June 29, 2009
We will be leaving tonight around 10:00 or 11:00. We have done our radio checks and everything is tied down and ready to go. We will keep our distance, as it is getting dark. Our radio is not clear after leaving West palm beach. We are not receiving radio communication from Jazz anymore. We didn’t realize that we would have radio problems. We have had two antennas but the one on the mast is broken.
June 30, 2009
- This is a Barry at the helm after we took down some of our sail.
We sailed through the night and I haven’t seen a single boat. Seas are building steadily. The wind has been strong and we have been
rolling back and forth constantly since we left West Palm Beach. We thought about turning East and going to West End but we decided to keep going. There are some good rain storms building. We have decreased our headsail and doing so again. Wind is too strong so we have dropped our main sail. The only sail we have up still is a tiny patch of our head sail. Barry is taking the helm now, and we have turned our engine on. We have sighted land and are almost too close for comfort with the wind and waves of this storm. Seas have built and are 8-10 feet and the things we don’t have tied down well are being tossed around the cabin. The kids are sleeping. They have been sleeping most of the trip. Everyone is sick except for me. One of us has to have an iron stomach. Storm has past and we can see all kinds of cargo boats. We are entering the Freeport inlet with a cruise ship. The people aboard wave at us and take pictures. It is nice to be on calm water again. Freeport is a commercial port and there is no where to anchor. There is no sign of Jazz. We have been all over the port and finally decided to anchor in a newly dredged area. It is out of the way and we hope no one will notice.
July 1, 2009
We are leaving Freeport today. The water is still choppy. A couple miles out our engine hiccups. Doesn’t sound good. Engine dies. The wind is strong so we decide to continue. Big lightening storm ahead. We decide to turn around. There’s no where else to go but Freeport. It sucked us back in like a big black hole. The current runs east at a fast pace. We were doing 7 knots when we turned toward Freeport. Had enough wind to anchor in the same spot, though we wished we had anchored in the corner of the dredged harbor instead of the middle. We didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb. There’s nothing like being stuck in a different country with no money to go through customs and an engine that won’t run.
July 2, 2009
We leave Freeport for the second time. Our engine quits again. Weather looks better and the seas are much more calm. Squall builds up 30 minutes before we reach our emergency stop point one. WE see the cut and head towards it but as we get close we see what looks like a line of coral along the shore. I can’t see a way through it. We turn around and head back into deeper water before the squall hits us. It wasn’t bad and seas where calm then the wind died and we started drifting east, south east, back toward Freeport. Nothing else to do so Barry went down and purged the fuel lines again. The motor is running again. We motor under a beautiful moon and make it to our second emergency pull out, Booty Bay. It is a narrow inlet. Only one light is working. Small marina to dock at and we talk to a dark island boy and he tells us that another marina is around the corner so we turn right and motor through a very narrow and shallow waterway. This place is swarming with mosquitoes. No good so we turn around and get stuck. We swing the boom out to the port side and Barry swings like a monkey and I accelerate while turning starboard and port alternating. We get unstuck and head back into the ocean. Motor seems to be running better. We head to West end. We anchor outside the harbor and relax for the night. No sign of Jeremy and Aude.
July 3, 2009
We wake up, and enjoy our view. We wish we had cut off and sailed here to begin with. It is very beautiful. We think it is a good idea to head home. We have no idea where our friends are at and we don’t trust our engine. It is a beautiful morning and there is some wind. Half way through the day the wind settles down and then we hear bad noises form the v-drive or the transmission of our boat. Barry thinks it is bearings. We turn the engine off and for the rest of the day we drift and sail in a north westernly direction though it is mostly north. We are right in the middle of the Gulf Stream and in the Bermuda Triangle. Towards evening we finally strap our dinghy engine on the back of the boat and make a little progress. Looks like we won’t make it to West Palm Beach though. Lightning storm comes up we are making 5 knot against the current!! Yaaa! Storm blows over, no wind again.
July 4, 2009
The ocean is so calm that we jump in and go for a swim. It is over a thousand feet deep and it takes a while to get in. The kids had a good time and didn’t want to get out though. We put the dinghy engine back on and make some more progress. About 3 miles before we make the inlet the contraption that kept the dinghy engine on broke off and we pull it up and are now under full sail. There is good wind now and we see some dolphins. Pulled into St. Lusie under full sail with the motor running just for backup. We dropped anchor in the Ochachobee waterway. We wanted to find internet to call for a ride to church so we pulled up the anchor and risked turning the motor on and using the v-drive. We motored up the waterway and ended up dropping anchor around the corner where there were a couple hundred boats gathering to watch a huge firework display. By this time it was dark and we realized we would be staying there for the night. It feels great to be back where we can drop our anchor and relax a little. It was a very big firework display. Melody enjoyed it a lot. Orrin fell asleep before it started.