George Town

January 22, 2008

We just put Lyle and Shannon on a water taxi. They’re going home after a nearly two-week visit. It was great fun, although the weather wasn’t always so great (thank God we had the entire run of Seinfeld on DVD for them to watch on bad [and even good] days).

Last night a stalled norther spun off a huge squall during the night, lasting several hours, with 35 knots of wind and a deluge of rain. Antares dragged about 200 feet, right into the shipping channel, so we had to re-anchor at 1AM (that was fun). Today, of course, it’s gorgeous.

I was right about the water in the engine problem. It was not coming from the engine heat exchanger (goodbye several thousand dollars, hello brand new heat exchanger), but from the hot water heater. I fixed it by isolating the hot water heater from the engine with a $2.00 hose splice. We still get hot water electrically from running the generator, or shore power.

The interesting thing is that the antifreeze (a deadly kidney toxin) was mixing with the fresh water system, and thus, we were drinking it. Luckily, the antidote for antifreeze (ethylene glycol) poisoning is ethyl alcohol (otherwise known as Bombay Safire Gin), which is generally consumed in considerable quantities aboard Antares. We lived to tell the tale, except that now, I have to pee sitting down, and Phyllis standing up.

We had to rush down here to meet Lyle and Shannon, who had long standing reservations. We made it the day before they arrived. So much for long range planning, which is never easy on a boat.

Ray Eaton (who’s picture painted by Phyllis appears in the blog) has been our mechanical and spiritual guru. He’s been extraordinarily helpful in getting us through some mechanical jams from afar. He’s an Aussie who doesn’t drink (probably the only one) who says things like “how are things aboard your fine vessel?” (in Aussie, of course). Thanks, Ray.

George Town, where we spent quite a bit of time 20 years ago, is sort of the cruising hub of the southern Bahamas. There are currently about 140 boats here, with many more to come as the season progresses. Many simply stay here for the whole winter, so a floating little community has developed. Each morning, there is a VHF radio net, where announcements of events, weather, etc, are made. Such activities as basket weaving, bible studies, wife swapping, etc., are constantly going on. It’s a bit much for us; we’re looking forward to the first opportunity to get away, probably to Cat Island (great diving), as soon as we (which generally means Phyllis, who is still a wonderful clean freak), get the boat back in order, after Lyle’s tour of destruction and mayhem.

We’ve booked a trip back to the States for about 3 weeks starting late February. The first thing on the agenda is to get cold, so we’re going skiing at Heavenly (we need the vacation from the vacation). We hope to see many of you then.

jeff.jpgGetting the internet is not easy. Jeff looks like he’s trying to contact alien’s from outer space.

shannons-birthday.jpg

Shannon’s birthday on the boat

.phyllis.jpg

Painting on the boat…..I comb my hair ….sometimes

walk-on-the-beach.jpg

Shannon and Lyle on Stocking Island

lyle.jpg

Lyle

sunset.jpg

Sunset in Great Exuma

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