Friday, April 24, 2009


IT IS 3 AM on Saturday morning, the boat is rolling and jerking, the wind is howling despite the fact that we are anchored in a protected bay behind TILLOO CAY. We are "locked up in Paradise". The weather forecast for the next two days remains the same. 20 to 25 knots from the East.......... and everyman and his dog is thinking..... so,............I'll take it anytime........ the color of that water is making me green with envy..... The plan has been to sail to Antigua by June (and I mean this year), then during the Hurricane season which runs from June to November, keep both ARITA and SVEA in a very protected anchorage in the mangroves. SVEA's crew would fly back to Australia, while the Queen and I would stay there to keep our eye on things. That was the plan. That's not the plan anymore. The UNSEASONAL WEATHER, the continuing cold fronts and Corina's advancing pregnancy have now caused us to re-evaluate. We will stay in the Bahamas until they fly out in June.
Yesterday marked a significant highlight. Despite the 20 knots of wind, the TREEHOUSE crew joined SVEA's crew and sailed SVEA with full main and genoa (that's the front triangular sail) doing a good seven and a half knots. A thrilling ride. They sailed back and forth in the Sea of ABACO, the first time that they have actually sailed SVEA. They were too far gone for us to take photos. Corina now has a good handle on "NAVIGATION". The photo to the right is the bowsprit of ARITA. THe anchor chain is held up by a "SNUBBER". The ropeline absorbs the shock-loading when the wind drives the yacht back and eliminates the noise of the anchor chain over the bow roller. Makes for peaceful sleeping in the front cabin. That round 'thingimebob' is the self-furling genoa drum. It has a line which when pulled causes the genoa sail to roll itself up on the forestay....... Very clever and ingenious...... and reliable.

Well....... We sit and wait.............. By Monday it should start to moderate....
(Someone's a poet .........and didn't know it)

THIS is TILLOO CAY, or at least one section to the left of us. The residences are scattered here and there and belong mostly to people living in the US. These are holiday and retirement homes, small but quaint, and built to hurricane standards. The ones that aren't are usually found afterwards on the beach in the next island in very small pieces. It is low tide and the base at water level is very hard calciferous rock and not to be messed with. If you double click on the photo you'll see a line hanging between two poles. That "clothes-line" is used to attach the speedboat so that when you pull the line you can " park" the boat in the middle between the poles. With winds out of the east, our side of the island is relatively calm, but over the little hill are some awesome waves, and the rocks in the breakwater, in the photo, attest to the fact that some protection is necessary for their docks when the wind is out of the west. There is a 3 ft. tide drop and the photo shows us at low tide. In sailing in waters mostly 9 ft deep you need to take note of that when you draw 6ft or more.

Spencer Miller, of the father & son team of "TREEHOUSE" fame, has fallen in love with fishing. He still has a girlfriend back in NY state, but fishing is just awesome. The rig is simple. A 130 lb breaking strain line with a swivel, a 1m stainless steel trace wire with a fancy pink skirt (seen better skirts on the QUEEN) and a lead weight followed by a vicious hook. Take a look at Spencer's smile, while holding his Port and Starboard fishing gear. He said it was the best present.... ever. We (that's a royal "we") feel sure that, that will change when he sees his girlfriend again.

The yacht "TREEHOUSE" is our next door neighbour. The crew is out sailing on SVEA. Last Monday the OBAMA team lifted some of its US embargos on CUBA and it is now possible to sail to CUBA. Perhaps our delay can now be turned into our good fortune because Cuba, its islands and its people, are most definitely worth visiting....

TREEHOUSE heads back for New York early next week and most assuredly all of us will miss them a great deal. They are two outstanding and honorable men, and it is "WE" who have had the best present of all.......

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