We Finally made it to the Bahamas!

We Finally made it to the Bahamas!

Over 700 nautical miles logged since my last newsletter.

After writing this newsletter for several years about sailing and all of it associated adventures it dawned on me today that I’d never written one on passage, even a short passage. I suppose there are several good reasons the first of which is that it can be difficult/impossible to write while underway, even when I’m not on watch. It’s difficult to concentrate on writing when the boat is rolling around. And when I’m not on watch, sleeping, or eating I always have one eye and ear on boat systems.

View from my ‘office’.


Cruising continues to have its ‘ups and downs’. When we left Jacksonville in late January we had no idea what issues we were about to encounter. Our original plan was to have the boat hauled in Port Canaveral to have the bottom painted and re-launch the 2nd or 3rd week of Feb. Instead, the two batteries dedicated to starting the engines experienced a voltage overload overheating to the point they nearly exploded. We decided to completely standardize our house electrical system on Victron controllers and Lithium batteries. We also replaced the engine alternators and voltage regulators. While delayed with all of that work I decided to completely replace the ground tackle (anchoring system) with new chain, anchor, swivel, and a larger (65 lb) anchor. The chain alone weighs nearly 500 lbs. That project took four days with each of those days increasingly reminding me that I’m no longer 21. Hell, I’m no longer 61! I paid the price for that work for well over a week and may have done some damage to my shoulder BUT we will (and do) sleep much better at night. When the wind begins to howl and the current pushes the boat around at anchor it is very comforting to know we’re secure. The thought of the boat dragging and ending up on the rocks is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Endurance safely set up at anchor in Chub Cay, Bahamas

After multiple delays and installation challenges we now also have a fully integrated Energy Management System which will allow us to keep track of all facets of energy consumption AND production. A sailboat in some respects is like a stand alone city. We make our own electricity, drinking water, wash clothes, and keep refrigerators and freezers running with no outside help (except of course the sun).

We worked our way down the east coast of FL with the help of great crew, Jerry Schroeder, who besides having an Unlimited Tonnage license is also one of my son’s best friends in high school back in Flower Mound, TX. We left Fort Lauderdale under partly cloudy skies and confused seas which eventually gave way to 2 - 3 foot seas with intermittent squalls all the way to Great Harbour in the Berry Islands, Bahamas. We made our way from Great Harbour Cay to Chub Cay, also in the Berry Islands when the weather turned against us. We sat for days waiting for a decent weather window with no luck. We finally had to backtrack to Great Harbour so Jerry could catch a flight home. More weather delays and then back to Chub Cay. This was the first sail we’d done without the help of crew. It gave us a chance to practice raising and lowering sails as well as anchoring.

We motored to Spanish Wells in Eleuthra with winds too light to sail and have used the past several days to wait out more bad weather and walk the amazing beaches on the north side of the island. It gave us a chance to be ‘cruisers’ and explore the island for a few days. All was going well until we returned to the boat one afternoon anchored outside the harbor to find our bowsprit (pole that sticks out from the bow used to fly the large Code D sail) dangling in the sea. The dyneema line used to keep it in place failed. We did a quick ‘jury rig’ in high wind and bouncing waves until the morning when we rigged a permanent fix. Such is boating life. If we can stitch 3-5 days of something not breaking we feel very fortunate. It’s just the price you pay for living in the Caribbean salt and sun.

We got another great weather window to sail from Egg Island in Eleuthra to Little Harbour in Abaco. We made the 49.3 nm crossing in 7 hours sailing a beam reach (winds hitting directly on the side of the boat at 12 - 16 knots under blue skies as the emerald blue water of the deep ocean rolled by. It was, in short, one of those picture-perfect days sailors dream about.

We’re still experiencing a random electric issue however all systems remain online so we’re inclined to keep moving. As I write this we are at the Conch Inn Marina in Marsh Harbour. It’s amazing and gratifying to see the progress made at the Conch Inn and Marsh Harbour in general as they continue to recover from Hurricane Dorian!

Where to next?

We’ll visit Hopetown and all of the other spots you can see along the northern edge of the island chain including Great Guana Cay, Green Turtle Cay, and Manjack Cay (where we’ll snorkel with sharks and manta rays). From there we’ll work our way west across the Great Bahama Bank to the West End (near Freeport) where we’ll wait for a good weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to West Palm Beach, FL. Once there, we may do one more out-of-water inspection and take care of a few ‘bumps and bruises’ on the hull. Then we’ll attempt our first extended offshore trip, West Palm Beach to Long Island Sound - roughly 1,000 miles of open ocean. We’ll explore Long Island South and Cape Cod with the goal of being in Boston Harbor on or about Aug 1.

Since we returned to the boat in mid-March we’ve traveled roughly 700 miles of which roughly 200 miles could be considered open ocean. We’ve learned more about the boat and most importantly how to live full time on a boat while underway. We’ve met some wonderful people, seen some amazing beaches and sunsets, and experienced some incredible storms. All part of the experience. One thing we’ve noticed is that we find keeping track of days of the week and dates in general rather difficult. So we’ve stopped trying.

Thanks for reading and following along in spite of my lack of consistency in publishing this newsletter. I hope you enjoy them. Feedback and comments are always very welcome!


“The future is something everyone reaches at 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” C.S. Lewis



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