51 hour Passage to Great Inagua

Tuesday, March 24 to Thursday, March 26

We left the dock at Puerto Bahia Marina in Samana at 645am and put the Main Sail up in the Bay with one reef.  We motor sailed to punta de Genaro then crossed the Canadaiqua Banks and motorsailed NNE to Cano Samana and then turn WNW to Cabo Cabron about 8 nmiles away.  Then we turned towards Cabo Frances Viejo 45nm away sailing from 330pm to 6pm when the wind died again.  We started the engine at idle speed, about 1000 rpms and we maintained a good rate of speed.  We started doing 3 hour watches about noon which continued until I came on at 6pm.  Since I had a couple naps during the day, I was feeling pretty good so I decided to let Phil sleep until he woke up naturally, which was about 11pm.  Then I went down to sleep, but had trouble as the boat was rocking back and forth.  

Wedneday, March 25

Finally I was in a deep sleep and was woken at 4am by Phil increasing the  engine rpm’s to 1600.  I was NOT happy.  (Phil) I went down to sleep but with the engine on I didn’t get much.  It was ok as I had plenty of sleep on my last off watch.  When I came on watch sea conditions were very mild.  So at 9:32am I added 5 gal of diesel to Changes tank. As the morning progressed the wind slowly increased.  At 12:59pm we rolled out the jib and lowered the RPM to 1000.  At 1:22 we turned off the engine.  We had a favorable current and were sailing at 6 to 7 knots with 10 to 12 knots over the boat.  By 7pm the wind was up to 11to 13 and I went below for my off watch with 83.4 nautical miles to go.  At 11:44 after being up for a while I took over the watch.  

Thursday, March 26

At 12:01 as the wind was up I rolled up the jib to the second reef and the speed was 5.9 – 6.3.  At 4:43 I rolled up the jib and we were sailing with the main only at 5.5-6.3 with the wind at 13-15 knots.  At 7:08am Lorraine saw a sailboat ahead of us.  Once we passed them they started to follow us around the SW corner of Great Inagua.  We turned north and sailed to Matthew Town where at 8:57am we took down the main.  By  9:18 am we were anchored south of the town basin.  Shortly the white sailboat behind us anchored to the south of us.  They turned out to be Double Trouble a boat we heard called on the VHF radio at 4am. 


We rested some, though having longer sleep sessions at night really helped our energy levels for this passage so we weren’t exhausted.  A really nice bonus.  11am we had lunch, took a nap, then we got the dinghy and outboard into the water and went to town going in the small harbour carved out for the mail boat and freighters we found out later.  Inside there is a big sunken rusty boat and to the south is another smaller motor boat sunken on it’s side.  We got a ride to Customs and Immigration as the Immigration officer was in the parking lot.  Good thing, because we probably would have turned right instead of left a mile down the road.  We paid Customs $150 still as our boat was under 35′ though initially he asked for $300.  Then once we were done with Immigration, he drove us to BaTelCo, the Bahamian telephone company.  We bought SIM cards for our iPads ($16ea) and 2Gb data for $32 up $2 from our trip down.  We tried to use the BVI phone, but as was Digicel, it wouldn’t work here, so I bought a new flip basic phone for $32 they tell me will work in the USA with a new SIM card.  SIM card was $16 and I bought $34 worth of minutes that last 3 months.  Bahamian calls are $.23/min- US calls are about $.36-37/min.  About 1.5 hrs later we walked to town, sat outside the library and found free internet.  Then we were walking by the Morton Museum and a man, Henry, unlocked it so we could look.  We walked down to the General store and then turned around as it didn’t seem like anything interesting was down the street.  There were older elementary sge kids in the park either to practice track or baseball woth Mom’s arriving in their cars on our way back.   They are friendly here as A couple stopped and gave us a ride to the dock. and wanted our boat card.  There Jim was in a car to go to Customs even though we thought it was too late today as they are open 8a to 4pm.  We didn’t know at the time what was going on so didn’t say anything to him.

We rode our dinghy to home (Changes is our home) and hailed Linda on the radio about 630pm to tell her a boat was calling them about 4am.  They didn’t have a buddy boat and didn’t hear it, and for the life of me I can’t remember the boat name and didn’t write it down so we don’t know who it was.  They left from Luperon yesterday morning.  Later her husband Jim came by in his dinghy and said hi.  We invited him aboard. He was very friendly and we enjoyed chatting.  They are going north, so matbe we’ll be able to go together a few stops.  We told him about the boat trying to reach them on the radio and he didn’t hear it as he watches movies with headphones on during the night passage, so he didn’t hear them either.  We talked about our plans and made tentative plans to go to Alfred Sound and anchor inside the reef there.  

After we were back I opened a jar of the chicken I canned and added it to a pasta sauce mix and dumped in a can of baby carrots.  Hot food tasted good!  We just relaxed, read and checked more Internet until we went to bed.


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