February 9, 2021
The camera is still tucked away safely, so if you are here for the pictures . . . sorry. I haven’t left the boat and the boat hasn’t really moved.
After Jinhee’s departure for the airport, I waited at the dock until she made it to the boarding gate. There was always a chance that she would change her mind and return to the boat, or that Canada would change its mind and send her back. Soon enough it was clear she was going to make it back home and so I chugged back to the Exumas.
It was a bit bumpier after the winds of the past few days, but nothing unsettling. Perhaps the biggest revelation was that when I chug along at 1,500 rpm, the boat really, really sips fuel. With Jinhee aboard, I have been running the engine a little harder (Jinhee is time constrained) and my fuel usage was 50-100% higher at 1,700 and 1,900 rpm. When you are not time (or weather) constrained, the 10% bump in speed really isn’t worth the fuel. I took this slower option and barely used fuel on the 6 hours back to Highbourne.
When I arrived there were a few boats anchored off of Highbourne, but overnight the population doubled to about 10 boats. I was pleasantly surprised to see another Nordhavn in the anchorage with a Canadian flag.
Having been to Highbourne Cay three times in the past six weeks, I wasn’t launching the dinghy but Kory from Migrator 1 (a Nordhavn 40) came over and introduced himself. We spent a lot of time chatting and getting to know each other and we have a very similar story. He is staying on his boat while his wife is at home (in Calgary) working because COVID doesn’t allow us to travel to each other.
This morning when I woke up I counted the boats in the anchorage outside Highbourne and there are 20 boats here. I think this is high season and people are starting to come over from the US. I may have to go much further south to avoid crowds. Since I have used more than half of my fuel, I will have to travel slowly to get there and back though without buying fuel. Fuel, like groceries, in the Bahamas is pricey.
My day yesterday was spent in front of a computer (yes, I do have interesting projects, even if they aren’t your typical work). The fruits of that labour will become clearer soon I hope, but the quick story is that PredictWind (which I use for weather) has a tracking facility. They really, really want you to buy their $500 satellite tracker and pay them $20 a month to send tracks to their tracking facility. But they have an email tracking capability (which of course doesn’t work if you’re offshore) allowing me to put out GPS coordinates of my location from time to time for free. I like this option much better.
I am writing a program to take GPS signals from the boat, and automagically send them to PredictWind so that people can find me. (I am currently under that little magenta dot.)
It is worth noting that there is much work to be done to automate things, but I am exercising my brain and I do know there are people who actually want to know where I am so this will be helpful even when I forget to inform them. 🙂
Today I will move South . . . I don’t know how far right now. I have nowhere to be and all day to get there, so my engine will run at 1500 rpm, and I will stop when I find a good place to drop anchor or grab a ball. The weather is nice (but the humidity is harsh). I will go enjoy it now.