Having completed most of the long-deferred house jobs it was nice to get back out on Andante and enjoy some time on the water with family. The weather on Cape Cod is still a bit cool (especially compared to The Bahamas) but there have been some nice sunny days and the popular anchorages are still uncrowded.
Last weekend we set off for a nice overnight in Hadley Harbor, just south of Woods Hole and nestled between several of the privately-owned Elizabeth Islands (Naushon, Nonamesset, and Uncatena). This is a favorite anchorage of many throughout New England and we are fortunate to have it in our backyard. We had an easy motorsail down in light winds and spent a very pleasant afternoon reading and sunning punctuated by a visit from our friends on Space Puppy. We enjoyed a yummy supper that involved a great deal of kale and a quiet night. To avoid disturbing the neighbors I rowed Captain Nicholas to shore just after sunrise. The wind picked up a bit later in the morning and made for a very pleasant sail home.
We’re hoping to sail as many weekends as possible this summer and expect to be visiting many of our favorite spots including Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard. As time permits we hope to make some some longer trips to Nantucket, Newport and beyond.
We completed the return trip from the Bahamas to Florida and up the east coast to Cape Cod in just under four weeks. That’s pretty quick for a solo sailor in a moderately slow boat. My strategy was to keep moving every day even if that meant occasionally motoring a frustratingly slow and shallow inside route rather than sailing offshore. In the end this approach proved to be the most efficient way to utilize the scarce and brief weather windows of April.
From Bimini we sailed direct to Fort Pierce. Arriving at 0300, we anchored and entered the US using an iPhone app. No paperwork, no interview. Just press a button, wait 15 minutes, and get a text saying “welcome home.” After a few hours sleep we were underway again heading north on the Florida ICW.
High winds and rough seas kept us inshore for much of Florida, a bit of South Carolina, bypassing Cape Hatteras and the full length of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. We did have great offshore sailing from Fernandina to Charleston, Little River to Cape Fear, Wrightsville Beach to Beaufort, and Cape May to Cape Cod. The last leg was a bit over 48 hours and 265 nm — and we sailed all but a few hours of it. Nice way to end a great trip
After two months in the beautiful Bahamas its time to head towards home.
Andante and I have a long trip ahead and, frankly, photography and blogging have not been high on my list of priorities. I will try to keep folks updated on my whereabouts and will share interesting experiences. Eventually.
We departed the Exumas on April 5. Today (April 20) we arrived at Little River Inlet close to the border between South Carolina and North Carolina and roughly the halfway point of the 1500 nm return trip. The weather hasn’t been conducive to long offshore legs but we keep pushing forward everyday regardless.
The legs completed so far have been the following:
Staniel Cay, Exumas to West Bay, New Providence
West Bay, New Providence to North Bimini
North Bimini to Fort Pierce, FL
Fort Pierce, FL to Melbourne, FL
Melbourne, FL to New Smyrna Beach, FL
New Smyrna Beach, FL to St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine, FL to Fernandina Beach, FL
Fernandina Beach, FL to Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC to Price Creek, SC
Price Creek, SC to Georgetown, SC
Georgetown, SC to Little River Inlet, SC
As always you can check our current position using the link found on the trip page.
Hosting successive guests after six months alone was a blast. It was really fun to share the places I’ve explored, the foods I’ve enjoyed and the endless sunshine. I think both of my guests agreed that any visit to the Bahamas measured in days or weeks is too short. Thanks for coming!
Over the last couple of months I’ve had the chance to appreciate the similarities between living on a boat and on a small remote island. Life in either environment requires management of a fairly basic set of resources. Food, water, fuel and supplies/parts are key inputs — and all are in limited supply, expensive, and available irregularly and infrequently.
Like some boats, many islands (including Staniel Cay) have their own reverse-osmosis water plant powered by either electricity (locally generated from diesel fuel) or solar power. Andante does not have a water maker so I lug 10 gallons (80 lbs) of water from shore every few days.
Trash and sewage accumulates and generates bugs and smells on both boat and island if not regularly offloaded, buried, burned, or otherwise dealt with. I did not see any evidence of recycling in the central Exumas but did find myself anchored downwind of the dump on several occasions. Based on the number of derelict cars and machinery strewn about the islands I expect the cost of shipping waste off the island is prohibitive.
Visiting boaters deal with these resource issues as best they can knowing they will eventually relocate to somewhere else where food and supplies are plentiful and water is free and poop disappears down a pipe never to be thought of again. But the islanders have to live with these constraints all the time. The friendly laid-back nature and great patience of the out-island Bahamians seems a perfect coping mechanism for the many things they cannot control.