February 1, 2023
Rock Sound offers a very well protected anchorage from the east winds that have been coming in. The winds were modest and the weather improving, but we took a couple of days to just hang out at anchor in Rock Sound.
That dirty hull doesn’t clean itself, and in an anchorage with 8’ depths I could essentially stand on the bottom and clean the hull and so that was the plan. After a few hours of work, my hull still isn’t clean but it is way, way better than it was, particularly at the waterline. Anyone approaching the boat may not even realize the garden of marine life growing under the boat. Really, it looked like a lawn was growing and now paint can be seen again. So that’s a win.
We took the time to do a few other projects as well. Our time in the US around Christmas was busy with work that HAD TO BE done in the USA, but as we improve and rearrange the boat for our use away from the easy buying and shipping we find in North America, we packed a lot of stuff on board to be completed later.
The first, as mentioned was cleaning the hull, and that included buying some new snorkeling gear as well. The importance of a good mask can’t be overstated! Jinhee and I each purchased newer, and hopefully better masks (our last gear was purchased in Split, Croatia in 2019).
One item mentioned previously was a bike rack custom made for me by Colonial Metalworks in Fort Pierce, FL. I designed it and Chris Hale welded it up pretty much exactly as I designed it. It leaves a little bit to be desired, but only on the design side. I installed it while at anchor and took my first journey to shore with my bicycle safely stored aboard the dinghy. If I had more time to work with Chris, I would change some things, but it is way better than laying the bike across the front of the dinghy.
After my bike ride, Jinhee was on the phone changing the world so I was on the boat deck installing solar panels. (A little feather in Jinhee’s cap . . . for anyone who follows her work, GM announced a big investment in a Lithium Mine this week, that’s one of the companies she helps with. Pretty important stuff).
As some may remember, I have tried flexible solar panels, and still have them, but have kind of abandoned the idea of using flexible panels. They don’t pull in enough light and I need to invest a lot to mount them effectively. Instead I found some 24V 200W panels (Rich Solar) and picked up a couple of those. It isn’t enough to avoid using the generator, but it can offset the use by about 25-30% in good sunlight. That’s better than nothing. I have mounted them on the starboard rail of the boat deck and they are working well.
I have had these panels sitting on the deck for a month (over Christmas) in the Florida sunshine, and there are a lot of obstacles on deck to keep the sun away. Mounting them led to an AMAZING increase in power from the sun. I am very happy so far.
Beyond that there have been some other changes. We have cleared the decks a little bit more by getting poles and brushes out of the way, as well as mounting a bunch of wood strips to put in hooks in strategic places (including in the lazarette, cockpit lockers and the dinghy as well).
It hasn’t all been work though. We took the time to visit a grocery store/market on land and even had lunch at Frigates. We don’t often eat out, partly due to the cost in the Bahamas, but also due to lingering COVID behaviour, but the food at Frigates was very good and not ridiculously expensive.
We also met up with Chris and Allison on SV Purrfect. I had met Chris and Allison two years ago at Pipe Cay while they were trying to fix their leaking dinghy (now replaced). They are fellow Canadians (Edmonton) and so we caught up on their adventures (and ours).
On Monday we also took some time to visit two of the local attractions. The Ocean Hole and the Cathedral Cave.
The Ocean Hole is really just a pond in the middle of town, but it is supposedly connected to the ocean about 600′ down through tunnels. There are plenty of sea fish in the pond and they are looking for food. We didn’t bring any food, but they came directly to shore when we arrived looking for some.
It was a pretty hot day, but we still ventured to Cathedral Caves, and that was an even better experience than a hole in the island. Although both geologically interesting, the cave offered better photo opportunities.
Overall the calm and shallow anchorage with just enough shoreside services allowed us to get a lot of work done.
Finally, all this comes on the heels of our stop at Palmetto Point on Sunday, which I didn’t describe at all. We stopped for the night there and hung out briefly with Kevin and Noelle Massey. While we didn’t board their beautiful Nordhavn 76 (named N76), it was nice to get their perspectives on owning a larger boat.
We walked into the little town looking for Pizza from Mate and Jenny’s that are supposed to have the best Pizza, but they are closed on Sundays. We didn’t do much in town, preferring to just relax on Home Free.
The featured image is from the (destroyed) dock at Palmetto Point.