Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Full Day

White Sound, Green Turtle Cay
N 26 46.62 W 077 20.19

I did yet another dumb stunt. Back in Marsh Harbor, our VHF antenna broke. In replacing the antenna and testing it, I managed to break the 12V DC wire feeding the VHF. I repaired it.

This week, I was calling on the VHF radio, and I heard back from someone nearby that my signal was weak and that it had a loud buzz sound. Uh Oh. I set out to diagnose the problem. I cleaned and reseated all connectors, no change. I swapped to a spare antenna, no change. I turned off all electrical equipment except the VHF, no change. Finally, the only thing left, by elimination was that which I had recently changed. Therefore, I cut out the 12V DC wiring that I repaired last week and re-did
it. That fixed it. Now my signal is loud and clear. However (for the stunt part) I forgot to turn the refrigerator/freezer back on when I was done.

Ay ay. 36 hours later, Libby discovered that the freezer had defrosted. We had it stocked with meats to avoid buying expensive food here in the Bahamas.

The mistake cost me big. Yesterday, we rented a golf cart ($45) to drive to the store in New Plymouth and replenish our meat supply. The groceries cost us $63 for a little hamburger, some ribs and 4 chicken breasts. Ouch. We rushed it back to the freezer on the boat.

In the past three years, we (I) have forgotten to turn the fridge on 3-4 times. That's too much. When we return to the states, I'm going to shop for a rocker switch with pilot light for the refrigerator. I'll wire it so that it glows red when the fridge is off. That should alert us.

For the rest of the day we explored the island a bit using the cart we paid for. There's not much to explore. We learned three things. First: for every house on this island, there appears to be one additional house under construction. Second: construction projects here seem to progress at a snail's pace. It may be a very long time until many of those new houses are finished. Third: even at 1 mph and using big low-pressure tires, the roads here are so bumpy that both Libby and I have sore kidneys
from our little ride.

We went to the beach hoping to swim, but it was too rough. Indeed, NE swells at 13 feet were coming in. We could see them breaking on the reefs one to two miles out. They rose to giant heights before breaking, and the strong southerly winds grabbed the spray from the breaking waves and carried it in a plume in the opposite direction of the wave travel. It was a spectacular and scary sight that made us very glad that Tarwathie was nowhere near scenes of such violence.

p.s. Yesterday on Cruiseheimer's Net, we heard that some cruisers in Nassau harbor had to fend off late night intruders. It appears that some robbers in the harbor had tried to board their boat. They repelled the boarders and called the police. Now there is a warning out to all cruisers. Watch out for Nassau. We're glad that we don't go to places like that.

p.p.s. Local gossip. Yesterday, a 45 foot long charter catamaran left Green Turtle Cay with a vacationing crew and a paid captain. It tried to go through The Whale. I wrote before about how dangerous the cuts between the islands can be here when there are big ocean swells. Yesterday, there were 13 foot swells out at sea and mariners were warned to stay away from the passages; the rage was on. A few hours after leaving, the catamaran returned to Green Turtle with "the boat trashed" according
to gossipers. Presumably, the crew was also very frightened. Never underestimate the dangers of the passages, and heed warnings.

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