Welcome home! Have a virus.

When we got to the States we saw very few if any people wearing a mask. We wore ours. We got some looks and maybe a head shake or two from people who fought the idea of wearing one. We didn’t care. We didn’t care about the looks we were getting but we did care about them not wearing a mask.

Apparently the reason for not wearing one is basically, You can’t make me. Also, wearing one means you’re a liberal. WHAT?

Only in America do we politicize wearing a mask to protect yourself and others from a virus that killed over 100,000 people and has infected millions just in your own country. We’re absurd.

We went into the clubhouse to get free beer when we landed because captain Paul had zero beers in the fridge. We were masked newcomers and we were stealing free beer! Yep, after the 3rd pour and take away to the boat we saw the sign that said no takeaways of beer! Huh. We went back to the boat and thought about that, then went back to the clubhouse to get in one more “pour and run.”

Who were these masked assholes taking beers to go in giant water bottles?!

“Hi! We’re from Kelly Nicole. We disobey rules because you all are sitting here in the clubhouse unmasked and shoulder to shoulder laughing and carrying on like there’s no pandemic at all. So, we pour and run. Bye!”

and now….

Georgia and specifically this county are spiking in cases. I’m hoping we start seeing more masks and more distancing. We don’t venture into a store without one and I have not been within 12 feet of anyone else even outside. There are times we get closer but we have our masks in our pockets ready to deploy.

We were supposed to visit friends today but since this bulletin came out and the fact we all share the same public restroom here at the marina we figured it would be safer to avoid people right now until we can get tested. It’s been a rough week here on KN. Sad news from family and now this virus is working it’s way closer. We have plenty of work to do to keep our minds busy so we’ll be fine as long as the virus keeps it’s distance.

We don’t want to wear the masks but we know it’s the smart thing to do. Please mask up when indoors or when you’re in close quarters even outside. Forget about politics and think about the safety of your fellow Americans. In other words, don’t be a dumb ass.

Cheers!

P

The Final Leg of the Homeward Bound Rally

Here is a little summary of our sail from the USVI.

The wind forecast called for downwind sailing the whole way until we exited the Old Bahamas Channel we might face a bit of a north wind in the Gulf Stream. Ha!

So we left the Virgin Islands in a very light wind from the East. We have a heavy headsail, a 135% Genoa made for upwind sailing in tradewinds. We had to reach off.

We continued to Jibe our way across the top of Puerto Rico. PR is a long island. Longer than Long Island. It seemed to take forever and the waves and swell would knock the wind out of our sail at times. Annoying as hell.

When we got to the Dominican Republic we expected wind and we got some. We also got waves but we were moving. Other boats with a spinnaker or a light air blooper were making tracks. We continued to jibe. Eventually the wind completely faded and we pretty much drifted for a day in the sun which was actually kind of fun and relaxing but we were not making progress so by late afternoon the motor came on and we dropped anchor in Great Inagua.

This is where the weather turned to crap. We went from no wind to too much and all the areas around us were getting hideous storms in between periods of zero wind. We did not have the fuel to continue along the Bahamas Channel Route if there were three days of no wind. Crazy. So we waited for the weather to change.

While we waited the Bahamas government decided that they would let sailors who applied for safe passage (we did) stop to rest and refuel and wait out bad weather. Cool! Our decision was made to pass safely through the Bahamas along a regular route versus making a quick run through the Old Bahamas Channel. Interestingly our weather dude advised us to take the OBC route. I turned down the advice and damn glad I did.

It was tempting to follow everyone else and head that way but the allure of stopping to rest and refuel was too great so we watched the others pull anchor and head out while we waited for the wind up north to take a break. This was tough. Everyone moving while we sat there.

While we sat there Arthur formed and things got weird. If we had followed the others we would have got the shit kicked out of us and possibly broke the boat. Some of the others are in for repairs. Some are possibly in therapy after so much praying to survive. It was a good move on our part. My gut was saying “Don’t be a fool! Fool!” Best decision all year.

Arthur sucked the wind out of the area leaving pretty much nothing to sail with except the trip from Great Inagua to Acklins where we hit 8 knots with just a reefed headsail. I had to slow the boat down by pulling more of the sail in so we could sleep. After this we had to motor sail and get past Long Island which was a long slog in big swell. Pukey.

When we rounded Long Island we throttled down to maintain just under 5 knots and quietly and in still water moved through the darkness of Exuma Sound. The stars were incredible from Great Inagua to this point. Just amazing to look at.

Getting through the cut into the current near Black Point was fun. We nailed it dead center. We refueled at Staniel Cay and waited some more for the weather to clear.

I think we stressed for days about the DECCA Channel route through the Great Bahama Bank we were thinking of taking. There was a shallow section on the charts showing 6ft 9 inches. We draw 6 ft. We were making ourselves sick and second guessing our route. I went to facebook and friends (Odin) for help. I got some good advice and we left in the morning for the channel in poor light. When we got to the “Shallow” spot we never saw anything under 12 ft. WTF! A complete waste of stress.

We had 65 hours of fuel to burn for our trip home and we ran that diesel the whole way with the main up to catch any wind. There was no wind and we eventually dropped the sail when we hit the Atlantic Ocean.

The crossing from the Bahamas to the USA was the second best crossing we’ve had. Flat water and any waves (less than 2 ft) were behind us. Easy peasy! We got into the stream and were doing 9 and almost 10 knots and eventually we were in the glow of Florida. As we approached West Palm I looked at Deb and asked, “What’s that smell?” She couldn’t place it but with a crinkled nose was thinking is this what the US smells like?

Comet. Comet cleanser. That’s the smell. I figured it out eventually and Deb agreed. Home smells like Comet Cleanser. Oye.

We pulled into West Palm in the dark and poked around. We almost ran aground looking for a spot to anchor and then dropped the hook too close to another boat but they were asleep. In the morning the guy was like, “What the fuck man!” Then the storm hit and lightning struck and Deb screamed and the dude we were next to probably cursed us but eventually it all stopped and they left and here we are 😀

As you know by now from Facebook we had some damage from the lightning strike and lost our autopilot among other things. This forced us to motor up the ICW until we could jump out at St Mary’s and jump back in at St Simons.

I have to thank the Salty Dawgs. They were awesome! Great organization and a pretty darn good rally that was quickly organized to get us home safely. Cheers to the Dawgs.

Sorry I have not blogged in a while. Still trying to unload and clean the boat and come to grips with the fact it’s over.

Cheers!

P

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Ahoy!

We left the great Bahamas bank and are in the Atlantic heading for the FL coast. Hoping the gulf stream is kind to us today. We arrive in the dark which adds a little fun at the end.

Arthur has sent us a 9 ft swell. We will be doing the up and down elevator for a while.

The cruise ships denied port are all circling the Bahama banks. Quite a few of them. Bizarre.

I am really tired. Not sure I even slept. My whole system is whacked. I think we’ll need a few days to recover. I smell like bad 🧀. I might have those beers in the shower.

cheers
P

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Ahoy!

A jolly good start to the morning. I refilled the fuel tank, killed 5 flies, made some tea. Refueled, killed, re-energized. Other than staring into a chartplotter I think I’m done for the day.

We entered the Bahamas bank at 3am and the depth dropped to 9 ft. Nine ft is good in the Bahamas but we’re not used to it. We throttled down to a crawl and both of us stared into screens for 2 hrs while lightning flashed around us. It was a crazy scene.

Now we’re in 20 ft of water and way ahead of schedule even though we were dogging it most of the way. I guess we’re going into West Palm in the dark. Joy.

There are 10 or so cruise ships parked just off the bank. The crew for those ships have to be bonkers by now.

Flat seas and no wind. It’s far from ideal but I’ll take it. I told the old gal I would treat her gently on this trip back. So far so good.

Damn I want a cold beer. Soon.

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Ahoy!
Another installment of Capt Paulie’s night shift. Let’s talk about flies.

What posseses a fly to travel ten nautical miles just to land on my burger for 1 second and then spend the rest of its life landing on various parts of my body before ending in a splat from a disgustingly old fly swatter?

Why would it’s friends follow? There’s at least 15 flies in here! Why leave land? Land has garbage and shit and all kinds of other gross fly attracting crap. Is it a fly vacation? Take a boat? See the world?

It’s pitch black again. We dodged a t storm earlier. Seas are flat as a pancake 😁. So comfortable.

No wind. Diesel running. Breathing fumes. Getting really slee

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Well, the wind is lighter and the seas higher than predicted. it’s a washing machine out here but we’re still moving. Sooner or later the diesel will have to kick in.

It would be cool to make it halfway up Long Island before we burn fuel. We are making a fuel stop early Monday and then, hopefully we are heading for Florida. There is, much to our dismay, another front coming through. Don’t know yet if this will make us wait. If that happens I think we’ll both need therapy after we get back.

We still have plenty of food and water so that’s not an issue. Our sanity appears to be the only thing in question.

An unusual thing has happened. Deb can’t sleep. She hasn’t slept in 24 hrs. These rough seas are messing her up. Hope she manages to get some shut eye soon.

All for now.
Cheers!
p

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Ahoy! Again!

My shift in the cockpit. We got behind the Acklins and the waves calmed down a bit. it was pretty rough there for a while. We will be covered by the islands until daybreak.

I had to reef down the headsail as we were hitting 8 knots. Too much. Dropped her down to 6 and things are quieter. I also see lightning on the horizon and do not want to catch up to it. A bit windy up here further north bit it’s supposed to die quickly tomorrow. That’s OK by me. I love a relaxed ride.

Going past Long Island will be a long trip cause it’s a long island. We want to time our entrance to Staniel Cay in daylight so we will see how we are time wise when we pass the top of the island. Might have to pull over for a few hrs.

More lightning. Oye.

cheers
P

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Ahoy!

About 25 miles out from the Acklins. Hitting 7 knots on an off wind broadish to beamy reach. Waves on the beam. Gets lumpy at times.

Totally black night. One very bright star is guiding us but it’s basically sailing into darkness. Not my favorite kind of night.

I look over the sides and imagine a creature moving along with us just below the water. Watching me watching.

I half expect a tentacle to snap out of the water and wrap my neck in it’s grip to pull me down. A tasty prize on a black night.

We should be at the Acklins about midnight. Hoping there’s a cell tower on the island. This will give me something to do on my next watch.

cheers
P

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Forecast:

15 to 20 knots south, south east.

OK, I guess we will run downwind with the headsail only.. again.

Reality:

Beam reach in 11 knots and dropping. Fk.

We are lazily moving at 5.5 knots in the sun and ocean swell. Arthur is moving on early apparently as the wind is leaving us. Hoping to make the Acklins under sail so we can motor the rest of the way if we have to. Not even seeing white caps out here anymore.

Why do we even look at forecasts or listen to forecasters. A big old Spinnaker would be awesome right now. We had one. Used it maybe 3 times. Should’ve kept it just for this one time 😎

It’s pretty peaceful out here considering we left in a thunderstorm. Everyone except two of us took the Old Bahamas Channel.

So far it’s pretty chill. Hope it stays this way.

Cheers!
p

SMS from 881623483335@msg.iridium.com

Deb is still in isolation. I guess I’ll just text…

We had this bird come in last night and land on the dinghy. I tried to scare it off at first because… bird shit. Bird was like, “Come at me bro”. I walked back to the dinghy and changed my mind. This bird was just as tired as we are and needed to rest. I just left it alone. Shit all you want bird. We shit all over your world so I shouldn’t complain when you shit on mine.

Bird stayed all night and we watched the sunrise together. As soon as that sun peaked out over the horizon the bird looked at me and flew off, circled the boat once and pointed towards the coast.
Safe travels bird. Hope you enjoyed your stay. I’ll be thinking about you when we launch the dinghy.

More tea!

Where’s Deb? 🤔

Cheers,
PJ.
🐦