Friday, June 12, 2015

No Go

   And now the conclusion to my miniseries (part 3) . . .

At The Restaurant In Highborne For My Birthday
 After another slow day of sailing, we dropped anchor in Highborne Cay.  There isn't much to Highborne.  There's a marina (pretty over-priced) and a restaurant that's actually pretty reasonable, as long as you don't go crazy with the alcoholic beverages.  The beers are $7 a pop!  Normally, Bill and I would have just cooked something on the boat and turned in for the night but, . . . we actually sailed into Highborne on my birthday.  So, Bill decided that I should at least be treated to a good meal that I didn't have to cook.

Pretty Flower Outside Of The Restaurant

The Shell Turtle
   We invited the rest of our little flotilla to come along.  I think we were all in need of an evening out and we really enjoyed ourselves.  The food was delicious and the conversation stayed at a continuous flow the whole time.  Bill, Hans, and Roland seemed to be enjoying their conversations (in German, of course) and we were all able to catch up with all the happenings over the past few weeks that would have taken too long over the VHF.  I wasn't expecting any presents, since this was an impromptu gathering but, Knotty Kat surprised me.  They had apparently bought some items from the Shell Man in Bimini (a nice man that makes art out of shells) and decided to give me a "turtle" as a gift; Very thoughtful.  Thanks guys!



   We pulled out of Highborne early the next morning.  Bill and I headed closer to the Gulf Stream, Knotty Kat headed to a marina for a couple of nights, Uplifting headed in our direction but, (since they have a working engine) made different stops than we did, and Roland on Seabiscuit headed to Nassau for some work on his engine.  As we sailed, we all tried to keep in touch by radio but, eventually, we lost contact with each other.

Pick A Sand Dollar, Any Sand Dollar

   As we continued on, we found a few stops along the way and pulled a few night sails.  Eventually, we stopped in Cat Cay.  We stayed there for two days waiting for the wind to start moving in the right direction.  The wait wasn't too bad.  The weather wasn't great on the first day.  So, our already low batteries didn't get much help from the solar panels.  Staying an extra day allowed the sun to come out and the batteries to charge enough to get us back to the States.  While we were waiting, we took the time to snorkel around the boat and were astounded at the amount of sand dollars.  They were everywhere.  Bill and I picked up ten in just a few minutes' time.  We even found one that was partly purple. . . didn't know they could be colored that way.      
Here's The Purple One


Lighthouse On Cat Cay
   Once the wind was favorable, we set sail.  As we left, we started to feel pretty good about the wind getting us in the right direction.  However, not long after we left, the wind simply died.  In our efforts to get into and through the Gulf Stream, we spent a total of seven hours simply adrift.  The only reason we were still moving during that time was the strong currents in the Gulf Stream were pushing us due north.  If the winds didn't pick up, we'd be landing MUCH further north than Florida (like Massachusetts, maybe).  Luckily, the winds did pick up in the early hours of the next morning.  We were able to sail into the vicinity of Ft. Lauderdale and have Towboat U.S. take us the rest of the way into the City of Hollywood Marina.  This was about as close to Ft. Lauderdale as we could get and still avoid the exorbitant prices at the Ft. Lauderdale marinas.
Silas Wants To Know When We'll Get There


Getting Towed In By Towboat U.S. . . . Yep Through A Bridge 
   As we were being towed in, we actually spotted Knotty Kat off our port side and hailed them on the radio to let them know what our plans were.  We were making such good time (around 8 kts.), that we were leaving quite a wake.  Knotty Kat was able to stay out of the way but, Bill was thinking about all those times we'd been rocked by power boats.  He looked over at me and said, "Where's some power boats so we can buzz them?".  I had to laugh.  Everyone was staying clear of us once they saw the towboat but, it was a funny thought.
We Spotted A Waterspout Forming As We Were Being Towed

Knotty Kat Snapped This Pic
This Is What The Winds In The Bahamas
Did To Our Courtesy Flag

   So, here we are.  The Towboat U.S. guy did an excellent job of getting us in here; Not a scratch or dent to be seen.  We've been here a week and are going to stay at least two more because Bill was offered a two-week job working on a rental property for one of the other guys here in the marina.  This engine is not only getting our moral low but, it's really swamping our wallet. . . and, no, it is still not running.


   A repair guy came today (he couldn't come earlier because we had to have the starters rebuilt first).  He tried and tried to start the engine but, no luck.  He thinks the problem is either with the compression (which could mean SERIOUS bucks) or the fuel injection pump that was supposed to be rebuilt and working fine, isn't. He is going to come back with something to test the compression and help us further diagnose the problem.

   We have decided that Maine just isn't in the cards for us this year.  We just don't have enough time left to get there.  We are thinking that if we can get the engine going relatively soon, we can make it to Maryland to work a big boat show there (this would help rebuild the cruising funds).  If not, we will have to find jobs here at least for a few months.  

   Engines are no cheap matter. . . full-time cruisers often have to stop and work from time to time . . . I just hope we can get out of here with our shirts still intact . . .
At Least We Are Able To Get Back To Cooking Like We Want To
 . . . Homemade Chile Rellenos And Spanish Rice . . . Yum! 
   Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments. (If no one has commented yet, there will be a "No Comments" link near the bottom of the post. If someone has already commented, there will be a number and the word "comments" beside it. Just click whichever of these is there, click, "add comment" when the window opens, and type away.)

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Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments.