Log Entries

  • 2022 Winter Voyage
Manjack Cay Exploration

Navigation class commenced after breakfast, followed by everyone packing up for our trip ashore. We landed at an idyllic beach complete with coconut palms and a palapa. After the obligatory coconut cracking, we were off on a trail that transected the island through the dense subtropical forest. We emerged onto the windward side beach, in awe of the expanse of soft sand and turquoise water. We walked north along the windward side of the island, and met up with the mates and our inflatable boat Thunderchief. From here we took half the group out to a reef for snorkeling. Lots of fish, corals and even a hawksbill sea turtle were spotted. While one group was out snorkeling, the other relaxed on the beach and swam. The next leg of our journey would bring us north along the beach, and then west back across to the leeward side of Manjack. By mid-afternoon, we were back at the beach where we started. We returned to Geronimo, and got underway for an anchorage at the north end of Green Turtle Cay. On the way Callie was busy in the galley making dough. We settled into our anchorage just before sunset, and not long after pizza emerged from the galley. We enjoyed dinner under the starry sky on deck. 

Breakfast of bagels and smoked salmon, along with a fresh, spiral-cut pineapple, courtesy of Amelia, has just landed on the cockpit table. Plan is to stop at Green Turtle Cay for COVID tests, check out small island just south of us with an expansive sandbar, and then sail toward Treasure Cay to anchor and await a frontal passage. 

  • 2022 Winter Voyage
On to Manjack Cay

After breakfast, we sailed off the anchor in a gentle SW'ly. This was the perfect opportunity to practice sail handling. We executed ten short tacks in the first twenty minutes. Everyone was dialed in by the last one. For our shorter sails, we break the crew into two watches: Port (Sophie, Amelia, Julia and Caro) and Starboard (Joe, Liv, Callie, Hope and Nayan). The crew did an excellent job navigating and steering us to the anchorage. Just before lunch, we sailed up to the anchorage on the south end of Manjack Cay. 

Soon after we were heading ashore for a quick beach walk and snorkel on the SE corner of the cay. Lots of healthy coral, fish and even a few spiny lobster were spotted. On our way back to Geronimo, we cruised through the creek (in The Bahamas, a creek is a mangrove-lined inlet, no freshwater), and spotted a dozen or more juvenile green sea turtles and at least one spotted eagle ray. 

Joe, Nayan and Mr. Brown stopped to snorkel on a shallow wreck on the way back to the boat, and reported seeing a crazy looking skate swimming along the bottom. Caro put together a feast of burgers and veggie burgers with asparagus and baked french fries. Julia and Caro made brownies for dessert, and we settled into study hall. 

Morning chores are wrapping up, and Callie is putting grilled muffins, bacon and fruit salad on the cockpit table for breakfast. Plan is to have class then go for a hike on the island this morning. 

  • 2022 Winter Voyage
Powell Cay

After lunch (C Watch made BLT's and grilled cheese), we had a quick navigation class and soon arrived to Spanish Cay. It didn't take long to get our passports stamped, and we were on to Powell Cay to anchor for the evening. Soon after letting go the anchor, everyone jumped n the crystal-clear water for our first swim call and enjoyed a relaxing evening on board. B Watch made tacos for dinner, and we ate on deck as the sun was setting. Mr. Brown and Ms. Flanagan found a few lobsters to supplement dinner. Study hall gave way to an early lights out for many of us. 

Everyone just woke up. Caro is in the galley making pancakes. Plan is to sail to Manjack Cay this morning, then go ashore to explore and snorkel. 

  • 2022 Winter Voyage
Gulf Stream to Little Bahama Bank

A pre-dawn departure for The Bahamas has never felt so cold. All hands were called at 0400, with a fresh NW’ly breeze, we tucked a reef in the main and departed Port Canaveral with thoughts of warmth. Inside the turning basin, we set the mainsail and jib,and stood down the off watches. A Watch (Caro, Callie, Joe and me) had the 0400-0800 watch. We were all bundled up for the cold, and enjoyed a nice broad reach down the coast and a beautiful sunrise. B Watch (Julia, Sophie, Live and Ms. Flanagan) took the forenoon watch and then passed on to C Watch (Nayan, Amelia, Hope and Mr. Brown) for the 1200-1600 watch. At 1400, we had navigation class and were all settled into life underway. The quartering seas were gentle and diminishing, and the wind slowly subsided and it started to warm up.  By the afternoon, we had set a full mainsail and were starting to fall below 3 knots. Not long after the wind had all but disappeared, we started the main engine turned east to cross the Gulf Stream. Almost as if I planned it, a pod of dolphins soon arrived and played in our bow wake. We got two fish, but released them. Little Tunnies are not good eating. B Watch and C Watch teamed up to make it across the 50 nautical mile wide Gulf Stream, seeing water temperatures as high as 80 degrees F.

Not long after midnight, we were on the Little Bahama Bank and back on soundings. It is always amazing to see the depth go from over 1000’ to 30’ so quickly. My watch had the 0000-0400. The first hour the stars were quite amazing, the Milky Way has on full display and dolphins escorted us creating a bioluminescent wake. An hour into our watch, Joe reported a large, glowing orange object on the bow. There were some interesting guesses, and demands to tell them what this large orange half-circle rising out the water was – but I kept quiet and let the moon reveal itself as it climbed above the horizon. It’s now mid-morning, C Watch has the forenoon watch and most everyone else is in the main saloon studying. The wind is still calm and we are steaming toward Spanish Cay, where we hope to clear-in to The Bahamas.