After the well attended cruiser's Christmas picnic in Green Turtle Cay, in the Bahamas, a few boats sailed through the pass and out into the Atlantic and then back into the lagoon at another pass further south because that is the only way to avoid a shallow patch in the lagoon. We all wanted to go before the expected five days of strong wind got started because that would make what locals call a Rage condition with breakers clear across both passes. So we took our safe opportunity and certainly the Christmas sail was a fun gift from the wind and ocean.
Peace IV left the anchorage first so we only put our jib up and were doing 3 and 4 knots close reaching. The others all passed us motorsailing with all sails up for maximum speed, and then we put up our main and passed them again, so that way we were able to sail mostly together enjoying the sight of friends sailing along with us on a pretty day. And while we were in the ocean, I caught a real big fish on our drag line using Piero's lure again. It was a most beautiful streamlined fish, silver and blue with a glowing iridescense like the most fancy "wrapping paper". Luckily one guy recognized it as a safe and good eating Spanish Mackrel and we invited the other boats to come and help us eat it. So nine of us had another potluck on Peace IVs foredeck to celebrate the full moon together and praise the fish. Our friend, Robbie, did a super job of filleting it - no bones, no waste, all laid on perfectly for a lime juice saute with just a hint of Soul Seasoning. It was a nice bunch of folks both old and young all related to the ocean, so we were one family enjoying the last of the holiday together. And they were quite patient hearing again from me how my grand daughter took her first steps that morning back in Rhode Island and walked right across the livingroom floor and then across the kitchen floor. Alivia is 9 months old.
Nev and I were walking on the beach recently and found an interesting looking gray plank of drift wood that turned out to be Mahogany in plain "wrapping paper". Nev planed it up, I laminated it, he shaped it, I coated it in epoxy, and it is now installed on the forward mast case in front of our windlass as a base for a halyard winch for the foremain. Nev fashioned the two fastening brackets for the new base from alloy angle that we found last year while scavenging in abandoned junk at Baker's Bay here in the Bahamas. Even some of the bolts were left over from other jobs so it was all made pretty much from reclaimed junk. The winch we bought used in Rhode Island last year. It all looks real nice up there and will make raising that foresail much, much easier at long last. It is our Christmas gift to each other this year. Once you build the boat, altering or improving it is easy and with a good eye, materials can be found at the right price!
We found some nice stuff on an old wrecked trimaran last week. It has been untouched for many years well up on the coral rocks. One ama is gone, and the remaining hulls have no bottom left, so it will never be salvaged. We got 13 stainless pad eyes, some stainless rod, stainless sheet material and pipe, all of which will be used to fashion bits for various projects we have including a new windlass handle and a better run for the anchor chain. Over twenty feet of very nice stainless T track is still there way back in the inner harbor just off White Sound. Go by dink at mid tide rising. At least some of that boat can "live" and sail again if the recycling continues!
Our best Christmas present was, of course, letters from the kids and family back home via this pocketmail. Everybody is helping everybody else with all kinds of projects and enjoying lots of visiting too. The next generation has great style! Did I tell you about my grand daughter? Oh yes...
Love, Ann and Nev
© Anne and Neville Clement, 2004