Thursday, 15 January 2015

January 12/13, 2015

making some food ahead for the passage, a port roast, ready to BBQ

mashed potatoes for supper, with some of the port chops and curry chicken for the next day in the Bahamas

Joe doing the cooking … winds are dying and all looks good to leave at 3:30 pm

off we go down to the Lake Worth inlet … little did we know we would be back at just about this exact spot, some  6 hours later

what there is for anchoring is full of liveaboards, and abandoned boats

next is some cruise ships

this boat looked like it was either being loaded or unloaded from a trip across the ocean

the dredger blocking most of the frontage to another anchorage

Jerry on " PIPER "

now PIPER, below a wave

all looks good, it was a bit lumpy

off we go to the Bahamas … maybe not

January 12, 2015
Finally I got to wifi and posted the last few days adventures, and for most of you you are as bored as we are … we need to get moving.

We found out today that "Black Hawk" got caught in a strong currant on the Chesapeake Bay and hit the bridge, dropping the mast and shredding the sails and taking out part of the bridge rail.  This happened around 4am leaving the Bay. No one seriously injured.  Black Hawk was in Owen Sound Harbour for months near the boat launch, Joe and I me him at Annapolis, this cruising year at our Canadian Get together.

Once back from shore we packed the dinghy and had a great visit from Persuasion, Mike and Mary Ellen Taylor, from Ottawa area.

making food for the passage

we both had to cancel or suspend our phones and iPad , because once we cross and leave US there is no coverage for us ….
with these plans   …. 

January 13, 2015

we are up early listening to Chris Parker on the SSB again for the last minute crossing weather info.
Most boaters made the last minute run to Publix (groceries ) and water.

The crossing to WestEnd or Memory Rock will take us 10 hours averaging 5 knots, which we will passage in the dark.  Crossing the Gulf Stream, on a "S" pattern due to the gulf stream. Then we will see how the weather is and will either go into WestEnd  (dockage) in the dark, or pass thru Memory Rock, 3am, into Little Bahama. Banks, getting light now to Man Grove Cay, Great Sail Cay, Green Turtle Cay … to check into customs

So off we all went about 10 of us … one of the Women, who sail, organized a radio contact with all of the boat names , so we could keep in contact with each other … Smart Woman … we all did not know each other, but now we do by VHF

The North East wind was 6 - 8 knots and seas 4 feet on the front quarter at about 10 seconds.  It was roll and rough and more than Chris Parker and Marine VHF called for. (isn't this always the way)
wasn't the word going around DONT CROSS WITH any NORTH
wind ?

About 10 miles out our motor started to sputter and loose power. We gave it a few minutes and it happened again.

Earlier " Sanderling " had to turn back because of GPS failure.  His buddy boat " Alderaan ", headed back too guide him into the entrance at Lake Worth and another 5 miles to the anchorage.

" Piper ", sailing with us said he would stay back, while we changed the fuel filters and bleed the line … but we decided  it was too choppy and WHAT IF ??? … we said thanks, Piper, but please go on ….

so at 12 km out from Florida  we turned back, it was heart breaking , but the right move, we sputtered and motor/sailed back to the inlet in the darkness … 

we furled the foresail before the inlet and kept the main up, we sent a couple of security to warn of our approach.  Once inside Lake Worth inlet, we had to avoid small fishing boats with no lights, get confused with the land and inlet lights.  We brought down the main, then another security came on the VHF, a tug was coming towards us pulling a submerged submarine, yes , submarine…  it was  500  feet or more  long.  We radioed back telling of our not working engine issues and was told not to worry just stay close to Peanut Island, as we approached each other our depth sounder said 6 ft .. we radioed again and submarine tug said come more to his port and we would be okay   (later we thought he is pulling a submarine under water, so his water is deep), this area we passed thru is only about 50 ft wide 
Once past his lights our eyes had to adjust to the darkness once again, it is now 9pm …
watching the chart plotter with our previous passage 5 hours before  and the iPad for back up, Joe yelled to STB now, out of the dark was a red ICW marker, it is not lite … think red markers to right (ICW markers are always red to land, green to ocean), we are going inland….. (later we found out our other 2 returning boaters nearly hit the exact same marker)

Next we heard on the VHF, is "Alderaan " calling TowBoatUS because they ran aground, while they are leading " Sanderling " to the anchorage.

Remember in earlier blogs I said you can not transit the ICW in the dark … well we had to do it so we could find an area to anchor.

at this point MODAKI was only going 2 knots, and this was too fast for us in the darkness, we checked out the first anchorage with the dredger in the entrance, that was impossible, too deep and too many boats, next two anchorages had 1/2 sunken boats, abandoned boats, boats with no anchor lights on, it was impossible to anchor there.
we went under the A1A bridge and it got even darker, going north.

Joe found an area on Navionics on the  iPad that had a 10 ft depth, other areas are 1 - 5 ft, just off the channel
our motor is struggling a lot now, we just need another 5 minutes please … 
Just as we got to the area that we could leave the channel, a black boat, with black clothed people, with no lights came at us at high speed,  from no where, we thought they where going to TBone us
, and at the last minute they turned in the opposite direction we where going. 
well my heart sputtered just like the motor, Joe was speechless ,
now that we have talked to some other US boaters they said they are Govt' Boys, Drug Busters, … they must of had night vision glasses to miss us.

now back to us, the motor is not feeling well at all, we both said another 5 minutes … 

we got to the beginning of the depth we wanted and we had to drop the anchor, the wind hooked us … might I add here …anchor is Rocna, and all chain …. the wind built and we sat parallel to the ICW

It was 10:30 and we where burnt out and stressed out, not even hungry or thirsty 

So we did not cross to the BAHAMAS, our main goal of  this adventure and now we have to fix Modaki's engine/fuel/what ever our issue is ..

p.s. we now realize we need to un-cancel and un-suspend 
our phones and iPad … we may not leave for a while  … oh no

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