Cruise 2017 Adventure

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December 12th, 2019
Well, the time has flown and here I am feeling guilty once more for the lack of Blog updates.

This comes from the Bahamas where Olivia and Adam are joining us for a month as of this afternoon. As such the morning has been chocker with jobs and getting the good ship Pearl gleaming. All very exciting.

The trip here was fun and eventful with a lumpy force seven off Cape Canaveral followed by a dream night sail down the coast with a fresh offshore broad reach. On closing Miami we saw a fleeting bubble of light air about to cross the Gulf Stream and decided to grab it.

It was a bit of a rough and tumble crossing but Pearl took it in her stride and delivered us onto the Grand Bahama bank for a night sail. Pool table would be the most apt description for the conditions and so I commissioned the water maker to keep awake.

On clearing the bank, we had another force seven but being up the chuff it gifted us a romping sail to Palm Cay Marina. We cleared customs and emigration feeling light headed from lack of sleep and a bit shell shocked at the dramatic change induced over the last sixteen days taking us from snow to shorts and sun cream.

The next day we ran around doing some shopping for fresh food, organizing a Bahamian mobile and bought a spear gun. With six days in hand we rattled over to Shroud Cay to drop the anchor and recuperate. As Tracey said it felt like jetlag and so the first day was spent dozing between reading Agent Zigzag which is the most amazing book. We also started watching Game of Thrones to find ourselves completely hooked.

Shroud Cay is one of our favorite spots and so it was a joy to putter into the mangroves to observe turtles, lemon shark and sting rays.
December 2nd, 2019
As much as anything this is a holding message to let you know that I am aware of being behind on the Bog. It's mainly due to being completely occupied on the wheel from before dawn to after dusk on the ICW. Whilst hard work this made for a great trip south to Charlestown in four days including managing to get under the Socastee bridge which you might recall trapped us for a week last year. From Charlestown, we motored to St Augustine which is a lovely city that was set up by the Spanish and don't you know it. Indeed, there are parts where you wouldn't know that you weren't in Spain.

I had planned to update the blog there but suffered technical issues to the site which have now been sorted. St Augustine was great fun and very busy for I had to write a couple of columns for Yachting Monthly, service the engine and assist Tracey as she managed taking on three months of stores in preparation for the Bahamas. The undoubted highlight was celebrating our first 'Thanks Giving' with Ian and Michele off the good ship Mahina. They are house sitting a lovely property and so we all mucked in for a team cook which produced a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

Still feeling like a python we made for Ponce de Leon Inlet where we rode out a front last night. Which brings me to today; we left before dawn and are rattling south for Miami with 25-30knts aft of the beam. I can see some of the huge NASA buildings on Cape Canaveral and all is well in the world with a coffee in hand and sunrise bringing colour to the ocean.

This a picture of a stunning sunset in Beaufort on the ICW. Once we stop again I will add more.
November 16th, 2019
November 16th, 2019
November 16th, 2019
It feels like a Sunday here with a biting wind that's whistling in the rigging.

Tea, boiled eggs and soldiers felt the right start to the day as we contemplated tackling one of those jobs that could fight every inch of the way.

Yesterday our inspection plate to repair the split in our slurry tank arrived at Gary and Gretas. Taking it out of the box with some trepidation I was greeted by a fine piece of engineering which helped a good nights sleep. Just what I needed for I had been feeling under the weather.

We did a run through, laid all the tools out in order and I wriggled my way under the floor boards. Tracey would take the overview and pass tools as required.

Then you have to take the leap for theres no going back once the jigsaw starts to eat its way into the job.
November 15th, 2019
We are settled into Norfolk thanks to Gary and Greta of the Ocean Cruising Club who welcome club members to their marina. They are so kind on many levels including taking in our washing.

This morning I had a paddle about the harbour and as you can see I managed gave the USS Wisconsin a friendly pat on the nose. It was pretty cold but I was warm as toast in my Finisterre thermals, hat and jacket.

After my shower, we visited the Chrysler Art Gallery and were blown away by a glass blowing demo. It was mesmerizing and I have decided that on conclusion of this trip I shall go on a course.

The weather is closing in for the weekend with rain and winds of over 40knts so I have put extra lines out. Yesterday, thanks to a sunny disposition, I popped up the mast to reverse the VHF aerial in preparation for the bridges on the Inter Coastal Waterway.

Looking at the forecast it looks like we shall be off on Monday for our final dash in our quest for the sun and rum. Thanks to the cold we are pretty motivated and have prepared ourselves mentally for a proper push.
November 13th, 2019
Once the snow had blown through the skies cleared to plummeting temperatures and create a freezing cold morning. Our destination was Gary and Gretas marina in Norfolk so we topped up with hot tea and toast before wrapping up for what turned out to be a nice trip. That said hoisting the main was a bit of a shock for rain had pooled in the sail, frozen and then proceeded to drop on us from a fair old height.
November 12th, 2019
I know I have said this before but I just cant get over how volatile the weather is about here. Yesterday we had a picnic in the sun in t-shirts and today its bitter with snow.
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