Last Modified:
June 17, 2008


Ship's Log, 2002
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Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)

       This Log is the journal of Callipygia's travels during our second year as live-aboard cruisers.

         The map to the left shows our cruising route. Click on it for more information.

         We began the year in Florida waiting for weather to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. After cruising the Abacos, we continued through the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos islands to Luperón in the Dominican Republic.

         This Log gives the latitude and longitude at the end of each day underway - or week in harbor - and describes navigation, weather, the boat and other issues that arose, and lessons we learned. Links embedded in the log's text lead to photos of our travels. These are assembled together on pages of the Photo Album.

          The log entries are reconstructed and summarized from Callipygia's Deck Log and Boat Notes which is where we documented our daily travels and travails.

[Click here to read about our travels in 2001]

Thursday, January 3, 2002
On the side of the ICW just north of Palm Beach, FL

          Lovely sunny uneventful motoring trip down the ICW on Monday from Melbourne to Ft. Pierce, except for grounding on way into Harbortown Marina--low tide meant we had to drive through the silt to get through the channel. Great fun watching pelicans dive (bomb) for fish just off our side. They seem to do a quick flip in the water and come up facing opposite to the way they dive in. Continued down the ICW on Tuesday since forecast for the day was east-south winds at 20 knots. Not conducive to going outside. Gritted our teeth to deal with 7 opening bridges. Weather was rough, 25 knots on the nose. After Donald Ross bridge, knock developed in the engine so slowed rpms to 2400. Seemed OK. Then we arrived at the PGA bridge about 10 minutes early, and while waiting for the opening found we had no transmission. Fortunately the dock at the PGA marina was very close by and we drifted over to it (favorable current) and tied up. The Ways Boatyard was about 200 yards upstream and they sent a power boat down to tow us in for the necessary repair. Crew of towing vessel did not have much clue but we made it into a slip at The Ways without any damage. Next time, in a situation like this we'd do better to have them tie close aboard on our quarter. Bruce from The Ways diagnosed the trouble this morning as a broken drive-saver on the transmission. Apparently, when all the engine work was done last spring, after the engine mounts were replaced, the lock washers on the front mounts were forgotten, so that the engine has gradually shifted out of alignment. We practiced the anchor dropping drill a few times since couldn't get the windlass to work when we were drifting in front of the bridge. Our good friend Ralph, who is in Palm Beach on Owyhee II waiting for us, drove to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up a new drive saver from Jerry's Marine Services and brought it back to The Ways.


Friday, January 4, 2002
Riviera Beach Municipal Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Bruce replaced the drive saver and adjusted the engine alignment in the morning, and we left The Ways at 2:10pm, motoring the short trip to Riviera Beach where we arrived around 3:50pm. Cold and sunny. 47.5 nm by the log from Fort Pierce, average boat speed 4.8 knots.


Saturday, January 5, 2002
Riviera Beach Municipal Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Strong (30+knot) southerly winds last night, put out extra lines and winched Callipygia into position in the middle of the slip. Concrete pilings and 6' tide mean constant adjustments. Made list of final todos in readiness for leaving Florida and heading across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. Rebuilt the Lavac head pump, it still leaks a little--meaning the vaccuum still is not grabbing. Then we noticed that the screws in the faceplate are not the same tread as the screws with the rebuild kit. Found that, thankfully, West Marine had a new pump in stock (Whale Mark V) identical to the existing head pump. Bought it.


Sunday, January 6, 2002
Riviera Beach Municipal Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Replaced the head pump. Finally it works. What a struggle--and all for the wrong tread screws.


Monday, January 7, 2002
Riviera Beach Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Checked credit-card transactions on the Internet. Made on-line payments. Bought 2 new, spare, 50' 5/8" braided docklines and 2 more 2-micron Racor fuel filters for primary diesel filters. Disagreement among experts as to what size filters should be on primary and secondary filters. We have two primaries, so can switch between them if necessary. We use Racor there, and Yanmar filters on the secondary filter affixed to the engine. We decided to stick with 2-micron on the primaries (even though it may put extra strain on the fuel pump) so that it protects the secondary filter better.

Helped Ralph haul himself up Owyhee II's mast (27' Vega) using the main halyard to the top end of a handy billy with the bottom of the handy billy to the Bosun's chair. Ralph hauled on the loose end of the line in the handy billy to slowly haul himself up, we (below) tailed the halyard, secured it periodically, and fed the line back to the handy billy ready for another haul up by Ralph.


Tuesday, January 8, 2002
Riviera Beach Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Cold and clear. We're tracking weather daily, looking at weather charts using the Internet connection outside the marina office. Put chafing gear on the bow docklines. Using chafing gear from roll of fire hose given to us by fireman in Maryland. Pat's infected toe is finally clearing up nicely--stresses the importance of disinfecting all cuts, whenever they happen. This has been going on for 3 months. She finished Cephalexin series, and will continue soaks and antifungal creaming for two more weeks.

          Dr. Clean Fuel came and "polished" fuel in the tank. Quite a bit of gunk in it. Printed out maintenance schedule and placed it in clear plastic folder. Put it with the inventory and Boat Notes in the lexan wall pocket above the nav station.


Wednesday, January 9, 2002
Riviera Beach Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Lovely clear, cool, morning. Manatee swimming near the boat, made eye contact. Screw on companion-way steps is loose. Got mail package forwarded by St. Brendan's Isle. Love getting mail only every 4-6 weeks, and all the junk weeded out. Went through it and identified items needing follow-up, including reconciliation of bank and credit-card statements. Made storm-preparation checklist and posted near nav station. Redid the Cetrek autopilot cables, butt splices with heat shrink. Seems to be working OK (cross fingers). Checked all engine hose clamps, tightened those that were loose. Added a quart of antifreeze to cooling system and adjusted the throttle. Adjusted the accumulator on the fresh water pump.


Thursday, January 10, 2002
Riviera Beach Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Had breakfast at Bonnie Lee's Coffee Shack. A bit of mildew on some books on shelves along V-berth. Wiped off and aired out. Greased windlass. Spent quite a bit of time trying to get laptop, Airmail software, SSB radio, and terminal node connecter to work together so we can get going with Sailmail for receiving e-mail via radio. Good help from Jim Corenman, he gave us his phone number and then talked us through everything. It works! Sent 1st e-mail message and wrote up protocol. Downloaded JVComm32 for receiving Weather Fax by radio. Serviced thru-hulls 1-8. Repaired companion-way step attachment. Ralph and Owyhee II left for the Bahamas, lovely day, good weather window for his crossing. We'll have to wait for package from Canada to arrive.


Saturday, January 12, 2002
Riviera Beach Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Practiced raising storm jib, added shackle to tack pendent. Serviced staysail deck fitting, secured shackle with seizing wire. Susan on Crescendo (Tartan 37') took us shopping with her to supermarket to provision. Tried out new riding sail, rigged with snapshackles and line. Aired out contents of sail locker. Filled port water tank. S/V Sandy's Beach, a Contessa 27',(Sandy on board) lost power and almost took out the Monitor windvane on our stern. 4 white ibises in the marina park. Manatee, zebra fish, and eels very visible in water near us. Looks like we're ready to go, weather window possible early next week.


Monday, January 14, 2002
Riviera Beach Marina, West Palm Beach, FL

          Windy and overcast. Looks like we'll leave tonight if weather aligns with forecast and package arrives. Refueled (30 gallons) but very tough getting into fuel dock, wind and current contrary. Pumped out holding tank. Wind instruments not recording on the Datamarine readout display. Engine not charging the batteries. Checked with e-meter, looks like regulator is faulty. Wire behind the battery switch was disconnected. Lengthened wire and reconnected. Problem resolved.


Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Old Bahama Bay Marina, West End, Bahamas

          Left Riviera Beach Marina at 2340 last night. Very very choppy going out the Fort Worth Inlet. Had to take evasive action round dredger working in the channel. Too rough to get reefed main up, so motorsailed with yankee only. Cetrek autopilot non-functional so we took watches of about an hour, quite uncomfortable. Not quite so bad once we entered the Gulf Stream since wind is southerly. Course of 135 degrees to offset current, rhumbline of 098 (magnetic). Readout on Datamarine for wind instruments working intermittently. A few squalls (rain, lightning) around the edges of the Stream. Lessons Learned: If the actual weather doesn't comport with the forecast, don't go -- or if you do, turn back when the conditions look like they're going to be miserable. Arrived a little south of West End at 1030, first sight of "tropical" island. Lovely. Docked at customs next to Old Bahama Bay Marina at 1109. 76.5 nm by log. Avg Boat Speed 6.5 knots. Entrance to West End easy to find and enter. Checked in with Customs, and made reservation for 2 more nights at Old Bahama Bay Marina ($1 per foot). Nowhere to anchor. Cruising permit good for 90 days.


Thursday, January 17, 2002
Old Bahama Bay Marina, West End, Bahamas

          Yesterday we rested and explored. Borrowed marina push-bikes and pedalled into village of West End. Found someone to sell us some conch, and after asking around, finally figured out how to cook it. Soak in salt water, rub off slime. Hammer the daylights out of it between plastic bags. Bring to boil, throw water and foam out. Then fried it up with onions, tomatoes and made stew. Yummy. Today we took bus to Freetown and wandered around the tourist area, International Square and Port Lucaya. Sailmail e-mail through our marine SSB radio is working like a charm.


Friday, January 18, 2002
Old Bahama Bay Marina, West End, Bahamas

          Biked into the village and had delicious lunch of stew beef with rice 'n peas and macaroni and some "boil up" from lady in shack by the sea. Printed out weather fax schedule. Swam, then played on a Hobie Cat off the beach at the Marina, on the bank side of the island. Just the right amount of wind, great fun.


Saturday, January 19, 2002
Lat 28 deg 55.2min N, Long 078 deg 37.3 min W, anchored in 8' off Mangrove Cay

          Left West End this morning at 0810 in dead calm. Motored (main up) north to 2 nm south of Memory Rock and crossed the Little Bahama Bank to Mangrove Cay. Tedious with no autopilot. Motorsailed, beating into 10-12 knot southeast wind. Anchored on west side of this uninhabited Cay at 1530. 47.8 nm by the log. Avg boat speed 6.5 knots. A Tayana lookalike from Canada (we later learned it was Chinook with whom we became great friends) and a steel ketch anchored nearby soon after.


Sunday, January 20, 2002
Lat 27 deg 00.7 min N, Long 078 deg 12.4 W, anchored in 12 feet of Great Sale Cay

          Front came through last night around 2am and put us on a lee shore for a while, but wind backed round to S by morning. Engine cranky about starting, think key connection is loose. Left Mangrove Cay at 0900 and motorsailed into wind, 10 knots, with main reefed flat for balance. Arrived Great Sale Cay, anchoring in 13 feet on west side of this uninhabited island at 1330. 24.4 nm by the log. Avge boat speed 5.4 knots. Had a nice swim, skinny dipped, only boat here. Prepared navigation notes for tomorrow.


Monday, January 21, 2002
Spanish Cay Marina, Abaco Islands

          Left Great Sale at 0800, motor sailed on close reach to Spanish Cay, came into marina at 1445--nowhere to anchor. 46.3 nm by the log. Avg boat speed 6.85 knots. Wind 15-20 knots from southeast. Surprised by lack of wildlife in Bahamas so far, saw one soaring bird (Magnificent Frigatebird). No fish. Automatic bilge pump switch had been left in "off" position, pumped out bilges from crossing. Design defect for this switch, too easy to leave in middle "off" position, between automatic and manual. A few fuel hiccups en route. Had nice walk around the Cay, saw a few birds, including a red-legged thrush--quite beautiful. E-mail from Ralph, he and Owyhee II are in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay.


Tuesday, January 22, 2002
On mooring, Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Islands

          Filled up with fuel and water, then left Spanish Cay Marina at 1053 and motor sailed to Green Turtle Cay, light wind on the nose, timed arrival with tide to make the entrance to Black Sound on high water. 18.1 nm by the log. Average boat speed 5.8 knots. Ralph met us in the entrance in his dinghy, barely enough water for our 5'8" draft. Picked up mooring at 1400 hrs in front of Other Shore marina ($7/nite, showers $3) not too far from Owyhee II. Put Portabote together and went ashore and walked around New Plymouth. Interesting little town. Trim rod in the Yamaha outboard not working right, fixed it. Split rings on courtesy flags, holding them to shroud, do stop the flags from chafing--but they rattle the shrouds too much. Removed them.


Wednesday, January 23, 2002
On mooring in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Islands

          Think we've figured out how to get the weather fax. Watching the weather (listening to the marine forecasts, and the various nets, making station observations, and now getting fax) can take up quite a bit of the day. Wrote up an outline of what we'd like to see in a "Weather for Cruisers" course, e-mailed it to Jim Favors at Nautech. Explored New Plymouth on foot. Think we'll stay here for a bit. Black Sound deserves its name, though, given the number of boats in here and no pump-out facilities....


Thursday, January 24, 2002
On mooring in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Islands

          Took ferry across the Sea of Abaco to the Treasure Cay ferry terminal, then a taxi to Treasure Cay resort. Not a "real" place, though has a lovely beach which we spent some time on. Ate turtle stew (yum) at a lunch shack at the ferry dock--then discovered that turtle are endangered. Inquired of ferry driver advice for making the Whale Cay passage (Sea of Abaco is too shallow for us inside Whale Cay so we have to go outside it). He said last year a big power boat tried to go inside because it was too rough to get through the passes to go outside, but it went aground and in 2 days was pounded to pieces, all that was left was the engine. A few years ago a local freighter decided to go out the north Whale Cay pass, everything was calm inside on the Sea of Abaco, but big Atlantic swells turned the freighter on its beam in the pass, 2 crew were lost.


Saturday, January 26, 2002
On mooring in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Islands

          Spent much of morning, Friday, studying how to use the radio, inventorying the frequencies for all its channels, learning how to program channels more effectively. We passed our Technician Class (the lowest level) exam for ham radio in Melbourne, Bill passed the Morse Code--it all came back from his Navy days copying code. Now we're studying for the General Class exams. Visited by 6 begging ducks this morning, 1 mallard, 3 white, 2 brown and white. We went on Owyhee II with Ralph and sailed under spinnaker up to Manjack/Crab Cays. Dropped hook, lunched and had short swim. Slow reach back to Black Sound. You get more sailing on a little boat. Seems like all we do on Callipygia is motor sail.


Sunday, January 27, 2002
On mooring in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Islands

          Inventoried all our lines, decided what we didn't need and gave extras to Ralph. Went to Internet cafe and did usual end-of-month financial routine--check credit card transactions, bank activity, pay bills, etc. Brought dinghy aboard, broke down and stowed, and fastened dinghy motor to stern pulpit rail. Settled up with the Other Shore Marina for mooring, showers, and water.


Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Lat 26 deg 32.8 min N, Long 077 deg 03.6 min W, anchored in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

          Dropped mooring in Black Sound at 0757 and headed out on high tide into Sea of Abaco. Hailed vessel exiting Whale Cay passage, good report. Passage fine, raised sail for stability, a bit rolly but not bad. Starboard jibsheet winch is rough, needs serviced. Owyhee II with her shallow (3') draft passed inside Whale Cay OK. Back into Sea of Abaco south of Whale Cay and anchored in Baker's Bay at 1015 for lunch and quick swim. Other boats anchored nearby: Owyhee II, Chinook again (we haven't met them yet) and Scot Free. Left Baker's Bay at 1215 and motored to Marsh Harbour, wind on nose, dropped anchor at 1430 hours. 22.4 nm by thge log. Avg boat speed 4.9 knots. Wind on nose, 12-15 knots.


Wednesday, January 30, 2002
Anchored in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

          Used leadline to check depth. Electronic depth sounders probably gives us about 6" - 8" more than it reads. The leadline measures 6'8" to first knot. Motored to Harbour View marina and refueled and filled up with water. Showers are $2 and washer/dryer $3 each. Reanchored further into the harbour. Screws to Bill's glasses come loose, tighten with Locktite. Ken and Cathy from Kahlua, 30' Baba, stopped by. Put together and launched dinghy and went ashore for a bit. Owyhee II arrived and anchored nearby.


Friday, February 1, 2002
Anchored in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

          Major thunderstorm last night, hung copper lightning conductor from shroud into water. Leak from the front port corner of the hatch onto the V berth. Fixed lights in the galley area to resolve intermittent problem. Fixed switch on light at nav station. Cleaned galley and head. Sailmail working nicely--great to get e-mail without going ashore.


Saturday, February 2, 2002
Anchored in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

          Went to Batelco and sent Fax to Service Center, USA, (distributor for Cetrek autopilot) to see if we can get it fixed. Can't reach them by phone. Nowhere to pumpout here either, so sanitation goes into the harbour. A lot cleaner than Black Sound, however. Cleaned engine and 'frig raw water strainers. Drops of fluid under the transmission. Repositioned hose to cockpit bilge pump. Oily stuff in the bilges, needs cleaning. Cleaned and polished some of the deck metal.


Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Anchored in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

          Windy last night, frequent gusts to 25 knots. Looked like we were dragging, too close to Hunter nearby, no room to let out more scope. May have just been change in wind direction, but reanchored just to be sure. Took turns with anchor watch during the night. Cold, needed blankets. Cruiser's Net every morning here on VHF 68 at 8am. Replaced/tightened screws on stanchions that found loose yesterday when polishing. Local bakery here has delicious meat patties. Dinghied over to Marsh Harbour Marina to see "Captain" Pat McFadden at Merlin Electronics re replacing the Cetrek autopilot. Looks like its going to be impossible/too expensive to fix it. If we replace we'll be sure to get one that has a decent support network. Merlin is a Simrad dealer.


Wednesday, February 6, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Eric and Nathalie from Malulani, another Tayana 37 stopped by. Nice young couple from Montreal. Ralph and Owyhee II left for Little Harbour. We came into Harbour View Marina, best option for while all our visitors are here. "Captain" Pat from Merlin came to look at autopilot set up, will give us quote to install new Simrad. Winbook computer battery is not holding a charge, need to run off inverter all the time--sometimes produces a bit of radio interference, but still works to do Sailmail. Mailed request to St. Brendan's Isle to forward our mail to first set of visitors. Looks like we scheduled them a bit close together.


Sunday, February 10, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Replaced part of lid to one of the cockpit lockers with new marine plywood. Cleaned cockpit. Met Liz and George on Cavu, Tayana 42, acroos the dock. Finally figured out how to download weather fax by radio using JVComm32. A bit clugey, but it works. Getting the hang of the radio community and all the nets. Ordered installation of Simrad autopilot. Will take a couple of weeks for the hardware to arrive and complete installation. Much time lately spent reading weather books, looks like it could be a lifetime's study--let alone all the radio stuff. Consuming about 4-5 hours a day between collecting data, interpreting it, and trying to understand what it all means. Beginning to get hang of the local weather patterns and implications.


Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Came on high tide into Harbour View Marina. Nice facilities (part still under construction), friendly place. We'll stay here for a couple of months, be home base while visitors are here. Watched fire (?house?) in the distance. Second since we've been here. Made list of drills we still need to practice. Replaced fresh water filter at sink, replaced filter housing since it had a small leak. Updated inventory.


Saturday, February 16, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Bill's brother Joe and friend Maggie have arrived and will be here for nearly 2 weeks. Good we're in marina since neither are boat people. Took ferry to HopeTown with them today, a neat place. Watched the entrance closely for clues for when we bring Callipygia in. Cool and windy this morning, ran the Webasto heater for 15 minutes. Completed mapping SSB user channels. Cleaned off mildew from ceiling liner at front of V-berth. Scrubbed some teak.


Saturday, February 23, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          This week we have: sent tax info off to Rorie to file our tax returns. Maggie cut Pat's hair (short!). Visited Kahlua for happy hour, learned about Kahlua's history. Attended SSB/Radio and Bahamas weather seminars at the Jib Room (put on by Jim and Julie of Iolani, WD-40 for the Mind) and subsequently order the book Passport to World Band Radio from Don on Deja Vu did weather part, retired from NWS. Excellent--he does local weather outlook every evening on the VHF. Printed out some boat cards. Met Doug and Kay on Obsession. Made and printed weather (fax and voice) schedule. Worked through all housekeeping details that arose from the batch of mail brought by Joe and Maggie. They went on a 1/2 day kayak and snorkelling trip with Abaco Ouback.


Saturday, March 3, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Busy week. Wiring for Simrad installed. Cold front came through early last Sunday morning, recorded winds at 48 knots from west. Up at 2am for a couple of hours putting out extra lines, chafing gear, recovering dinghy that was swamped, cleaning off the outboard motor which got dunked, and making sure properly fended off dock pilings. Lost an oar. Pat mashed 3 fingers. Rubrail damaged where chafed against a piling. Little Bristol Channel cutter across dock from us came adrift, regained and retied it. Bill tripped and fell into water, hauled out safely. Finally late Sunday weather clocked round to the north and calmed down in the overnight.

          Lesson's learned: if morning routine suggest bad weather in the offing, don't miss the evening weather report; orient dinghy to face into expected wind; remove contents and motor; don't stand where a tightening line on the dock can upend you; double the docklines before a storm and put chafing gear on them; use fenderboards if dock doesn't have floating docks; carry spare dinghy outboard motor sparkplugs on board. For all our studying, we still have things to learn the hard way.

          Joe and Maggie left on Tuesday. We have determined the Portabote is just not suitable for this kind of cruising. The hull fabric has sheared at hoisting points, the transom is delaminating. Very unstable in any kind of sea. Very unweildy to set up and break down, takes up too much space to store on passage. Costly lesson. Decided to replace with an inflatable--though will be sorry not to have dinghy sailing capacity. Investigated options for purchasing inflatable. Prohibitive taxes/import fees to purchase here. At Chris's (Harbour View staff) suggestion, spoke with Jay at Arawak Agency, customs broker, very helpful and learned that crew may be able to bring it in as luggage and avoid fees. Talked to Mary, arriving March 11. She talked to airlines re excess baggage, and ordered inflatable from West Marine, they repacked it to meet baggage requirements, she'll bring it with her. Walked to newish Marsh Harbour Boatyard to investigate repair of rubrail. On VHF Net the Boatyard has been getting excellent reviews.

          Bill's son David arrived on Saturday afternoon, March 2nd.

Saturday, March 10, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Decided on dates for home visit in April, ordered tickets. Found dates for General Class (ham) license exam in Md. Made list of todos while back in US. Bill attended WD-40 for Mind seminar on engines. Suggestion picked up is at anchor for running engine to charge batteries, put it in reverse and run at 1200 rpms. Put's load on engine and checks the anchor is holding well. Lawrence from Boatyard gave us quote on fixing rubrail, made tentative plan to haul before we leave for US. Sent order to Blue Water for charts/guides for Windwards and Leewards, to be mailed to Al who arrives on March 20. Did routine engine maintenance. Weather is windy, cool, and dreary, quite a bit of rain last week. Refilled water tanks. Practiced MOB drill. Adjusted flag for MOB pole on the backstay. Purchased lumber for fender boards. Took boat out on Friday to check Simrad which Merlin installed. Didn't want to go at low tide, but"Captain" Pat said we had sufficient depth. Allowed him to overrule our good judgement. Big mistake. He insisted we go, then went ahead and let go the lines before we told him to--and we went hard aground. Harbour View boat eventually pulled us off, did it backwards--concerned about rudder damage. Lost control of our boat to others. Lessons Learned: Don't give up control of your boat to others under any circumstances; be assertive with other people who think they know how to handle your boat better than you do; refuse to go our at low tide if dubious; insist on waiting to float off when aground if your judgement says that's the best course. We went out and did the test and completion on the Simrad and returned to the slip, Pat still fuming! Arranged for Brown Tip to come and look at the bottom and the rudder. All looks OK. We'll get it thoroughly checked out at the Boatyard when boat get's hauled in a month.


Saturday, March 17, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Bill and David rented motor-bikes for 1/2 a day and went exploring last Sunday. David left on Sunday, Mary arrived on Monday. Did laundry in between, cleaned cockpit and dodger windshields, cleaned deck metal. Transmission fluid is overfilled. It's extremely hard to read. Unpacked new dinghy, inflated it, and launched it. 10' Avon made for West Marine, with high pressure floor. Much more stable than Portabote, which we donated to Jerry on S/V Poppie--he'll take back home and use on a lake. Windy week, yet again. Rented car for a day and went to blue hole near Treasure Cay. Lovely spot. Drove south to Little Harbour and ate lunch at Pete's Pub there. Not enough water to get Callipygia in. Visited Cherokee Sound, Casuarina Pt., Crossing Rock, and Bahama Palm Shores. Couldn't find any parrots. Went to Winding Bay to swim. Delightful.

          Reserved a mooring at Hopetown, and took boat there on Friday. 7 nm each way. Wind on nose about 12 knots, arrived on high tide and no problem getting through the entrance. New dinghy towed nicely on bridle. Walked to north point of Elbow Cay, then back and up the light house. Snorkelled at reef on Atlantic side and great walk on beach. Watched big sloop go aground on way into the harbour. After much struggle, it was finally able to power off backwards. We went back to Marsh Harbor today, motoring all the way--no wind.


Saturday, March 23, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Sunday, went snorkelling at Mermaid reef. Not bad. Mary left on Monday. Al arrived on Tuesday. Laundry in between. Had planned to go to Hopetown with Al on Wednesday, but weather in tank so didn't go. Thursday, went on a day kayaking and snorkelling trip with Abaco Outback. Excellent, snorkelled in a blue hole near Snake Cay, lunch on the Cay, and then drift-snorkelled back on the incoming current/tide into the lagoon. Learned a lot about the flora and fauna in the mangrove swamp/lagoon. Hauled our kayaks through the mud when tide went out--like being in quicksand up to the knees. Al went on a birding walk with Abaco Outback--found a fair number of birds to see. Mostly what we've seen are Magnificant Frigatebirds and Laughing Gulls. Watched a Frigatebird terrorize some gulls hanging around a fishing boat and steal their pickings from them. Volunteered for a few hours for SNIP and AARF (feral dog support group) which had a spay clinic. Front came through Friday, much rain and wind. Studying hard for General Class test, Pat studying morse code also. Met Grace, John and little Brittany on trawler Hemingway. Took Al on Ferry to Hopetown for the day since weather not cooperating. Message from Ralph, looks like he's unable to join us for trip to DR in May.


Saturday, March 30, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Motorsailed over to Man O' War Cay on Tuesday morning, about 4.5 nm. Interesting and very narrow entrance to the harour, which was extremely crowded. Went aground trying to pick up the only available mooring. Trying to back off, wrapped dinghy painter round the prop/shaft. Bill dove down and cut it loose. Lessons Learned: Always bring dinghy tight in behind when coming into harbour even if using polypropylene line; pay close attention to chartlets in cruising guides to identify shallows in harbours; and don't be misled by other boats/mooring balls into thinking the water is deep enough if there is any doubt. Waited out the tide to float off, and picked up another mooring for the night. Walked around the Cay to the Atlantic. Flag halyard broke (chafed through) and lost SSCA burgee. Returned to Marsh Harbor on Wednesday. Put up new flag halyard on Thursday. Bought new lines for the dinghy. Made arrangements with local to strip varnish off teak in preparation to doing it with Honey Teak. Significant Other (Mike and Jan) pulled into TJ's fuel dock, spoke to them briefly. They were in the New England 600 with us. Frame to Pat's glasses broke. Abaco Optical closed until April 15.


Saturday, April 6, 2002
Harbour View Marina, Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island

          Planning trip south, identifying acceptable weather conditions to make the passage to Luperón. Maybe we'll make it to Trinidad by July after all. Learning that everything takes twice (three times?) as long as one expects. Made phone calls to kids last Sunday (easter). Made list of all possible hurricane holes from Luperón south. Made a card for each with description and navigation details, as well as chart and cruising guide references. Firmed up details of haul with Marsh Harbour boatyard. We'll have to go in on a high tide, prefer either a west or light east wind. Inventoried charts, practiced using the Monitor wind vane, wrote up cheat card for it. Huge "stink-pot" motor cruiser pulled in on next slip (M/VGrand Lady). Had to stop work on the teak because of its concerns about dust. Inventoried all charts and cruising guides, and printed out list. Finalized list of todos while in the US.


Saturday, April 13, 2002
Marsh Harbor Boatyard, Great Abaco Island

          Assembled new oversized Fortress, storm anchor. Read instructions and identified how to put sea anchor together. Spent some time with Bob and Midge from Bobcat. Midge orchestrated a group of us to paint, and did the design, for the mural behind Harbour View's new swimming pool. Bought looking glass (glass bottomed bucket). Cleaned dinghy bottom and stowed it. Cleaned out 'frig ready for hauling. Tide and wind conditions adequate for Wednesday to get into the Boatyard. Left Harbour View at 7am that day and motor-sailed round to the Boatyard, arriving 8:55am with the tide. 8.5 nm by the log. (About 1.5 mile walk across the island). Windier than we expected and tough maneuvering in the tight quarters of the basin to get into the well for hauling. Lift design required loosening the forestay to haul the boat. Powerwashed the bottom, and moved boat into work area. Ian, yard manager, very attentive to every detail. Very helpful. Gave us a key to use the yard head, primitive, but adequate. Inspected bottom (measured and found we draw 6' exactly, not 5'8" as we thought). Repair needed where shaft exits hull, and at rudder edge where last-minute repair was made when launching in Deale. Zincs need to be replaced. Bottom to be painted, rubrail repaired, dinghy motor davit installed, lubricate the Max Prop. Mechanic will work with Bill on 500-hour engine check. Developed and wrote out work order for the yard to do over the next two weeks. Manius worked on teak sanding and cleaning. A big fire in "the Muds", the Haitian neighborhood, in Marsh Harbour burnt several houses including one next to his. Bill left for Halifax yesterday. Windy and gritty in the boatyard.


Saturday, April 20, 2002
Marsh Harbour Boatyard, Great Abaco Island

          Windy at the Boatyard, long walk to town. Long walk for showers--back to Harbour View Marina. Pat flew to DC on Tuesday. Bill arrived there from Halifax Wednesday. Visits with family and friends. Shopping. Take care of business matters. Organized fall visits, using up our frequent flyer miles. Identified potential extra hand for trip to Luperón since we still lack confidence, especially out of US waters.


Saturday, April 27, 2002
Marsh Harbour Boatyard, Great Abaco Island

          Arrived back in Bahamas on Thursday. A very busy time back in the states, not enough "down" time. Pat got new glasses. Got through customs with all our boxes. Put away and inventoried all the supplies. Finished teak preparation work where Manius left off and applied 3 coats of Honey Teak and 2 coats of Clear. Ran out before we could finish everything. Looks terrific, we worked hard.


Saturday, May 4, 2002
Harbour View Marina , Great Abaco Island

          Boat went back in the water on Monday, still a few things to do so parked against the edge of the basin. Bill and Boatyard mechanic serviced the engine. Checked everything out--sink drains not working. Lesson learned: Prior to launching, open through hulls, inspect from outside and hose water into them to make sure they are free of mud, grime, and barnacles. Left Boatyard on Wednesday on high tide, and motor sailed back to Harbour View. Strong onshore wind meant we needed tow to get bow off the wall in the basin at the Boatyard. Good boatyard, but not easy getting in and out. Brown Tip came and dived down and cleaned all thruhulls out. Finalized arrangements for Bill Byrd to crew with us to Luperón.


Saturday, May 11, 2002
Lat 26 deg 41.1 min N, 077 deg 09.4 min W, Anchored in Baker's Bay

          Did final provisioning, and prepared sailing directions to Luperón. Filled up water tanks and jugs, and diesel tank and jerry cans. Changed drinking water filter. Contentious election in the Bahamas--Abacos race very close, required recount. Great excitement among the residents. Bill Byrd arrived on Wednesday. Cleared out of customs on Thursday, checked everything in readiness for leaving. Weather not favorable to go offshore, so Friday went for trial run on Sea of Abaco, checking out Monitor, etc. etc. Anchored for the night in Marsh Harbor. Today, sailed up to Baker's Bay and anchored here for the night.


Sunday, May 12, 2002
Anchored in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

          Nice sail down from Baker's Bay yesterday. Did laundry. Looks like weather window good tomorrow to leave for parts south. E-mail message from Kahlua, had bad experience trying to go from Rum Cay to Mayaguana. Lost engine, big seas, much seasickness. Turned back to Clarencetown Long Island.


Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Riding Rock Marina, San Salvador Island

          Left Marsh Harbour at 1257 on Monday, after refueling and topping up the water tanks, and deflating and stowing the dinghy. Headed out North Man O'War cut with the tide to get favorable current. Encountered Lady Bug (Ed and Cheryl) in the Sea of Abaco--they're on their way into Marsh Harbour. Nice surprise, we saw them last in Melbourne! Exchanged waves and shouts. Motorsailed close hauled with reefed main and jib, using Windvane to steer for first several hours, then used Simrad autopilot to make rhumbline to San Salvador. Winds 10-15 knots from the southeast, seas 4' - 5'. Very pleasant. We took 3 hour watches, and arrived off San Salvador early this morning. Tricky to identify cut into the marina, but once found not a problem to enter. Tied up at the small marina after refuelling at the fuel dock, where we arrived at 0925. 246.4 nm by the log, avg boat speed 5.4 knots. One other sailboat there, and a few fishing boats. Went ashore for breakfast. Walked into Cockburn Town and tried to see where Columbus landed. Didn't find it. Met Eric and Judy on sportsfish Miner Detail, gave us 1/2 a dolphin fish to cook for supper. Yum.


Saturday, May 18, 2002
Lat 22 deg 49.2 min N, Long 074 deg 20.9 W, anchored off Crooked Island North of Landrail Point

          Left Riding Rock at 0850 Thursday morning headed for Mayaguana. Motorsailed under reefed main and staysail, beating into fairly big seas. Too uncomfortable so at mid-day altered course for Crooked Island for a more comfortable ride. Dropped anchor in lee of Crooked Island at 2005. 66.4 nm by the log, avg boat speed 6.1 knots. Radar very handy for in-the-dark anchoring. Autopilot quit around 1600. Two other boats here including a very small boat, somewhat like a Bristol Channel Cutter (Passat). Wind not favorable so stayed here yesterday, hailed local boat, Don on Low Rider, on VHF and got ride to Landrail Marina (very small basin for local fishing boats only) for lunch at the Seaside Cafe. Marcia Gibson, cook, very nice lady. Jimmy Buffet's boat went by offshore. Very isolated place.


Sunday, May 19, 2002
Lat 22 deg 43.3 min N, 073 deg 52.9 min W, anchored in Atwood Harbour, Acklins Island

          Left anchorage off Crooked Island at 0430 and motor-sailed on a beat (once round the point, wind about 25 knots, seas 5-6'), anchoring here at 1357. 42.8 nm by the log, avg boatspeed 4.5 knots. Narrow entry through the reef, no boats in this uninhabited bay. 3 boats arrived after we did, Spanish catamaran, small motor cruiser, and Passat, the 24 foot cutter we saw at Landrail. David from Passat swam over to visit for a while. Front heading our way. Considered options, since Atwood Harbour is a bad place to be with northerly winds/swells. Decided to wait until wind is southwest ahead of the front and ride it as best we can. Engine starter switch acting up again. Worked on it, replaced screw and cleaned electrical connection. Talked on radio to Buddy on Unlimited Mileage in the evening--winds 30 knots in Marsh Harbour, raining hard.


Thursday, May 23, 2002
Lat 21 deg 39.7 min N, Long 072 deg 28.2 min W, anchored off West Caicos Island

          Launched dinghy on Monday and explored Atwood Harbour. Front is forecast to stall about 150 nmiles NW of us. Seas lumpy and skies very unsettled. Fed David from Passat lunch and sent e-mail for him. Arnie came by from the little power boat--are having electrical problems. Decided to leave Wednesday probably. Seas built up during the day Tuesday, very rolly. Could definitely see why wouldn't want to be here in a northerly. Left on Wednesday morning at 0830, not a great forecast but no future in staying in that anchorage under expected weather conditions. Decided to skip Mayaguana and go to Caicos Islands. Motorsailed with reefed main and staysail. Engine died at 1934, west of Mayaguana. Put out jib and kept up speed, wind from the east, but can't make rhumb line so had to tack back and forth. Sailed through the night, a few squalls but not bad--although not progressing very fast towards Caicos. Monitor windvane worked great. Decided to bleed engine in the morning (guessed air lock in the fuel line), took about an hour, pretty rolly, but was successful and engine started again at 1200--by which time wind had shifted to the southeast and we were barely making much headway torwards Caicos. Considered options for anchoring at Caicos, since it might be near dark when we get there. Selected West Caicos as most prudent stopping point. Dropped anchor at 1740 this evening in lee of island, in 40' with 170' of chain out, close into the rocky shore, three other boats visible. 178.3 nm by the log, avg boat speed 5.1 knots. Good shelter so long as wind doesn't shift round with any west in it.


Friday, May 24, 2002
Lat 21 deg 45.0 N, Long 072 deg 10.0 W, Caicos Shipyard and Marina

          Left West Caicos at 0750 and motored up the coast, no wind. Saw flock of flamingo flying parallel to coast, easily overtook us. Turned into Sandbore Channel at 0905, wind picking up a bit, clocked round to the south. Decided not to anchor at Sapodilla Bay since wind is onshore, continued on and turned north to find channel to Caicos Shipyard. Didn't see markers (not on chart) until too late, bottomed on shallows briefly right before the cut into the Shipyard. Tied up in the hauling basin at 1350. 25.4 nm by the log, avg boat speed 4.2 knots. Look like about 8-10 other sailboats here, tied along the wall beyond the basin. Customs officials arrived at 1630 and cleared us in, and 2 other vessels. We got temporary visa for 1 week, if we stay longer we'd have to pay $100 for 90-day visa. Weather outlook not promising for trip to Luperón in the next few days.


Friday, May 31, 2002
Lat 21 deg 27.7 min N, 071 deg 38.1 min W, anchored off Six Hills Cay.

          Spent much of the last week exploring the Provo (Providenciales) area in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Rented a car for a couple of days since everywhere is really spread out. Refilled propane tank, water tanks, fuel tank. Changed O-rings on deck fills. Moved boat from haul area round to dock, in front of Chinook of Canada. Met Brian, Debbie gone back to Canada for couple of weeks. Explored the area round the Shipyard on foot. Bad weather in the NW Caribbean, Jamaica has had a huge amount of rain, lots of flash floods. Bill Byrd left to fly back home, were glad for his moral support in leaving the Bahamas, but we're well on our way to the Caribbean now, don't need it any more. Socialized a bit with other boats docked here--easy with such a small group. Ate potluck supper together one night. Did laundry. Saw sportsfishing boat Miner Detail come in to be hauled--had hit reef on way into Turtle Cove marina on north side of island, oh dear--two holes in the hull. Spent plenty of time watching/listening to and discussing weather. Looks like window opening up on Friday. Northstand and Sunshine will leave Saturday, they are faster than us. Chinook and we will travel in contact to Luperón, following same general route.

          Left Shipyard with Chinook at 0635 this morning, good tide, followed markers out onto the Caicos Bank. Generally following the advice given by Bruce Van Sant in his book, The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South which explains how to most comfortably (??) make the trip against the prevailing winds from the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands. Also Steve Pavlides Guide to the TCI. Followed the route across the banks pretty much as laid out on the Waveyline Chart, going southeast to waypoint 21/30 North, 72/05 West, and then turning east to uninhabited Six Hills Cay. Two dolphins accompanied us quite a bit of the way. Motor sailed, with eye out for coral heads all the way. Some dodging around to miss them. Anchored in 12' in lee of Six Hills at 1443. 46.4 nm by the log, avg boat speed 5.7 knots. Small power boat there before us, Chinook came in about an hour later.


Saturday, June 1, 2002
Lat 21 deg 11.6 min N, 071 deg, 15.1 min W, anchored in lee of Big Sand Cay

          Left Six Hills at 0730 and picked our way round coral heads to get off the banks, going north of the island into the Turks Passage. Light southeast wind, so motorsailed all the way across and anchored in lee of uninhabited Big Sand Cay at 1236 in 16' of water. 29.9 nm by the log, avg boat speed 5.9 knots. Go for a nice swim, very clear water. Chinook comes in soon after, then two other boats, Trekka and Mystic Jade. Sunshine (catamaran we met at Caicos Shipyard) hails us and Chinook on radio, wants to buy some fuel from us so he (Roger) can make Puerto Rico. He stops by and we each transfer 5 gallons to him, then he leaves to continue on in these favorable conditions. We review trip to Luperón and decide to leave late morning tomorrow, so as to arrive early Monday morning in good light.


Monday, June 3, 2002
Lat 19 deg 54.0 N, Long 070 57.2 W, anchored in Luperón harbour.

          Up early and antsy to be on our way, so leave Big Sand Cay at 0815 even though we know it's too early. wind starts out southerly, switched to north west, then east. Light winds all the way, but since we have plenty of time we turn off the engine and sail slowly close to the rhumb line for about 5 hours. It's hot, so we take our clothes off. Then wind dies, and we power up near dark and dodge some thunderheads coming off the Dominican coast. Radar on for the squalls, and also to catch traffic. We have seen very little since leaving the Bahamas, but expect more as we approach the DR. Reduce RPMs and slowly motorsail on reduced RPM's through the night, dodging some traffic in the early morning arriving off Luperón around 0500. Hoisted the Q Flag. Wait until the light improves and overtake Chinook, Trekka, and Mystic Jade who arrived ahead of us, and we lead way into the entrance to Luperón harbour. Not easy to find. Photo and instructions by Bruce Van Sant combined with the radar helped us to pick out the way in. Enter the harbour area and turn right into the anchorage and, after grounding briefly in some shallows, and with advice of Mike on SeaComber picked an anchor spot, being careful to set the anchor to the east. Anchored at 0730, 109.6 nm by the log, avg boat speed 4.7 knots. Anchor will take a few days to really set in the mud of this mangrove lagoon, and the trades blow strong during the daytime in the harbour. Went ashore to clear in with Customs and Immigration, raised the DR courtesy flag. 744.7 nm by the log from Marsh Harbour, 22 days enroute, including 11 days waiting for weather, and made 7 stops.


Sunday, June 30, 2002
Anchored in Luperón harbour

          After spending a few days in Luperón, finding out what a sweet (and cheap) place it is, and learning that many boats here planned to stay for the hurricane season we decided there was no point in pushing on to the south coast of Puerto Rico. Luperón is by many accounts the safest hurricane hole in the Caribbean. Therefore we went through a bit of a mind adjustment and decided to stay here for several months. In June we: paid close attention to the weather (several hours a day) so as to understand the patterns and sources of information; sounded out depth in Cano Escondido, a lagoon off the main harbour, and reanchored there to get releif from the wearing strong daily trade winds (often to 30+ knots); made an awning complete with grommets to provide shade over the coach roof (although it's too small); met numerous other boaters; developed a daily routine for living for an extended period at anchor; discovered the delights of daily hot bedtime sunshowers in the cockpit; put chafing gear (fire hose) on the anchor snubber; booked tickets to make visits to friends and family in the fall; made arrangements to take Spanish lessons from the Iguazus, nearby Canadian boat; watched a couple of boats come loose in the anchorage and almost wreck some other boats; learned the DR transportation system (interesting, convenient, cheap, and crowded); visited Puerto Plata and Santiago; spent time on the beach; ate at Bahia Luperon; did assorted routine maintenance tasks; and generally settled into a new way of living.


Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Anchored in Luperón harbour

          This month we: made arrangements for Roger on Hanoah to take care of Callipygia while we're gone in the fall; visited the waterfalls; continued Spanish lessons and spent many hours daily studying and practicing language skills; visited the eye doctor in Puerto Plata to heal an eye sore that Bill developed; had the prop and shaft cleaned every three weeks by Steve on Tangara; met Bruce Van Sant; ate lots of rice and beans; sweated a lot; took care of routine boat chores (daily: charging batteries, running 'frig. periodically: rewatering and refueling; checking transmission); walked a lot; read a lot; ordered more Honey Teak supplies (they never arrived); visited Puerto Plata and Santiago again; wished we were sailing more; and socialized with other cruisers.


Saturday, August 31, 2002
Anchored in Luperón harbour

          This month we went with Brian and Debbie from Chinook, and Sylvia from Violet, on a 5-day mule-assisted climb/trip up Pico Duarte. We also wrote up the notes from a meeting of cruisers on Hurricane Preparedness, and continued our Spanish studies. We made a three day bus trip to Santo Domingo and wandered round the old city and visited museums. A beautiful, if trash-filled beach. We found it a bit hard being in the same place all this time and wished we were sailing more, but somehow didn't dig up enough motivation to go for day sails. The heat was de-energizing, and we slept and read a lot. We continued to enjoy local Dominican cuisine, and socialize (mildly) with other cruisers. We walked quite a bit. We made a list of todos to prepare Callipygia ready in case a hurricane struck while we are gone. We removed all the sails, inventoried all our lines (260 ft of chain, 1,700 feet of nylon line, 430 feet of polypropylene line, 720 feet of dacron line (retired running rigging); and 250 feet of miscellaneous line. We made bungie snubbers to use with dacron line, which doesn't stretch. We kept Callipygia's and the dinghy's bottoms clean, and did normal boat maintenance. We made a list of the items to do and to purchase while we're back in the US in the fall. Pat taught Bill and Hanoah to play bridge; we dealt with a growing encroachment by weavils by throwing out a lot of infested dry goods.


Thursday, September 5, 2002
Leaving Luperón

          Having prepared Callipygia as best we could for our absence, and the possibility of a hurricane, we are leaving her in Roger's capable hands. We talked through with him a plan in the event... After Roger dinghyed us and our luggage to the Puerto Blanco Marina, we took Jose Andre's taxi to Puerto Plata airport and flew to the US. We took away one suitcase of books and clothes no longer needed on the boat.


Saturday, November 23, 2002
Back in Luperón harbour

          We're back home having travelled a lot of miles and made many visits. Bill went to Halifax, Massachussetts, and Maine to visit friends and his family. Pat went to Minneapolis and Juneau to visit her grandkids. Both spent time in the Washington DC area with friends and family there. Pat volunteered for a week at Covenant House. We together went to Australia for 3 weeks to visit Pat's brother. We used up most of our accumulation of Frequent Flyer miles. We made medical visits and got teeth cleaned. We got new glasses. We dealt with insurance (health and boat) issues. We learned how and developed this website. We forgot some of our Spanish. We brought back several boxes of excess baggage with boat supplies, books, and things needed from home. Hurricance season has been very mild by all accounts. Some of our friends have left for Puerto Rico already. We're very happy to be back on Callipygia.


Tuesday, December 31, 2002
anchored in Luperón harbour

          We thought we'd be long gone from here by now, but.... here we are. Current plan is to leave on the evening of January 6th assuming weather window holds up. Since returning we have unpacked, stored and reinventoried all that we brought with us, and put Callipygia back together ready for sail. We ran into unanticipated problems with the refrigerator and the dinghy motor. After much expert advice and checking everything out, the refrigerator problem is not finally resolved. Seems to be electrical, possibly the solenoid. For the time being it is working adequately, however. We were without dinghy motor for 3 weeks, which meant every trip to town involved rowing to the marina and then walking in. About 50 minutes each way. Bill learned more about refrigerators and outboard motors than he ever wanted or expected. Much as we love Luperón, we're more than ready to be moving along again. Compiled annual cruising statistics for the year.

Click here to continue reading the Ship's Log in 2003


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