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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Long Island Update from Water Cay

The locals in Salt Pond and Thompson Bay were told there is a rumor that there is nothing to do on Long Island. We chatted with Basel and he said a boater told him such is the word among the boaters. Just because the Long Island Breeze shut down does not mean all is lost. Penny is now doing the cruiser net every morning, somewhere between 8 and 8:15 am, depending on if she gets distracted in her garden. Her call sign is 'Fair Haven' and she has a house off Thompson Bay with a green roof and solar panels. She keeps everyone informed of current events in the area, as well as the basics like where to dump trash. Long Island Petroleum (LIP), as we mentioned before, has repair goods and even 134A if you need to top off your refrigerant. Basel's daughters and brother run the place, but you can often find Basel there helping pump gas. LIP is also where the propane truck stops every Wednesday to fill boater's tanks. Next door to LIP is the new regatta site/cultural center. There is a sailing club that meets now and again and they have graciously installed FREE wifi that anyone can use, anytime, while sitting in the shade of their covered seating. Just look for 'chesterfox' and there is no password. The folks in the tourism office are really helpful and have now created storage for a book exchange. We met Craig and his wife at Seafarer Marine. We were blessed to find out that he answered the call to be the pastor at First Assembly there in Salt Pond. They have worship services on Sunday at 11 am and Bible study at 7 pm on Wednesday nights. We attended both and were blessed by it. Craig also has a construction business - busy man. Basel's other son, Marty, has a plane and flies charters in/out of Long Island. The grocery store usually has what you need, if not just ask. We wanted coconut bread and they ordered it for the next mail boat. We got four loaves for our trip to the Jumentos. On Saturdays, there is a farmer's market. We loaded up on locally ripened tomatoes, local bananas and locally made jams such as pineapple, mango/coconut, and papaya/passion fruit jam. Perfect on coconut bread. There is a roadside restaurant called 'Sou side,' a lot of folks meet there for happy hour on Fridays. There is also a woman that runs a gift and liquor store and she will post mail, which she did for us. Everyone that hitch-hiked to points north or south got rides. The islanders are friendly and helpful. The holding in the bay is phenomenal. So if anyone says there is no point in going to Long Island, you straighten them out!

We had hoped for good winds to sail to Water Cay. For the most part we saw upper teens, gusting more. But we were enveloped by 3 out of 4 of the squalls we saw along the way, which steal the wind, then spit it back at you at some odd direction. Sails up full, then reefed, then mizzen down. Much work. The seas got big and sloppy and we should have reefed the main at one point. We were hand steering for a while. When we turned on a different point of sail, I figured the auto pilot could handle it again, but a few good gusts with peaked seas and she made the main do a quick jibe and back. I saw that something was different with our wind vang. When Myron investigated he found that one of the blocks that gives us 20 to 1 purchase on the boom vang had broken its weld and exploded. Jettisoned. We have no idea where it went. It departed the boom vang and we are just glad it did not hit us or anything else on the boat, like the solar panels. We both scanned the decks, not a single ball bearing to be found. Myron has already made a fix on it, but we just found it mighty curious. We will ask Garhauer about it when back in the states.

There were at least five boats behind us, including our Dutch friends on 'Sark.' Early bird gets the closest to the beach. So we are tucked in and will probably get the least amount of surge, but I imagine there will be room for everyone. Pretty hard to find anything really protected at Water Cay. It is typically an overnight stay before heading to better anchorages further south. We may stay more than one night, however. We prefer that the seas calm down more before we cross the Man of War Channel.

Time to make a coconut water/ginger beer drink, relax and watch everyone else come in.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}23°01.78'N|075°42.88'W|2/22/2015|3:13 PM{GEND}

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