Friday, December 31, 2010

Moving cars

We sailed over to Guana Cay today for a New Years eve banquet. Just after we had dropped anchor, (what looks like) a WWII landing craft came into the harbor and pulled up to a dock where a car was sitting.

There was a crane on the landing craft and it went up and over the car.

Then they positioned a cargo net under the car and picked up the car, over the side or the boat and into the hole.

and away they went. 10 minutes max.

To them, it was nothing special but I’ve never seen a car lifted onto a boat before and it was a rather cool thing to watch.

Sunken tri-hull

It’s low tide and I thought that I’d go over to that sunken tri-hull again for it’s partly out of the water. For those of you who might think “hey, a boat to salvage”, well, here’s a few close ups of it.

If you’re really looking for a project, maybe this could be the one.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trip to the lighthouse

(This lighthouse is really neat so this blog will be a bit larger than normal and include a lot of pictures.) PS. click on a picture and it gets bigger.

We took the dinghy over to the lighthouse and met up with some friends of ours for a self guided tour of the lighthouse.

Let’s go up and have a look see.

The lighthouse is not lit up by an electric light it’s a kerosene flame that produces the light. This is similar to the light produced by a Colman lantern.
The kerosene is poured into a series of tanks and then pressurized and pumped up to the burner to produce the flame.

The tools that they use are kept in a curved storage cabinet (so that it would sit better against the curved wall) just beneath the lens room.

At the top of the tower you had to crawl through a small door to get out onto the catwalk. It was a great view from the top of the tower. We could see the whole harbor and Elbow Cay.

In the distance (about 5 miles is Abaco island and Marsh Harbor.

This lens is a First Order Fresnel lenses and stands about 6 feet high. It can focus the light from the flame and cast it over 15 miles out to sea.

Here’s the burner inside of the lens housing.

The entire lens rotates around the flame and it rides on a bearing surface made of mercury! It had such low friction that I was able to rotate the entire affair (several thousand pounds) with a single finger!

These gears act like a wind up clock to turn the light all night long. The light keeper comes up here every night and lights the lamp, winds up the weight and starts it rotating. Talk about low tech!

Now you might wonder where the kerosene tank is...We found it on the dock, well we found lots of them. It turns out that they have to carry 5 gal jerry cans of kerosene up the tower to refill the pressure tanks.
Hope that you enjoyed the tour.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Elbow Cay

I went for a walk with several other cruisers the other day and thought that you might enjoy the sights of Hope town and Elbow Cay (pronounced “key”). Starting with the local fire station.

We walked to the beach down the ocean side of the cay. The surf was big and the waves chassed us up the beach and exploded onto the rocks. It was a glorious day for a walk.

Turned back at the Inn and headed back to town. Lots of colorful places down here.

Hope that you enjoyed the walk.

The “Rage”

The Bahamas enjoy their sailing and they have a Bahamas’ wide regatta that we plan to see in March. The sail boats are all wooden and have outrages sized sails.

To manage this amount of sail they have sliding boards that extend out from the sailboat and then they climb out on these boards for further righting moment.

Sitting right next to us in Hope town harbor is one of these sail boats.
The boat is less than 30 feet yet the mast is taller than the Goose’s mast and the boat could carry more sail than I do! These guys really know how to have fun!

Another bad day

As we were running into the dock we saw nothing but masts where there was a sail boat yesterday. I always wonder what happened to cause something like this.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in the Bahamas

It’s a bit strange to have a Christmas without any snow but on the other hand, it sure did make me smile when I poked my head outside tonight and saw the “Christmas tree” light house in Hope Town.

For those that would like to know, the Hope Town lighthouse is one of only three kerosene-powered lighthouses in the world, and all three are in the Bahamas. The large, first order Fresnel lens is floating in a bath of mercury and the flame generates a light visible more than 17 miles. Pretty good for "old" technology

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Just a quick one, here in the Bahamas, as you could see from the roads, it’s nice to have a car that is a bit smaller than the ones in the US and the price of gas is about double. Here is a 4 passenger minivan, (it really gives meaning to the word mini) that has a tiny engine. It looks like a toy but there are a LOT of these driving around and it’s made by Chevrolet! I bet that you will never seen something like this in the States.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Unlike the states where we could pull up to a dock and PU water almost anywhere here it cost money to fill our tanks. When we were back in Washington DC our friends sold us their water maker and after installing it we had freash water from the sea. Well, yesterday when I turned it on to refill our tanks the output was only 50% of normal and there was air bubbles coming out of the output line along with the water so something was wrong. Today, I removed the water maker and while rebuilding it I found the problem, a shuttle valve has a cracked ring on it and will have to be replaced. It truly brings to mind the old saying that cruising is nothing but repairing your boat in exotic places.

The Bahamas

We have made it! One small sail for Rich and one big jump into a new adventure in our sailing life.

The passing was surprisingly painless. We waited for the wind to start clocking around to the south east from the north and left just as it hit east. The Gulf Stream had lain down a bit and during the day it became a nice ride with long 3 to 4 foot swells rolling beneath us. The wind did clock around to the south east and we eventually got to turn the motor off and sail a bit.

As we approached the Bahamas banks the wind died and we motored all through the night to Green Turtle Cay (sounded like key).

I went ashore to check in. Only the captain of the vessel may go ashore to check in. The customs office is in the pink building to the right along with the post office.

During this time we had to fly a Yellow flag to indicate that our boat was in “quarantine”.

After checking, you lower the “Q” flag and replace it with the designated flag of the country that you’re in. All during your stay you keep that flag flying at the starboard spreaders and an American flag on the aft topping lift. We got there about 10:00 in the morning and as the day wore on another dozen or so boats arrived. It was a great start to a winter of exploration.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


(NOTE: if you double click any picture (past or present) then it will get larger)

Today when we got up the manatee pocket (that’s’ the name for this little bay) was covered with fog.

You could hear the fisherman starting their engines and just see them as they motored by in the fog.

It was a silvery soft morning that betrayed the fact that the sun was up and there was a city just beyond your vision.