’s so maybe we’ll see them along the way.

So once we got Katie’s package we left the dock immediately at 220pm with Ken helping guide out the bow due to current. We are looking forward to seeing him this time with Jeanne over in the Bahamas hopefully for Christmas or New Years so we can go to Junkanoo together. This time going outbound through the bridges went more smoothly going through the 5 bridges through downtown Fort Lauderdale on the new River with minimal or no wait times once we went through the Davie Ave Bridge for a total of 20 min. We stopped at Lauderdale marine just inside the 17th St Bridge for diesel and frozen squid to use as bait. I’ve been told that using a 1″ long piece on the hook fools the fish into thinking he’s getting a good meal because it smells fishy. I hope they’re right! As I’ve said, I hope we catch so many fish and lobster that I get sick of it. We’ll see if it happens!

This morning I walked to Radio Shack leaving at 830am after Chris Parker weather to exchange the headphone ear buds. Just recently, I couldn’t hear out of one of the ears and this is the closet one to walk to. They exchanged it without problem, then I went to Big Lots to get a over-the-ear head phones as I continue to have the inside of my ear canals itch from some kind of allergy. Of course being close to the grocery store, I couldn’t NOT go, getting potatoes, onions and baby carrots. Of course this has to be the time that I didn’t wear my backpack. I always bring my backpack. I also met a gentleman named Gord from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He commented in my Tilley hat and we got to talking exchanging boat/business cards. He’s an interesting guy driving cars down to affordable for people that are staying here for the winter, but don’t want to drive. He looks to be in his mid 60’s to 70 if I had to guess.

I’ve started a new shawl made out of linen for myself. I also finished making our grandsons Henry and Calvin hats as requested. I hope they like them! I’ve also taken advantage of WiFi, which is best late in the day to watch some movies and The Voice.

Back to the crossing. The weather continues to be not the norm this fall. There are fronts after fronts and the weather windows have been extremely short not giving you enough time to cross or coming at the wrong time of day which is arriving at night in the Bahamas which is a NO NO big time. We thought that we would have a weather window to go to Bimini last night into today. We’ll it disappeared for where we are but appeared for those going the north route from Fort Pierce to West End Grand Bahamas or Memory Rock, we had expected to cross tonight, but winds were E 12-15 knots on a very close reach pounding up 4′ waves. NOT fun for us, so we are now waiting for the next weather window, this time we’re going to Miami Beach to wait. It’s nice to be back on anchor even though I do miss not being able to take a regular shower. Guess I got spoiled. Hopefully the next weather window will be Sunday with winds predicted to be south 10-12 knots, which is perfect. We’ll cross to Bimini and don’t know at this time how long we’ll stay. Our budget was more than blown last month with the boat expenses.

I was able to get the Magic Jack set up this time and now with my iPad, they have a Magic Jack app. I know it’s overkill to have TWO phone numbers, but didn’t realize that using the app gave me a second number. It’s all good and I hope it will make talking on the phone back in the States much easier and cheaper for everyone. I want you to realize that you’ll need to leave a voice mail message If we don’t answer, because we’ll either have to be close to cell phone service or close to WiFi Internet, which last time we were in the Bahamas, not all the time and especially when we were sailing from one place to another. We had to GO in the dinghy and walk to a place that has service to get on the internet and even them it was SLOW like the old dial up service. I’m hoping buying a SIM card for the iPads will help but I don’t know for sure.

Take are and I’ll update later.


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