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Friday, March 21, 2014

Calling the Bluff

Calling the Bluff to an end.

Our last full day at Morgans Bluff was in less than favorable weather.  The wind was blowing 15-20 and gusting around 25.  This kept the pt at Morgans in a perpetual washing machine.  We took the dinghy ride to the bar in these conditions and the dinghy motor decided it had too much to drink (water) and would barely run.  Once inside the small inner harbor we drained the water from the float bowl an it did run somewhat better.

We were able to upload some f the photos tot he blog and check the weather on the less than perfect internet.  Aft checking the passage weather site for the upcoming weather we headed back to Gemini Dreams.  The Mercury was only slightly better and bay was full of 3 foot confused waves.  Once aboard we decided not to go back for ice.  Later in life this will prove to be an unwise decision.  We settled in for a rocky evening.

As the sky became lighter the next morning I dreaded getting out of bed.  Over the last 8 hours I may have slept two.  Even with the anchor alarms on and one of the anchors being wrapped around a 3 foot cube of solid concrete thoughts of lying on the beach with the other wrecks made for an uneasy night.  I eventually crawled up the companion way to find the crew of Liberty already retrieving their anchors.

With them already in this process it meant it was time to take a morning dive and unwrap the anchor chain from the 3 cubic foot mass.  Just what you need to wake you up on a cool march morning at 7 am.  I was originally surprised that the chain had not drawn tighter and under the mass but then I remembered how hard the bottom is here at Morgans.  With the Fortress and chain in hand I started to swim to Gemini Dreams but eventually dropped them and swam back to the boat as it gained momentum.  She wasn't going far with the Manson out but I needed the Fortress close enough to pick it up without problems.  All went well.

Finally we were free to raise the sails and head out of the channel.

One thing we have been doing on this trip is using the hand lines instead of the trolling rods.  In shear ease of use they excel.  If only they would catch a fish other than a barracuda.  We really hadn't expected anything other than barracuda from Bimini to Morgans but we wanted to practice with the hand lines.  Finally as we crossed the Tongue of the Ocean we had another fish on.  Not expecting a barracuda in 2,000 plus feet of water we were excited.  As we pulled the line in hand over hand we could see green, then blue, then gold.  Wooo Hooo!  We finally had a Mahi!  Pulling in a Mahi hand over hand is easy and quick with the hand lines.  Since our goal is food not a fun little fight on a $2,000 daily charter we are now hooked on trolling with hand lines.  We have even found a way to set up small outriggers using the other rods or pole spears to get a few extra feet from the center line.

Now if we only had that ice we didn't care to brave the elements to get last night.  No fear for we had s/v Liberty a few hundred yards away with a refrigerator on board.  The seas on The Tongue of The Ocean were not participating so we left it dressed until we hit the banks a few miles ahead.   Once in shallow water and smaller waves we cleaned the big Bull Mahi (39.5 inches) and arranged a pick up.  We talked on the radio about throwing a line between the boats and dragging it from boat to boat but as theory became reality I ended up trying to hand off with Ben.  Finally I made a toss for the cockpit of Liberty and made the touchdown.  We kept a small filet for lunch as it was mid afternoon and we had skipped breakfast.


Sailing south on the big island (New Providence) allowed us a close up breath of the trash burn.  At least I assumed it was a trash burn with the smell of burning plastic and little foils of carbon hitting the main sail occasionally that look to have been paper once.  The smoke trailed for miles almost a thousand feet high and a mile thick as we passed.  This is where Liberty could sense that our day sail may once again end up late into the night.  They chose to anchor near the big island for the night.

Another barracuda one we hit the Exuma Bank.  At least we had pulled in our good lures.

We sailed on toward Allens Cay as the day concluded.  Three and a half hours out I asked Ayrton if h wanted to go on to Allens or anchor the the evening and make dinner.  Since the boy does very little other than sleep on the passages he was all for continuing on.  Two hours outside Allens I asked about detouring to Highborne Cay as the entry to the anchorage was easier after dark.  As he thought seriously about the already made decision I changed the course plus two degrees.  At 9:30 we anchored about 150 yards from the rocky shore of Highborne Cay.

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