SpinSheet Magazine October 2020

Page 78

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Home From the Bahamas S

By John Herlig

ideways is never really the best satisfied debts of all types. New friends way to enter a cut, but sideways we said their goodbyes, and plans were laid were as I steered my 1967 Rawson for future reunions. I started watching Ave Del Mar past the jetty and into Florthe weather for a viable Gulf Stream ida’s Lake Worth inlet. I was homeward crossing. bound after an overnight crossing from Since Ave was engineless as a result the Bahamas, but the journey had been of the hurricane, the trip home would much longer than the 26 hours from Great Sale Cay. In fact, it ##Ave Del Mar, back in the water in the Bahamas. had taken months. It had begun back in the Bahamas on Green Turtle Cay where my boat had been damaged in Hurricane Dorian. Months after the storm I got a ride back to the island on a big Beneteau, settling down in the boatyard and repairing my boat. Splash day arrived and was just as quickly cancelled as Covid-19 require careful attention to the nuance of forced the island nation to shut down ports and of bail-out possibilities. There nonessential services—a list that includwas simply no fallback, no iron genny to ed boatyards. Three months later, as a bit bring me into an anchorage or through a of normalcy crept back into Bahamian bridge. I was more excited than nervous, life, the yard was allowed to reopen and and I was eager to prove myself. Ave returned to the water. The first leg of the engineless era A couple of weeks in Black Sound couldn’t have been easier, a straight tied off to a mooring ball allowed me to shot just two and a half miles north on wrap up some loose ends before I left. the island. I let loose from the mooring I resigned from the Green Turtle Cay ball and pulled the jib sheet, watching VHF Net, returned borrowed tools, and the genoa fill in the breeze. A smile of 78 October 2020 SpinSheet.com

satisfaction erupted across my face as we glided out through the narrow entrance to Black Sound and northwest up the island under headsail alone. Rounding into Coco Bay I doused sail and darted forward to drop the anchor. Ave rode on until the chain pulled tight and she swung softly around, safely at rest on her newly upgraded anchor. Leg one: check. After a delightful lunch with friends it was back to the boat and back to sailing. Ave slid northwest to Manjack Cay, where we would anchor for the night. The winds were scant as we approached, but Ave came to rest in 10 feet of water off the island’s western shore without struggle. The next morning started early. I was aiming to make Great Sale Cay, about 50 nautical miles, all north and west sailing under modest trade winds. With the wind light and the boat running, I poled out the jib, let the tiller pilot steer, and leaned back in the cockpit with my ukulele as the hours ticked by. Evening found me rounding the northern tip of Great Sale, making way down the western shore to the small island’s protected bay. The winds were