It appears that we will have a good weather window to make the passage over to Bimini this Sunday, February 8th…or at least I think it’s the 8th…..retirement does something to time……a good thing by the way.We have been busy on Moorahme. Yesterday, the solar farm installation was completed. We now carry 690 watts of panels on our radar arch. Alex and Darren moved the radar to the outside of the arch, then installed the two new panels and the controller.The new controller is much more advanced than our old one, and we increased our solar capability from 220 watts to 690. We are hoping for good things from this new arrangement. Alex owns Sea Tek, a marine repair company and is one of the brightest young men we have met since we left Pensacola and enjoyed the services of Brandon of Perdido Bay Sailor.
John from the s/v Remora also came over to the boat, and with Dean from s/v Our Way Two alongside, we fired up the Spectra Catalina watermaker. This watermaker converts the saltwater into potable, fresh water for the boat. At a rate of about 12 gallons an hour, we now are pretty independent of shore utilities. Thanks to the Spectra watermaker dealer Halden marine, we also now have a bountiful supply of filter cartridges and he also threw in a check valve which has a small leak and I will change out either today or tomorrow.
There were manatee at the dingy lock – they often come looking for fresh water (which we are not supposed to give them – but the hose is a little leeky so they hang out sometimes.
Beth and Marsha, John’s wife from s/v Remora, will be heading off to fully provision the boats tomorrow. It was actually raining quite hard here this morning, so today’s task was delayed to tomorrow. We will be travelling across to Bimini with John and Marsh on their Saga 43 sailboat. Their boat has a 6’6″ draft, and their hull speed is just slightly faster than ours at 8.4 knots, Moorahme has a hull speed of 8 knots. They are great folks, fun to be with, and have countless stories of their travels around the world while John worked for Exxon.
There are a lot of Canadian boats here, in fact our row of mooring balls has four Canadian boats in it, and there are quite a few additional Canadians throughout the anchorage/mooring field. Nice to see that Canadian flag way down here.
We went to Sombrero Reef to watch a sea turtle release. Her name is Dorothy.
Back to our next passage. Weather permitting, it looks like a Sunday afternoon/night crossing to Bimini, a distance of 110 miles. We will cross the gulfstream, which will add between 2-4 knots to our boat speed, but also push us north at the same time. We will have to leave our mooring ball on Saturday at low tide to get under the cable which we had issues with when we arrived, and will fuel Moorahme up at a marina on our way out to the anchorage. We will then be fully “tanked up”, provisioned and ready to go when departure time arrives. We are excited! It appears that we will finally move on and make our first passage in the Atlantic ocean, the first of many to come!
We had issues with the forward head waste pump again yesterday, and before tearing it down I actually read the manual. It suggested that the nut holding the diaphragms in position had loosened, and that all I had to do to enact the proper repairs was to loosen the inspection cover, tighten the retaining nut, add some silicone to the threads to hold it in place…..and voila..done! Well, not so fast grasshopper. Moorahme’s electric pump is installed such that you have to remove the pump from it’s position…not a good thing when the pump is full. Yup…FULL. So…..hold your breath, hope for the best and get ready to do some clean up after. I won’t go into all the details…but suffice it to say that it was a very shitty job<grin>, but, mission accomplished! Thank goodness for manuals and troubleshooting ideas! At the same time, we also discovered that the rear holding tank was having issues…the breather valve was plugged, and the tank had billowed up and would have made sleeping on it rather uncomfortable…for more reasons than one! We called for an emergency pump out, and the marina staff were very accommodating and helped us out. It was then time to clear the breather valve/line, to prevent a further occurrence…more so to prevent the tank or one of the sewage lines from rupturing. What the breather or vent does is allows air to escape from the holding tank as the tank is filled with…ummm, well you know what. So, mission accomplished there as well. It was a very busy day on the boat…..as usual. Believe me, there is a lot more maintenance on a boat than there is in a house, trust me on this.
This little guy startled me one day on my way to the showers. Can you spot him in the picture?
OK, that’s the update for now. I’m not sure if we will have another update before we depart for Bimini…and then there will be wi-fi issues once in the Bahamas. I will strive to keep our updates timely, and don’t forget that you can follow our progress on the “SPOT” messenger site that you have already. We now have reservations made at the Bimini Blue Water marina in Bimini for Monday…so you can follow us there by clicking on here:
Keep your stick on the ice!