Cruising the East Coast and the Abacos in our Camano Troll
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Christmas in Abaco
We checked the bar room of the Green Turtle Club and found that the North Cove Yacht Club Burgee (that had been put up by a fellow club member whose family owns property on Green Turtle) is still there with the dollar bill we had signed two years ago.
On Christmas Eve morning, one of the cruisers who had a rather modest sailboat at the dock hosted a breakfast for the entire fleet (about 50 people) at the Club. We all ordered off the menu.
Santa Claus found the boat overnight and The Admiral found a very modest present under the little tree.
On Christmas Day, Brendal helped to host a big pot luck dinner behind his dive shop which is next to the Green Turtle Club. Captain John and Sylvia did all the organizing as they apparently have for many years. They live on a small sailboat in the harbor for the winter and buzz around in a small Boston Whaler. Captain John runs a tour boat from Dafuskie Island in South Carolina during their "season."
We took the dinghy over to New Plymouth a couple of times to walk around and do some grocery shopping. It is the only "town" in Green Turtle and has all kinds of really authentic charm. We shop at Sid's(now run by his son Scott and his daughter -- Sid's widow often sits on a small couch at the door and greet everyone as they come in and leave), which is the best of the 4 or 5 little grocery stores in town. (I have no idea how they support all those stores, but they were all there two years ago and probably for many years before.) The town was founded by Loyalists from New York whose lives were getting rather unpleasant in the years following the Revolutionary War. There's a great little museum run by a woman who looks old enought to be one of the original settlers and has wonderful stories to tell.
Back at the anchorage in White Sound, we saw some lovely sunsets and sunrises undisturbed by shore lights and air pollution. It seemed that every other boat was from Nova Scotia and many of them flew their provincial flag with pride along with the Canadian national ensign and the Bahamian courtesy flag.
A young single-hander who we had first seen at West End did very well with his spear and fishing pole!
We took a couple of days to go a few miles north to Manjack (aka: Munjack or Nunjack) Cay, one of our favorite anchorages two years ago. We started off at the northern anchorage which we hadn't been to before and walked across to the ocean side.
Apparently, some developer put up a pavilion which various people have turned into a kind of "signing tree", putting their names on all kinds of flotsam and jetsam and hanging it up. They have also made large piles of the tremendous amount of jetsam that has washed up on the beach by way of waves and current -- almost all of which is plastic junk.
We dinghied around the northern point to discover the new house of a guy we had met a couple of years ago. We had seen his little Compac sailboat in Black Sound and were told that he was "off Island" for a couple of weeks.
Then back to the main anchorage off the house of Bill and Leslie who provide free WiFi to those who anchor off their beach. They also welcome anyone ashore and ask only that guest either help collect and pile up junk from the shore or even take it back to someplace where it can be dumped.
The Skipper explored the creeks that wind through the mangrove swamps at the end of the cay and saw an example of new mangroves seeding themselves along the way.
On the way back he stopped to see the Wharram-designed catamaran Peace which we had talked to a couple of times down the ICW and was invited aboard for a cup of tea and good conversation with Ann and Neville. They are tucked away in a corner between Manjack and Crab Cays and stay there for most of the winter.
After a night at Manjack, we headed back to Green Turtle, this time going down to Black Sound to test our new anchor in the bad holding ground. Our new friends aboard Sheena II (a neat ferro-cement trawler from Canada), Mike and Sue, got a good deal on dockage at Donney's Boat Rental Dock.
Those of us who wake up early enough got the great treat of seeing the almost-full moon setting just a few minutes before sunrise.
Today, New Years Eve, we will walk to the beach and do some shelling before we dinghy over to a BYO cocktail party back at Brendal's in White Sound. The weather is supposed to be poor for the Junkanoo in New Plymouth tomorrow, but we will be able to get there by either sea or by land from here.
The information in this column does not change. New entries will appear to the left.
We started this blog in August 2006 when we were getting ready for our first winter heading south in our new powerboat, named "Sesame". The newest entries are first and the oldest are last. General information is in this column.
Most of the photographs are high definition. You can click on any one of them to see the photograph full size. If you want to steal one, click on it. When you get the full-size one, right click and "Save as" whatever you want. I would only ask that you give proper credit if you use them for anything other that your personal delight and delectation.
The Admiral and the Captain
Enjoying a Meal Ashore in Abaco
Powerboating on the East Coast
We are Judy and Allen Ames from Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Our boats have all been called "Sesame" (Ameses spelled inside out?). The dinghy, of course, is named "Open".
After 60+ years of sailing, the last 25 aboard a Nonsuch 26 and a Nonsuch 30, we went to the "dark side" and bought a slightly used 28 foot trawler, called variously, a Camano Troll, a Camano 28, or a Camano 31 (see below). This blog starts with our first motor boat trip down the East Coast from Connecticut to Key West and back during the winter of 2006-2007. (We had done a similar trip on our Nonsuch 30 a couple of years before. That trip is pretty well documented in our WebShots albums -- http://community.webshots.com/user/allen_ames) It then picks up with our third trip which took us across the Gulf Stream to Abaco on New Year's Eve 2007.
Like most blogs, the most recent entry is on top and you have to scroll down to get previous entries. You can also click on a specific date at the bottom of this column.
We welcome comments or questions. Just hit the word "Comments" at the end of any entry or email us at: Sesame130@comcast.net. You can send the blog to anyone else by clicking on the envelope with an arrow at the end of each entry.
Sesame, Camano Troll #130
Doing 13 knots
The Camano Troll is a "semi-displacement" trawler, 28 feet long on deck and 31 feet overall if you measure the swim platform and anchor roller. She has a 200 horse Volvo turbo-diesel which can push her up to about 13 knots when we're in a hurry and don't care that we're getting less than a mile per gallon. Normally, we cruise at 7-8 knots which is far more relaxing and gets us close to four nautical miles per gallon. We love the 360-degree view from the main cabin and inside steering station and it's even nicer on the flybridge in good weather.
We have most of the amenities: Hot and cold running water, refrigeration and freezer, 3 burner propane stove with oven, shower and enclosed head, and plenty of room for two people. We have replaced the large dining table (which made it possible to convert the dinette into a double bunk) with a smaller one, but have a 5' x 7' pop-up tent and blow-up queen size mattress that fits perfectly on the flybridge for occasional guests (our penthouse!). The bridge also has plenty of room for a couple of lounge chairs.
We have three AGM batteries on the "house" side of our 12-volt system. To keep the small chest freezer, refrigerator, and various toys going, we usually run the engine for a couple of hours a day when we are at anchor or moored in order to keep the batteries charged We also have a 110 volt belt-driven generator which runs off the main engine to power the microwave, airconditioner (and reverse-cycle heater), etc. Smaller 110 appliances, a TV, computers, and rechargers run off a small inverter. A 7.5 amp solar panel helps keep the house batteries up in sunny weather giving a little more TV and freezer time before we have to start up the engine. Of course, all of the 110 system works when the boat is plugged into dock power too.
We communicate by Verizon cell phone and get our internet through a Verizon air card or WiFi wherever and whenever service is available. (Verizon is not our favorite vendor, but it has the best coverage all the way down the East Coast.) We have external marine antennas for both the air card and WiFi. Where we don't have cell service (Bahamas, some of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Maine) but can get WiFi, we use Skype.
The boat was built in British Columbia but the factory has recently been sold and they say they will begin building in Washington state. See the links below for more pictures and specs of the boat.
Our title is a leftover from an old English teacher's fondness for alliteration rather than a true description of the contents. Actually, we plan very carefully to avoid having it become a saga, or even an adventure! We refuse to have a real schedule or dated itinerary for fear that we would be tempted to venture out in poor conditions. If we want to meet someone along the way, we give them the choice of when or where, not both. The only exceptions are when we are relatively certain that we can reach a destination easily and safely at least a week before a specific date. Even then, we make it clear that all "plans" are subject to change or cancellation.
Traditionally, there are two kinds of cruisers: those who are happy in slower boats (sailboats and slow trawlers) focus on the voyage, while those with fast boats are all about the destination. We definitely belong to the former group.
Our goal is to do virtually nothing, and do it well!
Or, to invoke the greatest all-time boating cliche, as Kenneth Graham's Rat says in The Wind in the Willows: Believe me, . . . . there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing . . . . about in boats -- or with boats. . . . . In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.