So much to tell here. So much emotion even as I am writing this a few years after the fact. Well, SPOILER ALERT…Lucky Peek was sold in July 2012 to a caring couple of adventurous sailing souls with the intent of taking her back to the sea where she belongs…the Bahamas, Caribbean, and beyond. She now sails under the name Knot Dreamin, and last report, in May of 2016, was in the vicinity of Guadaloupe in the northern Caribbean. We continue to wish them fair winds and following seas!
We’ve covered the “Sailing”. Now, the epic story of the “selling” of Lucky Peek as reconstructed through sailing and maintenance logs and memory (possibly fogged by the effect of time and sundowners)…[to be continued]
The biggest fish I have ever caught. No scale on board, but this Bull Dorado was 56 inches long and was caught in the Mona Passage on my trusty caveman handline. Lisa wrote about it in a log entry a few weeks ago but we were unable to post the photo.
Hey everybody! Sorry if you noticed that the website has been down for the last few days. The problem has been resolved and we are online again. We still have not been able to locate a copy of our Publisher files with our website draft so no update yet there although we hope one is coming. We may have to build again from scratch.
Speaking of “from scratch”, re-entry has been overwhelming. We had to put a new battery into the car after two years of sitting around and then take it to the muffler shop to repair the exhast fitting that that rusted away while we were gone. Gas is almost $3.00/gallon and everything seems to be a long drive away (ouch). No motoconcho or other convenient public transport to get us where we want to be.
We did go to a spectacular pot-luck last weekend with Chris and Susan aboard LaLeLu their Caliber 38. They promised us (shanghei) that we would have no crew responsibilities for the weekend and for the most part they kept their word and the the grog flowing. The pot-luck was sponsored by the ECSA (East Coast Sailing Association) and, if you are currently cruising in the islands, I’ll spare you from the sumptuous details. Let’s just say that the variety is more accessible in these parts where everyone has a car and a supermarket on every corner.
We have been moving some things off the boat into temporary storage so we have room to take care of some maintenance items. Yesterday we pulled off the mast boot and removed the creaky mast wedges from the through-deck collar and replaced them with a product called “Spar-tite”. It is a two part goop that you pour into the space between the mast and collar. It hardens into a solid rubber donut or permanent o-ring. We hope it eliminates that annoying creak and pop we would get from the teak wedges. We covered the whole thing up with a fresh new mast boot to the keep the sun from oxidizing the new seal.
Last night was pretty uneventful, except for ripping our spinnaker when taking it down around 7pm. It’s a small tear but it will need to be fixed before using it again. The winds went completely away in the night so we didn’t make as good of time as we had hoped. We did get a nice 2-3 knot boost from the gulf stream in the night and this morning so that helped nicely.
We are about 45 miles from Canaveral and at our current speed we won’t make it there before dark tonight (probably be there around midnight). So we’ll either find a suitable spot to anchor just inside the inlet tonight or if such a place doesn’t exist we’ll bob around until daylight and then enter. Wow – we’re almost there!!!
Left Rose Island yesterday around 11:00am when the wind started to sound promising. Leaving Nassau off our stern we were enjoying the kind of sailing conditions that people fantasize about; enough wind to move us through the water at a good pace but not enough wind to create any seas. As Terra from Maja has described, “sunning on the deck and margarita on the rail sailing”.
We passed Chubb Cay in the Berry Islands at 8pm and kept on going. The winds continued to fill our sails and the full moon was ready to light our way into the night. The winds did decrease in the night, slowing us to 3 knots at many times, but the spinnaker is now up so we’re making good time again.
We will be crossing the Gulf Stream today and sometime around midnight, or into the night, we should be off the coast of the U.S. near West Palm Beach.
Rose Island, Bahamas
N 25 05.0
W 77 12.5
We enjoyed a great sail from Highborne Cay to Rose Island yesterday. The boat got a much needed freshwater rinse in a light rain early in the day and once the threat of any squall activity had passed we put up the spinnaker and relaxed in the light winds. We weren’t breaking any speed records but since we didn’t have far to go we enjoyed the peaceful, easy motion. Motor yachts of all sizes would occassionally pass in the distance at speeds we guessed to be 15 knots or more. They would burn more fuel in an hour than we had burned since leaving Luperon a week ago. Al Gore would be proud of us.
From Rose Island we can easily see the tall buildings of Nassau, including the mega casino Atlantis on Paradise Island. We’re skipping a tour of Nassau and Atlantis, even though they are just a few miles away, and plan to move on to the Berries today. At this point we are not drawn to the big city lights and congestion that those destinations offer. Even the possibility of hitting the big jackpot at Atlantis is outweighed by the option of savoring our remaining island time.
The Berry Islands will be our last island stop before crossing the Gulf Stream and returning to the U.S.
Highborne Cay, Exumas
N 24 43.1
W 076 49.9
We left Rum Cay on Thursday April 26th around 1pm. The weather forecast was for east winds 15-17 knots on Thursday and 15 knots on Friday. Perfect for a run straight across the Exuma Sound to Highborne Cay in the northern Exumas, 125 miles. The annoying thing about weather forecasts is that they are never exact and they are often wrong. We kept hoping that the light winds would build; maybe the 4-8 knots of wind was a temporary lull. We flew the spinnaker and started making better time and determined to keep it up into the moon-lit night, especially when the winds did pick up to 11-14 knots apparent around midnight. We were flying then! 6… 7… 8… 9 knots of speed! Hmmmm…. was it now blowing too hard to get the spinnaker down??? Crew meeting determined that the higher winds were just temporary gusts and there was a pattern of moderation in between that warrented keeping the spinnaker up through the night. 3:30am: Foreguy (control line for spinnaker pole) chafed through and POW! Broken line. Fortunately, Capt’n Rod had the foresight to rig a backup tack line to the bow so at least the spinnaker didn’t fly free at this moment. But the lighter duty backup line wouldn’t last long so we decided to get the spinnaker down in the last hour of moonlight.
By 7am Friday morning all gusts, puffs, gentle breezes, and whispers of winds had completely dissapeared. Sails flogging, optimism waning. Where were the 15 knots of wind? To our dismay, we had to call on Forrest.
At 4pm (Friday) we were entering the Highborne Cut to cross through from the Exuma Sound to the Exuma Bank on the west side of Highborne Cay in the northern Exumas. By 4:30 we were dropping the hook in almost exactly the same spot we had anchored just over a year ago. This is where we had our first happy hour with Greg and Cindy on Day Dreamer and started a great friendship!
Since leaving the Bahamas a year ago we have often reflected back on the beauty of its waters; the clarity, the amazing turquoise color, the wonderful sandy anchorages and beaches. You know how sometimes memories become more favorable as time passes and our minds eye can paint a more pleasant picture than reality? Well, this was a case of the opposite. It was more breathtaking than either of us had recalled. 24 feet of water under us and it looked like a wading pool. Blades of grass, rocks, barracuda, all perfectly visible.
From here we plan to travel 30 miles to Rose Island which is a neighbor to the more well-known island of New Providence (home of Nassau). Conditions today (Saturday, April 28) are cloudy and we will probably encounter a bit of rain from a passing front. We hope it will at least provide enough wind to get us to our destination. Forecast is for light winds from the southeast to south. Will today’s forecast be accurate?
On approach to Mayaguana yesterday we made the decision to not stop and take advantage of the winds to continue on to Rum Cay, another 130 miles. An easy decision to make considering we were in the lee of Mayaguana, where the calm seas were possibly clouding our judgment. But we did openly acknowledge this and the appeal of sailing lickety-split to Rum Cay still won out.
Position at 12pm:
N 23 38.4
W 73 50.3
Currently anchored at Rum Cay. Traveled 180 miles in 28 hours! No discussion on whether or not to stop here — it was a restless night with the seas and brisk winds, and we needed to desalt ourselves after taking a few waves in the cockpit in the night. Lucky Peek did great and Montie, the Monitor windvane (self-steering device) continues to amaze us with his performance. We crossed paths with the brightly lit cruise ship “Mariner of the Seas” just east of Plana Cays after dark. The captain was cordial on the VHF and altered his course to starboard to give us more sea room to pass port to port. We were, after all, on a starboard tack!
Planning to stay here through tomorrow and let the seas calm down a bit before moving on.
Left West Caicos at 7:30am on Monday, April 23, 2007 heading to Mayaguana, 50 miles away.
Position at 4:00pm:
N 22 19.43
W 73 07.75
Heading: 320 degress magnetic
Speed: 6 – 7 knots
Wind: 18 knots with gusts to 25+
Seas: N swell building + 4 foot wind chop
Current Conditions: Winds are quite brisk and sea is lumpy. Double reef in main and genoa reefed with six wraps. Monitor windvane steering beautifully in the conditions. Crew in great shape after a good night’s sleep.