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Dinghy Skurfing in Grenada


Not too long after we arrived in Grenada and got settled in at the anchorage in Mt. Hartman Bay, our friends Steve and Janet arrived on their boat, Lunacy. She’s got different colors and is outfitted a bit differently, but she is essentially the same boat as ours! It’s always fun to meet up with fellow Whitby owners and talk about our sisterships.

It’s not all boat projects all the time. Though we work hard, we play hard too.

Steve upgraded his outboard motor to a 25hp and the guys couldn’t WAIT to go skurfing to test it out!

Skurfing is when you take a skimboard or surfboard and ride it behind a boat like a wakeboard. Unlike a wakeboard, you are not strapped to the board. Skateboarding + Surfing OR Skimboarding = Skurfing

They went flying through the anchorage and had a great time!

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I tried to get some shots of Steve but they were always too far away…

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What are your favorite watersports?

Exumas: Black Point

King Mackerel caught trolling a squid jig near Staniel Cay

Two weeks ago we made our way down the Central Exumas to Black Point Settlement. It can be a little tedious to pack up our entire home and stow away all loose belongings when traveling to a new anchorage but we find it more exciting than anything. Travel days are when the trolling lines come out! Peter can hardly resist throwing in a line, despite how rough the seas may be. We’ve done fairly well in the fishing department which makes me and the dogs happy campers! I think Peter has more interest in catching fish than he does eating them :)

Each new place we travel to is an adventure. You could easily spend several years exploring all of the islands of the Bahamas and still not see everything, which is why many cruisers return season after season to their favorite anchorages in the Bahamas, exploring new areas along the way.

Peter and I are traveling through the Bahamas for the first time and there is much that we’ll miss. Knowing this, we make the best of the areas we do get to see and we enjoy seeing all of the blog posts and pictures from our friends that are exploring the rest. Be sure to check out some of the great blogs we’ve listed on our website.

Black Point was recommended as a “must-see” anchorage. Even though we didn’t need to do laundry, we were told this is THE place to get it done! There are a ton of machines. We attempted taking some bedding to the laundry facility during our stay but our Island Time brains didn’t realize it was Sunday until we got to shore. The machines take tokens only and you can only purchase them Monday through Saturday. Most of the local stores all through the Bahamas are closed on Sunday. We still keep forgetting though.


Black Point also has free garbage at the city dock (although a small donation is recommended) and across the main road is a faucet for RO (reverse osmosis) water. It’s the local water supply for the whole island so they prefer if the cruisers don’t use it to fill their water tanks, but it’s perfectly fine to take some jerry jugs there to fill up your drinking water. If you have a wifi booster it’s pretty easy to pick up an open signal from anywhere in the anchorage as well :)


We spent a few days in Black Point until the weather clocked around and another westerly was going to be upon us. It’s the only direction you do not want wind coming from here. The chop and swells become pretty uncomfortable to say the least.

Before continuing south, our leaking engine exhaust problem had become much more critical than before. The leaking hose and elbow for our main engine exhaust was now seeping at an alarming rate, pouring salt water into our engine room on top of the port fuel tank, over the ledge and down beneath the generator. Swapping out sopping-wet towels had worked for a while but we were afraid we wouldn’t make it all the way to Georgetown the way it was.

Amazingly, we met 4 or 5 other Whitby 42s and a Brewer 12.8 while we were anchored at Black Point. They had all just traveled up from Georgetown. Anne and Brad on S/V Anneteak (Whitby 42) were so helpful! We had been in communication with them via Facebook before they arrived and it was so nice to finally meet them. Brad helped Peter disconnect the generator exhaust hose where it discharges overboard on the port side, and then reconnect the main engine exhaust hose in its place. This is by no means a “good” fix, but it was necessary to get us to Georgetown to find a new exhaust elbow and new exhaust hose to fix the job properly.

Black Point was a nice quiet little town but there were no marine parts available and that means it was time to keep moving south.


Next stop… Georgetown!!

Staniel Cay: Happy Dogs and Yachts-on-the-Rocks

Staniel Cay didn’t give us the warmest welcome…


With a westerly coming in, the plan was to find protection at Staniel Cay. We had hoped the marina would be a good place to rest for a few days so we could catch up on some online chores, top off our tanks and get a full charge on our batteries. Earlier in the day we made reservations and let the marina staff know we would be pulling in at about 5:30. They said “No problem, come on in.”

At 5:35pm we approached the channel and hailed Staniel Cay Yacht Club on the radio. No answer. Several times we tried, but no answer. Our radio had been on the fritz, but we were sure they really just weren’t monitoring at all. Now what? It’s almost dark and we were SO ready to tie up and grab some dinner. Instead, we passed the marina and picked up a mooring ball on the back side of Thunderball Grotto. Easy enough. The guy managing the private moorings came around at 9am the next morning to collect $20.


At slack tide we took the paddle boards over to the Grotto, put on our fins and masks and swam inside. It really was amazing to see!! Unfortunately there were about 15 people in there with us, but we still had a good time. The Grotto has been filmed several times and most notably for a James Bond film, Thunderball. I don’t have any pictures since I was a bit nervous to swim  with my iPhone for that long. The case has leaked a few times and I didn’t want to chance it. Check out Google Images though for a good idea of what we saw :)

The entire time we were at Staniel Cay we heard people hailing the yacht club on the radio with no answer ALL DAY LONG. Occasionally someone would get through. The fuel dock answered right away for others calling in. I guess they aren’t run by the same staff? We finally made contact and stayed one night at the marina. Water was .50 cents and power was .75/kw. They ask for 2.50 per trash bag and $5 per large bag. If you go around the corner by dinghy there is a beach with a trail up to the local dump where you can take your trash for free. There were no showers or restrooms and internet was the pay-per-day satellite wifi deal for $15 a day with TERRIBLE connection.We used that the first night to take care of a few things online but that was definitely a one-time-thing.  We  just can’t recommend staying at the Yacht Club here. Life is so much better at anchor!!

While exploring town at Staniel Cay, we visited the BTC office to finally get a Bahamas sim card. We took the “highway” :) After I finally got AT&T to cooperate and unlock my iPhone we were able to get the BTC network up and running. The iPhone lets me turn on personal hotspot to boost service to our laptops. $30 for 2 gb is definitely worth it! It took us this long to set it up because we didn’t think we’d spend so much time here in the Bahamas, but we’re on Island Time now and are moving much slower than before. With the blog, 2 gb doesn’t last long, even with reducing file sizes. It’s pretty nice to have wifi to access weather too, even though we can tune in to Chris Parker on the SSB.


Moving up between the Majors was the next item on the agenda before the next front came through. The protection from the west was good and our anchor held well. It only got rolly as the wind clocked around from the north and east but we stuck it out longer than most before moving over to the west side of Big Majors where the pigs live. We kept our distance though since they like to climb up on the side of the boats to be fed. There were big ones and tiny baby piggies too. Pretty cool to see them swimming around but I sure wouldn’t want to swim with them!


Here’s an underwater shot of a turtle we saw before my LifeProof case started leaking. The phone spent a good three days inside a bag of rice but there’s still a bit of water damage on the corner of the screen. OH WELL, it still works :)


We spotted another Whitby 42 after we went back to the other side between the majors. Jock and Val aboard Duchess had anchored right next to us! We had a nice dinner that night with our new friends and had a good night’s sleep anchored securely. The next day, Jock came over to let us know a 65′ motor yacht had gotten himself stuck on the rocks commonly known as Crown of Thorns. The local salvage company arrived promptly. I guess its pretty common to hit this very dangerous rock. The current sweeps through here at a good 6 knots with the changing of the tides and it takes a good lookout to see the rock there at high tide. Turns out the current swept this boat over much quicker than they anticipated.

Peter and Jock went to go help them out and ended up being of great assistance. They were running equipment back and forth in their dinghies and assisting the diver that came aboard the vessel in distress. I can’t even imagine getting in the water here with the strength of the current!! It was all we could do to run our 15hp dinghy motor at full speed to stay in place next to the motor yacht.

Our dinghy turned into a life raft when we took the wife, daughters and their friends ashore. The yacht had just shifted on the rock and they were afraid of it being tipped over too much and potentially catching the rail in the current. We were right along side and it was terrifying to think of the strength of the water flowing beneath us. We continued running tools and equipment for the salvage company, as the owner and captain did their best to help out from the yacht. At one point the diver called us back over and asked for me to come aboard just to have another body on the port side bow as they ran the tow rope up the other direction to pull the boat off the rocks. This literally took all day.



The propellers were toast, both rudders were bent, the bow thruster was no good and there was a seeping crack in the hull. The insurance quote to fix the boat was astronomical! There’s good money in salvage, that’s for sure. It was a very unfortunate situation but we were glad we were able to be of service. The family and crew were okay which is what’s important.

That night Peter and I relaxed with a movie and some popcorn. Peter has Gunner perfectly trained to give kisses for a piece of popcorn. He doesn’t even have to say anything anymore… they have an understanding :) Gunner gets more popcorn than I do!!!


Sweet boys. These two have more in common than I ever thought was possible. Its pretty darn cute.


Sleepy Sampson Cay was the next stop as we followed our sistership, Duchess, up north just a bit. It was very quiet, we were the only two boats there. Great holding and not very rolly at all. The island is private now and there was actually quite a bit of traffic coming and going. A sea-plane did about 5 drops right next to us.  Besides the traffic from visitors to the private island, it was a nice place to stay.

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Gunner is such a funny dog. He makes himself comfortable in the strangest ways! He is loving the Bahamas!



There was a nice sand bar behind Sampson Cay where the dogs got to run and swim. There was nothing there for Gunner to eat or get into so it was the perfect place to let him run free :) He ran and ran and ran until his little legs just couldn’t go anymore. He tried so hard but ended up hopping with is back legs trying to keep up with the front ones. Betsy ran as fast as she could and they played hard!!



Both puppies love to go fishing with their daddy, but they’re more interested in the lure than the fish.


Betsy is a little easier to get in and out of the water so she gets to go swimming a little more often than Gunner. The handles on our HelpEmUp harnesses make it easy for us to toss her in…





Sleeping in is still one of our favorite things to do. French toast with local Bahamian bread makes our mornings even better!!!


Although our posts aren’t coming as frequently as they used to, rest assured we are enjoying ourselves to the fullest. It has been an amazing experience so far and we are settling in to our new life at sea quite nicely. Living on the hook is hard work, but it is TOTALLY worth it!!


Follow your dreams and take a leap of faith!! Dreams really do come true :)

Leak Prevention

Part of the routine maintenance we like to keep up on is making sure the gaskets around our ports are lubricated. The rubber seal can dry out and crack if they aren’t maintained. If there isn’t a good seal, water can leak in when it rains or when we wash down the boat.

Step 1: Scoop out a chunk of Vaseline


Step 2: Smear all that gooeyooey-ness around the seals until they have a nice coating.



Step 3: Clean up any excess vaseline around the ports

Step 4: Wipe off your hands! Yuk! (I suppose I could have used a rag, but I wanted to make sure it was covered evenly)

Step 5: Celebrate when it rains and water isn’t leaking all over your bed anymore!!


(On a side note, one of the known issues with Whitby’s is the angle of the two aft ports above the bed. They are angled so that water collects in the corners and has no way to drain out. We either have to wait for the sun to try it out, or wipe it out. It’s not a big deal.)


Our soon-to-be new home on the ocean

The last few months sure have been CRAZY!!! In a nutshell, this is what inspires our first post on our NEW WEBSITE:

Our family and friends seemed to be in disbelief as we told them earlier this year that we were going to buy a sailboat and sail away to far off lands. We told them we would sell most of our belongings (including our cars), store the stuff we just can’t get rid of, and move onto a boat with only the essentials. On top of that, we are taking our two dogs with us!!

Well, we really did it!

In July we started looking for boats online. We researched and searched and finally we found a boat that we thought would be perfect for us. So perfect we were willing to get on a plane and fly from San Diego, CA all the way across the country to Ft Meyers, FL to take a look at a Beneteau M445. Major disappointment set in as soon as we stepped on board. There was water damage everywhere and it was WAY more of a project than either of us wanted to think about. The ad was deceiving and we just didn’t have a good feeling about it. We were puzzled.  The boat’s name was Cosmic Convergence and we had been sure it was going to be just that.

Feeling deflated, we went back to the hotel wondering why we came all this way. We had a few days left before our return flight and decided to get a good night’s rest and figure out a new plan the next day. Determined as ever, I kept searching on the yacht sales websites from my phone in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep. This is unusual for me. Most everyone  knows I’m not a morning person, especially on East Coast time. I bookmarked about four other boats that looked interesting and decided that I couldn’t wait any longer. I woke Peter up at 8am to show him what I found.  We called on all four of them, but only one person got back to us that day. A few hours later we were on our way to see Hey Jude, a 1980 Whitby 42′ Ketch.

It was magical. We stepped aboard and we both knew this was our new home. She was very well-kept and loved by her previous owners, Steve and Judy, who have been out cruising with her in the Bahamas and Caribbean for the last 20 years. We spent the rest of the day with them and made plans to draw up the paperwork, schedule a survey and a sea trial. I immediately made a call back home to my sister Annie who was watching our dogs for us and asked if she could take c

are of them for a few days longer. I also had to extend my “vacation time” at work :)

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IMG_2288IMG_2292Everything went flawless. The Marine Surveyor was genuinely impressed and said it was the best vessel of this vintage that he has ever seen. Turns out he personally knows the man who built this boat in Ft Meyers, FL. Peter and I flew home and set everything into motion. Garage sale, Craigslist posting, runs to Father Joe’s for donations, and of course telling all of our family and friends that we bought a boat!!

As promised, we have FINALLY built a website for all of our blog posts and pictures so everyone can follow us on our amazing adventures. Be sure to click around and let us know what you think! Stay tuned for the next post with more tidbits about our journey across the country :)