Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Good bye Bahamas, hello Provo

I can't tell you how many people have told me that the Bahamas were the best cruising grounds. Unfortunately, I have this need to see things for myself, a trait that has had its miss fires. Our 3 day stay at Clarence Town morphosed into a 2 week stay. Boy, can we milk a clock?
These crabs come out of their borrows in the rainy season, millions of them. The natives eat them.

We were looking at a nice 3 day weather window. That's enough to get us to the Turks and Caicos. We really wanted to have more stops along the way, but lets get serious, the way we cling to each stop, there just isn't enough time. Provo is about 180 miles away, and those are nautical miles. With our "speed demon" of a boat, that's about 48 to 50 hours of sailing. Staying up 48 hours was nothing in my college days. I think I did it once a week, which would explain my grades, but no seriously, I am quite witty with 8 hours of sleep. After little to and fro we decided it was a go. We squared up with the marina, and backed out unceremoniously.
Bye bye Clarence Town. Look at that water!
At first the wind was on our nose, but light. We motored at about three and a half knots. The waves were small, but there were these swells that rolled the boat, up the hill, and down the hill. I promised Marie things would be better in about 8 hours. For once, I didn't lie. The swells diminished and wind switched over to our port side. We motor sailed for about 16 hours at a nice 5 knots. And then it all died. I mean it went flat. Here we were in 10,000 feet of water, and it was all becalmed. So, we motored, the whole 48 hours, we motored. Now, when I put this boat together, I didn't think much of sound insulation, I mean, it is a sailboat right? Man was I wrong, when we motor we might as well just put a saddle on the engine and ride it! Anywhere inside the boat, it is so loud that we have to scream at each other. Imagine, if you will, 48 hours of this.
Looks like a lake!

Eva and Hadrian looking over the calm ocean.

A foot puppet can make life interesting.

Actually, after a while you can sleep quite well with the engine noise. That is if nobody plays with the throttle. The kids may not have noticed that anything had changed. They just went about their day and slept through the nights. For Marie and I, things were a bit different. We would take turns at the wheel, about 4 hour shifts, though I take longer shifts because she tends to the kids too.
From 30 miles away you could see the sky glow over Provo. We were a couple of miles away at about 8 am. I had read that the entrance to the harbor was so tricky that it was best to use the complimentary pilot service.
Hadrian helped guide me through the harbor. The pilot boat is in the background.
A pilot is a guide that escorts you into and out of a harbor. We called the marina, and after a little confusing garbling back and forth a pilot appeared  to guide us in. It was a winding trail through the reefs, and yet again we left stripe in the sand. 
Eva sitting with the Customs agent at Turtle Cove Marina. I think we got half off the regular price!

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