Thursday, May 31, 2012


We pulled in to Fernanina about 2:00 this afternoon after 2 days 6 hours of travel.
The plan is to move to Cumberland Island for a few days then over to JAX.

Posted via wifi.
{GMST}30|40.223|N|081|28.151|W|on a mooring ball|Fernandina Beach{GEND}

Almost There

Position as of 9:14 am 23 miles to St Mary's inlet.
It has been a great trip and our companion boat Joint Venture has been with the whole way.
Dena will update after we get in.

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}30|23.929|N|081|05.630|W|Underway|To Fernandina{GEND}

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Position Report

Another great day of sailing till the wind died as forecasted so we are motoring.
All is well.
Our position as of 9:09 pm.
Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}29|19.437|N|080|10.728|W|Underway|To Fernandina{GEND}

Position Report

Our position as of 9:03am 5/30.
Sailing north in west winds after bumpy night.

Posted via Ham Radio.
{GMST}28|03.591|N|079|20.435|W|Underway|To Fernandina{GEND}

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Position Report

This our position as of 9:08pm.
We are having a great sail winds from sw at 15-20kt.
Switching reports to 9am and 9pm because of conditions on ham bands.

Posted viaHam Radio.
{GMST}27|27.086|N|078|21.531|W|Underway|To Fernandina{GEND}

Noon Position Report

Our position as of 11:57 am 5/29.
All is Well

Posted viaHam Radio.
{GMST}26|58.133|N|077|26.301|W|Underway|To Fernandina{GEND}

Good Start

Hold Fast sailed out of north Man a War cut this morning at 7:00 and we are doing well.

Posted viaHam Radio.
{GMST}26|48.033|N|077|11.458|W|Underway|To Fernandina{GEND}

Monday, May 28, 2012

Heading Home

There is finally a weather window to go to Fernandina Beach and we are taking it. The plan is to leave Man A War tomorrow morning and out the cut then toward St Mary's Inlet about 3 days travel. I will try to post noon and midnight positions.
Dena and I are excited to be heading to JAX.

Peace too all

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Comfortable in Man-O-War Cay

We have been bouncing back and forth between Marsh Harbour and Man-O-War Cay. It was a pleasant surprise to find that we just happened to be in MOW Cay for all the days of the missionary conference at New Life Bible Church. We heard from a number of individuals who reach out with the gospel and help the ‘least of these’ (Matthew 25:41-46). It was a great source of encouragement as well as good contacts. As we travel, we submit to service to God on a daily basis and have no idea how He might use us. Out of deference to those we encounter, we do not share their names or stories in our blog.
Lots of folks tell us we are having unusual spring weather in the Bahamas. They say April and May are normally mild and favorable. To the contrary, we have been experiencing strong winds, heavy rain or both. I think it has been raining for over a week now – something that might be expected in June. This weather has made route planning from here to St. Mary’s inlet very difficult. There have already been two named storms in the eastern Pacific and one named storm in the western Atlantic. We are currently waiting on a low that developed out of the Caribbean and should come over us tonight or tomorrow. It has a 60% chance of becoming a tropical storm. We had hoped to be in the northern Abacos by now, exploring new areas such as Crab Cay, Fox Town, Double Breasted and Walker Cays. Those plans have slipped away while we wait out this low. We know of many boats in the Abacos waiting for weather windows to go north, south and east – none of which look much fun right now. We are carefully watching and planning around weather.
We have found that it is easier to be patient waiting here in MOW Cay. There are a few reasons for that: Not only do we get good internet, it is protected and comfortable in here so we can dinghy to shore and get off the boat periodically. Also, we are on a mooring right next to Barb and Barry. This afternoon they had us over for Barb’s key lime pie. Some people excel in a specialty and Barb has key lime pie well covered. It is the best pie ever! Barb also taught me to make pine needle baskets.

Patience is easier to come by when I have fun craft projects keeping my hands busy – and it is a big plus when the project does not require juice from the batteries. Our solar panels are nice and clean from the rain, but cannot contribute if they do not see the sun. The Honda 2000 is quite handy except we must bring it in out of the rain. A rain cover for that faithful generator is another item for the project list while in the U.S.
Tonight we had a wonderful curry dinner with Brad and Sabrina aboard ‘Joint Venture,’ a Beneteau 39. We have crossed paths with them over the last few months and it was good to finally spend time with them. They are a young couple and we wish them the best. Among our discussion topics tonight was possible weather windows for sailing north as we had all hoped to get some time at Cumberland Island in early June. We would sure like to see some normal weather soon!
[Personal Note to Jonathan and Ellen on sailing vessel Cupcake: You folks were the only vessel we knew in route to Beaufort, NC when tropical storm Alberto formed along your path. You have been in our prayers. Please leave a comment to this blog to let us know your welfare. We can read comments but not respond, so please also provide your contact information.]
Love to all,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Marsh Harbour
We are happy to be back in Marsh Harbour, especially when it comes to procuring fresh produce and CHIPS! Without chips, ceviche is not at its best. We caught up with old friends and are quickly meeting new friends. Many folks are stepping off the banks from here (North Man-O-War Channel) and heading to the Chesapeake. Some of these visits include a long goodbye.
We may be here a bit to take care of some errands. In the meantime, here are some pictures to enjoy.
Hold Fast and Motu on moorings next to Thunderball Grotto (Staniel Cay):

Stephen and Marja with us overlooking Exuma Sound outside of Staniel Cay:

A flurry of sharks benefiting from someone’s successful fishing day (Staniel Cay):

Myron aka ‘Pig Whisperer’:

A content piglet:
Us at our sunset observation post (aka atop aft cabin):

A turtle swims by us on the mangrove canals at Shroud Cay:

Fresh water well at Shroud Cay (actually an expansive cave system that forms a natural cistern):

Our first wahoo:

Small mahi on same fishing trip:

Bull mahi, last catch of the day:

Posted via wifi.
{GMST}26|32.833|N|077|03.371|W|Anchored|Marsh Harbour{GEND}

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lynyard Cay

Our plan was to get rested before today's travel. Inside Royal Island Harbour, it was as if we were in a slip, we barely moved yet still had a nice breeze. We slept very well! We weighed anchor by 6:30 am and were motor-sailing with full main and jib - as we expected to do for the entire day. To our delight, the winds filled in from the southwest. They held for most of the day and then headed us at the last, resulting in a tight reach the last few hours of the run. In all, it was about a 10 hour day. We fished but mostly caught grass, reminiscent of our trip in the other direction almost four months ago. We did catch an amber jack, but Myron felt it was too small and released it.
We have not had internet since we were at Black Point. Nor have we disposed of trash or done laundry since April 17th and the only groceries we have purchased since Black Point was a dozen eggs, four tomatoes and two popsicles (and that meager bag cost over $20). One of the things we really miss are corn tortilla chips. We like to make fresh salsa or ceviche if we have the fish or conch, but we prefer to have it with chips. We tried making some with Maseca, but it just is not the same - and it took HOURS!
According to the weather forecast, we may be best served if we anchor in Marsh Harbour the next couple of days. We are surprised that cold fronts are still making it this far south so late in the year. The positive side is that it is not too hot!
We just finished another fish dinner with Thai noodles, peas, and then chocolate pudding for dessert. I am in some kind of food stupor combined with exhaustion. After a shower, I have no doubt sleep will quickly overtake me.
Love to all,

Posted via wifi.
{GMST}26|22.008|N|076|59.232|W|Anchored|Lynyard Cay{GEND}

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Royal Island Harbour

What a blessing to wake up this morning to a full moon still on the horizon as the sun was just making its daily debut. I could not rouse Myron to the sight so I took a few pictures and soaked in the scene as much as possible.

Last night we realized that we picked up another ramora. We suspect he joined us as we worked through the Highborne Cut when Myron was cleaning our last catch of the day. During our fish dinner, I heard a splash next to the boat and figured we had some kind of visitor. When dinner was over, I tossed the fish skin and bones overboard and out came the ramora to snatch up the scraps like a pet dog. I figure the early splashes were likely impatience at our delay of giving him dinner!

Today we took a new route: the Fleming Channel. It was dreamy calm and not nearly the volume of coral heads to avoid as the Current Cut route. We gave up counting star fish. I saw one that had six legs instead of five. We tried to spot conch as we cruised along but they were all too small for the taking. We again succumbed to the temptation to drop anchor on our route and take a swim around a coral head. The current was running but not too strong. When Myron jumped in he saw our ramora was still with us. He was not aggressive at all, rather shy enough to hide on the other side of the boat as we swam toward him. We only indulged ourselves in a 20 minute swim as we wanted the benefit of the ebb tide through the Fleming Channel.

Once through the channel, Myron dropped a line overboard and was horrified to see that our ramora went after it. Thankfully, he was smart enough not to take it. How horrible to hook our pet. He did, however, appear not to make it back to the boat as we sped away.

We are anchored inside Royal Island Harbor. Myron will work out weather and routing for Little Harbor, Abacos after we post this blog.

Love to all,

Posted via Ham radio.
{GMST}25|30.939|N|076|50.617|W|Anchored|Royal Harbour{GEND}

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fishing and Ship Channel Cay

The prospect of this long awaited and unborn fishing trip made for interrupted sleep last night. I had doubts the winds would actually subside. In addition, we are having spring tides. Today was a negative 1 foot followed by a high of 3.6 feet. A more than four foot tide change can make the cuts a bit of a handful. As a result, we planned to hit Norman's Cut at slack high, about 7:30 am this morning. We were anchored about an hour from the cut. Needless to say, we were busy preparing to get underway well before sunrise.

We prayed about our fishing today and we thank God that He provided. And He provided in a big way. Shortly after exiting Norman's Cut we hooked a wahoo on a pink and black jethead. It was a wrestle to get that powerful fish on the boat, secured and bled. As Myron began to butcher it we hooked a female mahi on a black and purple jethead (first female mahi on that color). We landed two fish in less than an hour just north of Norman's Cut. We still fished but were mostly focused on dressing out the two catches. Our fishing drove us all the way north of Highborne and back south to Norman's. We also fished in the rips from the cuts and were constantly cleaning sea grass off the lures. We got a hit back toward Norman's but no hook. Although we were ready to call it a day, it was best to stay out on the sound until the rips in the cuts had ceased. Back down toward Norman's Cay, Myron decided to drift sail in the light winds and bide our time for the change of tide. He was bringing in a lure to check for grass when something hit it and got off. He was still putting away that lure when the reel on the other pole gave notice of a hook. It was a bull mahi on the pink and black jethead. What a day and God made it well worth our two delays of a week each (one in Staniel Cay and one at Norman's Cay.)

We had all the fish dressed and put away, Hold Fast cleaned up (butchering fish on a rolling sea is very messy business), and were anchored at Ship Channel Cay before 2 pm. We are a bit wiped out and I can see it will be an early night, as tomorrow we have visions of sailing the Fleming Channel to either Current Island or Royal Island. One thing seems for sure, we are having fish tonight!

Love to all,

Posted via Ham radio.
{GMST}24|48.617|N|076|49.796|W|Anchored|Ship Channel Cay{GEND}

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back at Normans

We had a rolly night at Allens so this morning we sailed back to Normans and plan to stay until the sea calms down a little for our fishing trip off of Highborne. Then we plan to sail up to the Abacos. These are plans based upon the weather behaving and lately it has not been 'having' at all.

This weather has given us an opportunity to get more time of Hold Fast in her sailing groove. Both yesterday and today were beam reaches. We were towing the dinghy without its engine and held over six knots and were often seeing seven knots. She is such a forgiving boat and keeps reminding us that she is a joy to sail. The other day, with all three sails pulling, we passed a catamaran. It was a sad day for that cat. I must also point out that it is a joy to sail on the banks. We have only to deal with wind chop as there is no real swell.

Still we hope for a very calm day, under ten knots, to conduct some prime fishing.

Peace to all,

Posted via Ham radio.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Allens Cay

Hey all, Dena and I had a nice sail up to Allens from Normans today. It is blowing around 20 kts out of northeast and the anchorage is a little rough. We will tuff it out for tonight. We have some pictures to share but they will have to wait.
That's all for now.
Peace to all,

Posted via Ham radio.
{GMST}24|44.940|N|076|50.261|W|Anchored|Allens Cay{GEND}