October 29, 2010

Downtime's departure highlights!!

Hello everyone!
Finally have an Internet connection and some time to write. The trip started with a flight out on the 15th. On Saturday Tim and Bob arrived in time to haul 40 cases of miller light to the boat! Daria and I finished up at Costco to find the debit card maxed out!! ARG!!! Darn daily limits.... After hauling hundreds of pounds of stuff aboard Downtime and getting it stowed, we needed to get dressed for our farewell party!!!
Our friend James at Light Keepers marina organized a great little farewell
party!! We had a blast with all our fellow pirates.
Another two days of last minute shopping and we were ready to set sail. James and Mary thought it would be fun to make the first leg to Charleston, a mere 60 miles south. The plan was to tow his jet ski along and they could ride it back. Great plan, but the winds were not blowing the right way and the seas were rough! Two hours out the jet ski broke free and we had to rescue it!! We found it! James jumps in the ocean, breaking two ribs in the process and he secured a new line to the ski and we were under way again!!
The 6 hour 60 mile trip turned into 18 hours and 120 miles of beating into the wind! We made it to Georgetown to fine the jet ski swamped with water and not running. Sea tow to the rescue! James and Mary made it home safe, with a great story to tell! Day one!!
Thankfully day two the 19th was uneventful and we arrived in Charleston with out any other excitement.
After a nice meal ashore, topping of the tanks, and checking the weather we were ready for the trip to the Bahamas! We left Charleston at 10 am on the 22nd with a perfect weather forecast, 15 to 20 knot winds out of the north northeast for the next three days. we set the sails and did not have to change them or motor for the next two days! We covered 370 miles in 45 hours!
We arrived in the the northern Abacos on the 24th. These islands are 20 to 30 low ling rocks that are no more than 50 feet above sea level. We stopped at a few along the way. One was a place I found last trip were local fishermen sell fresh lobster. Ummm Lobster tonight!!!
Now with the freezer packed it was time to play! Kite surfing time!! Winds were good and the water warm off of Great Sale Cay. Good stuff!
Wednesday the 27Th we anchored at Pensacola Cay and broke out the dive gear. There is a reef 2 miles out that Tim I dove the reef looking for some dinner. After searching some 30 minutes we came upon a huge grouper!!! I pulled back on the Hawaiian sling and let it fly! Perfect hit!! The grouper took off in a flash with my spear in its side! Tim found it on the other side of the coral head. I reached in and freed the fish and bagged it!! My first Grouper!!!
Thursday the 28th we motored down to Manjack Cay and explored this beautiful island that this couple Bill and Leslie own. They have a self sustained off-grid life there. Solar power and use rain water to grow most of what they eat. The chickens run wild and the gardens are amazing. Not to mention they have the most amazing home. Beaches are pure white sands and no people! Paradise!!! Thanks for letting us share that Bill and Leslie.
Friday the 29th was time for Bob to go home. we anchored off of Green Turtle Cay and Bob caught the 7:30 ferry to Treasure Cay. Thanks for all the help Bob.