Monday March 30
Miles Traveled, 4.0 nm
We had decided to go back to Matthew Town to get Lorraine’s phone fixed and pick up some water and groceries. We had met a German couple Karl and Hanne on SV Silberwowe who needed to go to check in and invited to come with us on Changes. We picked them at 9:05am to go with us. With no anchor windlass Karl and I pulled up the anchor with a stiff 16-21 knot breeze. Good thing he was there to help as we also had a side bridle on that needed to be removed. We set out at 9:15am motoring towing the dingy with motor on it going dead downwind. After we went 1.8 miles at 9:37am we turned around as we didn’t think that we would be able to get back going dead upwind in these winds. Once heading back I uped the RPM to 1800 to keep the speed at 4 knots, wind was 24.7kt at 1degree to Port, but now we were going UP the waves. 3 min after we turned around, we saw the outboard motor in the water. It pulled on the gas tank and we thought it was going over too. Phil immediately put the engine in neutral but it was too late the outboard disappeared in over 1000 ft of water. (Phil looked at the chart to verify) What a catastrophe!! The dinghy and outboard motor is like our car at home taking us to land from Changes sometimes a mile away or more from when we needed to go! Now we’ll have to row until we can buy another.
On our way back, Phil maneuvered Changes right next to Silbermowe so that Karl and Hanne could jump off onto their boat and then we anchored about 100 ft from our original anchoring spot by 1012am.
We stil needed to go into town, so got our the oars and Phil rowed us to the dock. Karl tried to tow us, but as he tied it to the starboard corner of his dinghy, it didn’t work. I came prepared with a cooler that had water and sandwiches in it for us. We decided that we would walk to the Morton Salt complex and hope that we would meet someone on the way as it’s a 10 mile walk to town. It was a sunny, hot day and there aren’t many trees, and the ones here are thin long needled pine trees that didn’t provide much shade. Karl and Hanne are good walkers, and were usually 100 ft in front of us. Every mile seemed like 2 miles, but we kept walking as there wasn’t anything else we could do. We did pass Henry Nixon on his truck going towards us as we were getting close (1 mi away) from Morton Bahamas complex, but as he and his passenger had something to do, would be available to help for another 2-3 hours. He suggested we go to the security gate and see if someone could help us. That’s good, but the road to this gate is around the complex and on the other side. Here the unique smell from the salt pone was present, and it gave Phi a chance to smell the smells that I smelt on our tour.
It took us at least 1.5 hours but once to the security gate, we went inside and spoke to the woman guard. She made some calls and said that there wasn’t anyone that could drive us into town and would we please stand outside the gate. We move and fortunately there was a raise half wall made of stone around the Morton Bahamas sign so we waited there. there was the huge semi sized tractor trailer dump trunks that the salt is put into when scraped off the dried salt ponds. Karl ran to one before we could say anything to him, but of course, they couldn’t help. Then a company pickup truck came by going to town, but they have a rule that people cannot ride in the back in the bed. By this time we were wondering if anybody was going to be able to help us. I said a prayer to God, then a pick up truck pulling a flat bed trailer came by and Phil flagged them down. It was Vince and Mark and they said they would help us if we paid them some money. YES!! They backed up and removed the flat bed trailer from the truck, then Hanne and I rode in the cab with Vince and Karl and Phil rode with Mark. The road was bumpy and the dash board was rattling away, but eventually we made it to paved road with Karl and Hanne being dropped off at Customs and Immigration and then Phil and I dropped off at BalTelCo. We ate our sandwiches and the last 2 pieces of brownie while they got my phone working again.
I walked to the Library to use WiFi and Phil was waiting for our German friends at BaltelCo. Turns out it took too long, so Phil came to the Library (which was A/C and cool). Then we though this is taking too long and I called the Baltelco office. Good thing that we checked my phone by calling their office, so I had their phone number. Karl and Hanne had been there about 30 min ago. We checked the grocery store knowing they were going to stop there. The had just left a few minutes ago to go to S and L Restaurant. We started after them and saw them up the hill too far aware to hear our voices especially with the wind blowing away from them. We met them there inside the restaurant about 3pm and decided to eat some more with them. They were so happy to see us and we were happy to meet up with them again. Phil and I split a hamburger and fries and our friends had chicken dinners. Everyone was so thirsty that plenty of cold beers were had and I had 2 cokes. We had left it that Vince would pick us up again. He called a couple times to see if we were ready. I called him when we were starting to walk to the Grocery Store. We made our purchases while he waited while Phil walked to the water plant buying 10-1 gal jugs that was made there for $16. Expensive but we didn’t know where else to get more water. All in the truck, Vince drove us back to the Dock, picking up his friend Spike, and helping us carry the water jugs to the dock. We got back to the boat about 530pm It cost $20 to town and $30 back to the dock, but was money well spent and split between the 4 of us.
Back to the boat, we relaxed. Phil’s toes were sore as fine sand were in his tennis shoes (he didn’t wear socks) and caused blisters under his big toes under his calluses. We had cheese and crackers about 8pm and turned in bed about 10pm. I guess we are cruising partly for the adventure, and we sure had one today!!!!