Thursday, March 13, 2014

Return to Abaco

Goodbye Exumas

So we finally left Georgetown, Exumas. The time has come for us to make the slow trek home. We said our goodbyes & left at first light on Monday morning for a 12 hour trip north to Stainel Cay.

Sunrise the morning we left Georgetown


You can't possibly leave the Exumas without passing by a few of this big boys. The Exumas are FULL of them. This one was pretty amazing.

The red boat tied to their side is worth about a half million. That's their "dinghy". There was a matching one on the other side. Full staff, lots of toys. 3 garages. It's insane! Even if they don't own that would cost several hundred thousand dollars to rent per week.

Anyway, we had a nice relaxing motor sail to Staniel. It only took 9.5 hours instead of the 12 we were planning on which was nice because it gave us time to see our friends Matt & Dana on s/v Corsair & some time to rest up before the next day's journey.

For once, Jib wasn't a nervous wreck! Yay!

Once again we took off at first light, this time headed ALL the way back to Marsh Harbor, Abaco!! This is a trip that normally we would take our time & make over the course of a week. However, there is big weather coming & if we stay south we won't get to Abaco for another week. We're running out of time so we decided to just do an overnighter.

Scott's on his break while I'm at the helm. We take shifts.

Things went great for most of the day. We just motor sailed along hour by hour. Jib was mostly happy until we put all the sails up. We were heeling quite a bit at times & he just hates that. Sunset came & went & now it's dark. Almost a full moon though, so not the usual pitch black. It was pretty the way the moon lit up the ocean. Just kept plugging along. Scott & I both managed to get a little (and I do mean LITTLE) sleep on our breaks. And then.....the wind picked up. A lot. So the seas got rougher. Once again we're bobbing around like a cork, in the dark, tired. Jib is sure he's going to die. All of a sudden our engine starts making funny noises. Scott changed the fuel filter (while the boat was bouncing all around in every direction) & it was better but still not right...And we still have 3 hours to go before reaching the inlet into Abaco. It sucked. But it SUCKED a lot more when all of a sudden our auto pilot stopped working. Omg. While not an emergency, this couldn't be a worse time. Hand steering ( and staying on coarse) in those conditions is so hard. It takes 100% concentration. We were in 20knot winds with 6 foot waves pushing us all around, in the dark & had been on the move for almost 24 hours. Then, Jib gets up & gives me this most sad look & starts dry heaving. Poor Jib was sea sick. Needless to say, the crew on Malaika got crabby & emotional pretty quickly, which of course doesn't help things. We calmed down & eventually barreled through the inlet & finally were in smooth waters. Only 4 more hours to go.

Calm before the storm

After 28 hour & 3 separate island chains, we anchored in Marsh Harbor. Completely spent.

Storm's coming...

So, we'll be in Abaco for a couple weeks & then headed back to Florida. Already! Time goes so fast.

Love & Miss you

Michelle, Scott & Jib


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