Hi people...I haven`t been very good in keeping my blog up to date....I have just been lazy!!
We left Fort Pierce on April 16th and so far we have covered 762 miles. Today, May 13th we are for the third day at Portside Marina in Morehead City. As you can see we are taking our time. We have encountered, strong winds, rain, thunder storms and best of all nice sunny days. We spent five days in Charleston, we had four days of 20 to 25 knots sustained and some gust up to 40+ knots, enough wind that two of our lines were cut, real wicked weather. Our best option was to play tourist in Charleston, what a beautiful place to play. And now we get to play tourist again in Morehead City!
On our way we have been constantly surrounded by dolphins, all sorts of birds and we also encountered an alligator...awesome! We also saw a few turtles basking in the sun.
Tomorrow we will be on our way again, the water and diesel tanks are full and so is the fridge. We will not be doing the Dismal Swamp, instead we are heading up to the Virginia Cut. Should get there in about 3 days.
I do have to be honest, my first week after leaving Fort Pierce, I realized that our crossing from the Bahamas had affected me more than I realized, when we crossed Sounds that had high winds and waves, I was to say the least, very anxious and I would not take the helm, I was just plain scared. I had a good conversation with me, myself and I, I had to get over this fear. Glad to say all is back to normal now, I`m sure Pierre is also very pleased :-)
Our oil leak was caused by a crack in the oil cooler, we ordered a new piece and Pierre once again fixed the problem. Our GPS connectors have been changed and we have also bought an exterior antenna (back-up) although we don't plan to go through this again, one never knows. We hired a crew to come clean out the bilge which was full of oil, real messy business!
So for now we are waiting on a few replacement parts, and we should soon be on our way to Quebec. I must admit that being here at Harbortown Marina is real nice, the dock masters are just wonderful people, a super place to be!
Boats waiting at Mangrove before our crossing!
Mangrove, no one knew what was coming...
Thank you, thank you Flyer and Old Sam for keeping in constant communication with us during our crossing, we were never really alone because of you guys. And a big thank you to Snover who gave us a new CDN flag.
Part of the people who crossed with us, we all met the next night to talk about our crossing and what damage some of us had, some people have been doing this crossing for 15 years and they said this was the worse ever, of course we had to pick that night to do it :-)
My hero, Captain Pierre
My last walk on a beach
Kairos I from our marina back home, Marina de Portneuf.
The 31st of March we left our anchorage at Allans-Pensacola, heading West to Mangrove Cay to get ready for our crossing over to Fort Pierce, time of departure 12:00 on April 1st. What we didn't know is that during the day our engine sprung a leak! Just before pulling anchor at 12:00 Pierre decides to check the oil level to find out that the engine room has oil everywhere??? So what do you do when you are in the middle of nowhere, not a town near you and you are ready to cross, after discussing our problem we decide to continue with our plans and cross anyway, checked to see how much oil we had on reserve, good lots of the stuff...so away we go!
We were 9 boats, just to name a few, Flyer, Old Sam, Snover, Sea Wings IV and Te Amor (sorry but I don't have the others names). Big discussions between all of us during the day concerning the weather, our only updates were from NOAA, no one had Internet connections and Chris Parker does not broadcast on Sunday...we all decide okay NOAA is saying seas 2' to 4' with the occasional 5' swell, winds SSE 9 to 17 knots, going to SSW 6 to 11 knots. Ha Ha Ha! What we did get was seas was 5' to 6' with occasional 8' to 9', winds S sustained 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 30+ knots.
Leaving Mangrove we put up our sails, to the East of us we could see lightning, no big deal, we aren't going that way, we were so glad the winds were good sailing weather, we had a 4 hour sail to reach Memory Rock on Little Bahama Bank and on to the ocean and the Gulf Stream after that. Just before reaching Memory Rock the winds picked up, we had to roll in the Genoa, but we left the Main up, we were still running without the motor. After we passed Memory Rock, all hell breaks loose, the winds really bad, the seas really high and Odyssey IV rolling in a high speed washing machine. Waves crashing on the port side, Pierre, my hero, getting wet and to add to this misery, one wave came down to the cabin and shorted our GPS (USB cable), no more chart plotter, all that is left is a small hand held GPS and this for the rest of our crossing. One wave picked Odyssey IV by the stern and made her do a 180 degree turn, happened so fast we didn't know what hit us! Another wave hit us so bad, we thought the boom had broken off, the noise was incredible. At one point oil leak or not we had to put the engine on, so we would run about 2 hours and we had to add at least a gallon of oil, try doing that in the angry seas, well we did it. Finally, we get daylight, the sea was awesome to see, I can't say I was scared, :-), I was to busy being sea sick, a first for me! I was sitting in the cock-pit and all around us were walls of waves much higher than Odyssey IV, everyone of them slamming into the boat. Pierre was at the helm the whole time, I wasn't able to hold Odyssey IV in those waves.
My hero, Pierre the perfect Captain
So here we are in heavy seas, no navigation, engine problems and all of a sudden water spouts forming not too far from the boat, that's all we needed! Lucky for us they went in another direction, one of them was huge, we could see the water being sucked up...awesome!
On we go, at around 15:00 we reach about 15 miles from Fort Pierce inlet when we run out of oil, so we call Tow Boat US, and by this time I was just wishing they would come and get us! At first they wanted to just bring us oil and said we could sail in, oh yeah, the waves were calming down 2 to 4' but no wind, like I said to the Tow Boat person, all we are doing is going backwards....so finally around 17:00 they came and towed us to Harbortown Marina, Fort Pierce. We were tied up to a dock at 19:45, and so glad the day was over!
Our hand held GPS says we did max speed over the ground at 11.3 knots....wind plus current can be wicked.
Odyssey IV and her crew say hello from beautiful Marsh Harbour.
On February 20 we arrived in Marsh Harbour and spent a week at anchor. We were having big problems with our outboard motor, enough problems that we were afraid to go exploring with our dinghy, she would for no reason stop and not start again. The vote was unanimous, we need a new motor. We are now the proud owners of a new 2 stroke 8 horsepower Mercury outboard. :-) Now we can go places and not worry!
We donated our old outboard to Every Child Counts, a wonderful organization that helps needy children. We were told that it will get repaired and sold.
February 28 we head for Hope Town, the weather is going to get pretty nasty so at least we will be in a protected mooring field. Hope Town is such a pretty town, not the worst place to be stuck.
Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay
Odyssey in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay
Full moon, Marsh Harbour
Marsh Harbour anchorage
Odyssey IV and Flyer in the background, Marsh Harbour
Maxwell's grocery in Marsh Harbour. Getting directions to the fish market!
Flyer on her way to Whale Passage...the colours are unreal!!
Entrance to the Whale Passage, Whale Cay, the water sure changed colour
Deb and Fred from Flyer, our travelling buddies
Garden in Hope Town...just beautiful
Hope Town lighthouse
Evening Hope Town lighthouse
Heritage Day in Hope Town
Heritage Day games
Ocean side, Hope Town
Sunset Hope Town
Will and the talking dog "Lucy"
Today we have a rest from the winds, one day is all we get, tomorrow it builds up again to 25 knots for another 24 hours. I must say that this year the weather is very windy and sometimes cold, nothing like the weather we had last year, but look, who is complaining, at least I don't have to shovel snow.