Dry Tortugas – First week of the Year at the Dry Tortugas National Park
We spent a great week anchored by Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas exploring the fort, the surrounding waters and islands.
Loggerhead Key for a dive
Back to Boca Chica to pickup some packages
Back to Ponce Inlet via Rodriguez Key, & West Palm Beach to have the rudder repaired after grounding off of Marathon Key in Dec
Ponce Inlet – Rudder Repair
Mar 30, 2022
Trip to the Bahamas
Ponce Inlet to West Palm Beach and Crossing to West End
Lost Shaker of Salt to meet us there
Great Stirrup Cay
Great Harbor Cay
Time to head for the Exumas without Lost Shaker of Salt who had to turn back
Great Guana Cay – Black Point
3 weeks at Black Point for weather and hoping Lost Shaker can get their issues worked out
Back to Black Point and then onto Little Farmer Cay
Lee Stocking Cay – got to snorkel the little reef on the Sound side
Cat Island Crossing
Scuba Diving at Greenway Resort
Half Moon Cay
Leaving the Bahamas
Port Canaveral, FL
St Augustine, FL
Cape Charles, VA
Chesapeake & Potomac River
Potomac River to Annapolis
Annapolis to C&D Canal, DE River/Bay
With Amy & Emily as crew
NYC for the 4th of Jul
East River & Long Island Sound
Norwalk, CT – Amy & Emily have to leave
Jul 14, 2022 Haul-out at Fairhaven shipyard
See Refit 2022 for more details on all the work that was done in the Fairhaven Shipyard.
Sep 28, 2022 – Splash – move into a slip to wrap up work
Martha’s Vineyard – Shake down
DE Bay/ River
C&D to Annapolis
Annapolis Boat Show
We went into the boat show with the intent of replacing one of the electric winches, the windlass and our course computer. We also got to get caught up with Duca and Roberta from Odd Life Crafting and meet Ben and MP from Sailing YABÁ.
Little Creek, VA – stopped to top up fuel and check weather
Cape Lookout, NC – anchored to check weather and look for a more sheltered spot to weather the storm.
Portside Marina, NC – only available port to hang out in for the storm. While here, fixed sonar, camera, and engine issues that have been plaguing us.
The bay outside of Moorehead City is called Cape Lookout. We found almost 80 degree days ahead of the crappy weather that followed. Shorts and T-shirts for the first time since early Sept.
So these pictures are really from Annapolis, but the final resolution happened in Moorehead City where we discovered the source of our persistent raw water leak in the engine compartment – the next piece of the exhaust system was leaking around the joints to and from the water/ exhaust muffler. So we have a mostly new exhaust system that should leave the area under the engine nice and dry. Now all we have to deal with are a few slow oil leaks. These will wait till I can break down the engine to replace gaskets etc.
One of the reasons we stopped in Moorehead City was for high winds ahead of the passage of tropical storm Nicole. The picture above shows the strength of 20kts of wind on the beam of Unladen Swallow.
8+day Passage to St Thomas, USVI
Once the weather cleared in Moorhead and we addressed a few issues we discovered after leaving Annapolis our crew of 4 – Lee, Brownie, Jeff and Richard set off with high expectations towards the USVI. Our new insurance carrier was not using good seamanship in setting limits for our voyage – they wanted a much higher premium and 3 experienced off shore crew on board to go greater than 250nm offshore. Trust me anything more than about 70nm offshore is OFFSHORE. At 6-8 knots a bailout option is 10 hours away and most commercial towing companies cover up to 75 miles or so offshore. The company decided that we would be limited to 250. We needed about 350 to do the route that is recommended. So that put us further S and W than we wanted to be and likely caused us to burn 50% more in diesel fuel to make up for the adverse wind conditions – and no, that had nothing to do with our weather window, the trade winds are the trade winds.
The boat did great and we zipped along on between a close reach and close hauled when we could sail – we made 180nm several days which is moving right along and in the center we encountered an area of light and variable winds that we had to motor through. Had we not had the 250 nm limit, during this period we would have just pointed the boat East and gone as far east as we could before turning south again at around 65 deg W. This would have allowed us to easily and comfortably sail down the St Thomas on a beam reach – i.e. the wind 90 deg to our direction of travel. This is the prescribed approach. With the 250nm limitation we were forced further S and when we came out of the motoring we found ourselves right on the edge of trying to sail it the rest of the way. This made for some very uncomfortable sailing and not much sleep.
We ended up just motoring the last 36 hrs or so, otherwise we would have had to tacked back to the north and added a day to the passage.
All totaled we traveled about 1200nm from Moorhead City, NC to St Thomas, USVI. We caught more Mahi Mahi than we could eat, so we started to release them and then finally just quit fishing. The cats (esp Loki) love fresh fish and have basically refused to eat anything else since they became available. We used most of the water we had onboard as well as about 100 gals of Diesel. We had 140gals onboard to start. The water was not a big concern as we have a water maker, it just needs to be turned on. We were going to do that enroot, but the conditions were not great for that project – 20-30 degree heel and being bounced around is not ideal for working on plumbing. We broke a couple of old shackles, but nothing significant.
Now that we are in St Thomas, we are catching up on sleep and getting the boat cleaned up and ready to start exploring the VI.
We spent a few weeks in FL with family between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and left SV Unladen Swallow on a mooring with a friend “watching” over her. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. When we got back just a few days before Christmas, the boat was no longer on the mooring, and our friend had no idea where she’d gone. a few hours working with the local cruisers’ net discovered she had been repo’d. The repo crew recognized she wasn’t their normal pickup, and hadn’t started “salvage operations.” We contacted the bank, and they had us back on our boat within 24 hours, and the agent who reviewed the case said many mistakes were made, on the banks’ side, with our case, as we were never contacted regarding the reasons for the repo. Once we got on our boat, we discovered that much of Lee’s underwater camera gear was missing. So there will not be any underwater pictures from him until we replace those items.
Once we were back on the boat, we set down our anchor in Secret Harbor, and contacted Aqua Action, the local dive shop here. Lee has been working as a Dive Instructor and “beach boy” for them since.