Excerpt from the log of Pelago 2

Log of SV/Pelago   05 January 2000

at anchor Miami waterfront.......

 

It has been quite a while since I have written a report, and I apologize

fro being so delinquent in doing so, but the last few months all have been

quite rough.....

Have to go back to the summer of 1999, and start with the storms of the

summer and fall....

Dennis I, II, II started if all off, Floyd came in and hammered us and

then Irene really whacked us...

In case some of you did not know Pelago was sunk October 17, 1999.

With help from GOOD friends Jim, Brian, Ed, we were able to raise her

and start the long road hack...  Even today we are still repairing small

items on the boat..

Pelago was put back together enough to allow us to leave NC on December 3rd.

We departed the  river Dec 3rd and headed to Swan Point Marine (seems that

we always end and start at Swan Point Marina)  Nice place and real competent

and friendly people..

>From Swan Point we only made it to Carolina beach the first night, but one

pleasant surprise was the speed we were making Not towing our new dink..

We stored on deck and averaged about 6+ knots the whole time.  The next day

had us tied up at Barefoot landing SC, and an early departure put us

underway at first light,  First problem of the trip.  Main watertank ruptured

and allowed bilge water to enter the tank......

Without a tank we were not going to be able to do anything...  Had to stop

at the first available place Hague Marina in Myrtle Beach... I really

do not like to speak un kindly about a Marina, but the only reason we

stopped there was due to necessity...   real arm pit Marina!!!  but we

were able to get enough (overpriced) materials to repair the tank..

Plus it rained all damned day... and to make it worse it was 28 degrees

next morning..

Next stop for us was Charleston,  and the next evening actually found us

a little south of Charleston on the Stono River and we spent another night

at a Marina,  It was close to the waterway, hot showers, shore power for the

heater...Next night found us in Beufort SC,

The next stop Palmer Johnson in Savanah GA,  Three days later we were

at anchor in St Augustine FL

An interesting note of the trip we saw a Bald Eagle in the Buttermilk sound

area of south Georgia.  Actually got some video of the eagle.

Daytona, Titusville, Melbourne, Vero Beach, Lake worth all were the next

stops.  From Lake worth south to Miami we were really slowed by all the

darned bridges, sure got to be frustrating  make good time and then have to

circle for 45 minutes for a bridge... but we make it down here and really

in pretty good time  thirteen travel days and 124 hours on the engine.

The boat is really in pretty good shape... the new watermaker works beyond

our wildest dreams  7 gallons of water an hour.. and the new refrigeration

system still takes some getting used to.. and we still have some learning to

do on it, first week if froze everything in the box, still have some

adjusting to do..

But right now we are waiting for some decent weather to cross the gulf

stream, Pelago don't do 15 foot seas!!!! and that is what is out there now.

Some interesting sights so far

Night launch of the shuttle, the eagle (that was neat), anchored right

across from the QE-2  (Queen Elizabeth II), spectacular fireworks display

at South Beach, and simultaneously from Miami..

Rick and Tammy, Miami anchorage

13 January 2000

Log of Pelago, at anchor in Normans Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas

On eight  January we moved down to a place called Nixons Harbor

on Key Bicsayne, and we anchored about five hundred foot from the former

Key Bicayne White house.

                       "AIN'T IT SWEET"

   Late in the afternoon of the 8th we had a "go fast" boat just

raising hell in the anchorage.  He would see how close he could get to  

all the anchored sailboats and wake them.  It was a 28 foot or so

Scarab, with two fuel injected big Mercury outboards.   He went roaring

by us and headed in to the sunset, but he really was not paying attention

to where he was going.  You guessed it, he hit a sandbar wide the hell

open!!!  He tore one engine completely off the transom and did other

damage to the other engine.  When he hit the sandbar, mud, sand, and

everything else you can imagine just flew up in the water.  the remaining

engine screamed at max rpms and then shut down in a cloud of smoke and

steam.   We never found out what else happened because the sun went down

and we could no longer see the boat, but there was no way it was going to

move on its own power, or float for that matter,

 

Departure

At 0500 on the  9th we took in the anchor and departed for the gulf

stream in preparation for crossing to the Bahamas.   By noon on the same day

we were in the middle of the stream,  Light winds and relative calm seas

made for a dull (dull equals good) crossing.  We had Bimini on radar about

1500 in the afternoon and by five o'clock we were on the Bahama Banks just

north of Bimini.  Again calm seas and not much wind,   basically we had

to motorsail most of the way.  About two hours after sunset I kept thinking

of just how dark it really was.   Now I have heard the phrase as dark as

the inside of a cats you know what, and I personally have never seen the

inside of a cats you know what. but if it is that dark, then it is DARK!!

No moon, fifty percent overcast and you could not tell where the water ended

and the horizon began.....

Picked up many targets on radar, but never could identify what they were

some had lights on and some did not,  no way to tell what they were, just

that they were on the radar screen, and we did not hit them.   We kept

going on in to the night, and kept having , for the sake of a better word,

Mystery lights appear on the radar, but never saw the vessels that created

them...

At midnight, we were bunched up at an area called Mackie shoals, it is just

sort of a lump on the chart with some shallow water, and that seemed like

a good place to rest for a while.  Anchor down and five hours of sleep and

then off to Chub Cay (an island in the Berry Chain)  There we cleared

customs and then headed for Nassau, arrive late in the day at Nassau

took on 25 gallons of diesel and then departed for Normans Cay....

Saturday 15 January 2000

anchored Normans Cay

For the past twenty four hours we have been anchored in a gale.

A very strong cold front came through at noon on Friday and the wind came

up quite quickly  by 1500 we were in a full gale of gusts to near fifty

knots, the anchorage got quite rough and many boats started to drag..

At 1500 another boat and us heard a "mayday" distress call, it came on

vhf channel 16 and was from the "Etienne and Cephas" this was a

sixty foot or so commercial inter island freighter with thirteen

people aboard.  She reported that she was dead in the water and sinking.

The other boat that heard the distress call, "Rainbows End" relayed the

call to the "local authorities" by vhf radio and I contacted the US Coast

guard through another ham radio operator WA4JID,  Dick.  Now Dick was

in Ft Lauderdale and was able to contact the USCG directly on vhf and

relayed the call to them.  Some co-ordination was established the

wheels started to turn.  At about 1800 a USCG helo had spotted the "Etienne

and Cephus" completely awash and all survivors in life rafts about four miles

south of the wrecked vessel.  BASRA, "Bahama Sea Air Rrescue" launched

a 42 foot search and rescue boat from New Providence Island.   Another

vessel a 32 launch with twin outboards also participated, against advice.

This would turn out to complicate matters somewhat.   The first to arrive

on the scene was the Bahama Self Defense force in a old USCG 41ft boat and

plucked the survivors out of the water.  The USCG had hoisted two aboard

but could not get any more.

Now you have to remember, it was pitch dark out, raining and blowing fifty

knots (gusts).  The seas were huge.   The other vessel, the 32 foot launch

had now fouled on of its props and was no longer able to make any headway

against the seas, and she was now in trouble.   The BASRA boat had to divert

to the launch and tow them in to safe harbor, the whole event lasted until

about 0300 in the morning.   But all turned out safe and no injuries.

Another mailboat the Cat Island Express also foundered in the storm and

wound up on the rocks north of our position they went aground and was

put on the rocks at a place called Ship Channel Cay, they were all rescued

by local people.

All in all it was quite a night, it is now 1400 Saturday and the winds are

still at a steady thirty knots.....

Rick and Tammy

Log of Pelago

Normans Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

 

 

Log of sailing vessel Pelago

anchored in Elizabeth Harbor, Georgetown, Exuma Island, Bahamas

25 Jan 2000

We made our way from Normans Cay to Black Point settlement on Great

Iquana Cay, spent the night and departed early the next morning for

a fifty mile sail to Georgetown.

Really a pretty uneventful trip, but did manage to destroy a fishing

reel on the way.  We were trolling for whatever was out there, and

we hooked on to something that literally ate the reel.....

It took off and I grabbed the pole and tried to set the hook, and the

drag and i could just not control it, all the gears are gone and so

is all the line.....

We have no idea what it was, but did see a very large splash about

100 yards behind the boat..

Also had a sighting of a sperm whale   he was headed north and only

had a glimpse of him, another boat in our group identified it..

Anchored in our usual spot and started to do the "Georgetown thing"

went snorkeling and spear fishing....  starting to get better at this

Hawaiian sling spear fishing, basically a long pole with a piece of surgical

hose.  You pull the spear back and hold the "cocked" spear and hose in

one hand and aim at a fish and let go.  Sounds easy, but it is not

but we have brought back snapper and grouper...

Had another blow come through (same one that dumped all the snow on

the East Coast of the US), but our anchor held (35 delta and 100 foot of

5/16 chain)  All of the boats that dragged were on a Bruce or a fortress..

with very little chain...  It is just too damned far to have light or

inadequate ground tackle..

The winds blew about a steady 25-30 knots with some gusts to 37 (highest

reported in the anchorage) for about 36 hours and then it lightened up

some...

Talked to some friends in Onslow County NC and they told us about all the

snow.. They would not listen to our complaint that it actually was

chilly here with the high only 68 degrees, can not imagine why???

more to follow

Today is Feb 16th and we have been enjoying Georgetown..

Had one rather serious breakdown, our wind generator died and that

sort of presented a real problem.  This meant that we would have to run

the engine quite a bit.  Put a call out on local vhf and one of the

boats in the anchorage had a spare control board, we were able to do

onsite repairs and are back in business again.  Also found out that since

it is still in warranty repair that we can send the unit back and have

it upgraded to a whole new system for $85,00

Sun 26 Feb

Been very very busy,  helping with the amateur radio classes here

in the Exumas.   Every day have been teaching morse code on the beach

to about 18 people.  Friday was the test day and a total of 55 folks

took their amateur exams and many many passed.  The ranks of amateur

radio grew quite a bit that day.  I like to think that in some small

way I was able to help some of them overcome their fear of code.....

And, Tammy Jones passed all the needed elements for general class!!!

                "THOSE GUYS IN THE GREY SUITS"

It seems that we have been inundated by sharks, all kinds shapes and

descriptions.  Mostly dusky's and lemons, but their have been enough

hammerheads to make you nervous.  Tammy and I spotted a particularly

large one.  It was a ten foot hammerhead on the edge of the anchorage,

I tried to chase it away with the dink, but he did not want to leave.

Tammy looked at me and said "why are we doing this, especially since that

thing is bigger than the dink?"  I looked at her and said, "good point!!"

and we stopped that evolution real quick.  Damned thing really did not

want to leave..

The 20th cruising regatta starts in one week and I am the variety show

chairman and look forward to having a good time with that.  so far

I have about 15 acts for the show and expect to get about five more.

some of the local Bahamians are also going to be in it..

Tammy has really been involved in snorkeling and lobster hunting and

is really quite good at it.  So far so good on the lobsters, getting

quite big ones and the price is sure right...

all for now, and more later