Hi Girls & Guys:
When the Tern & I arrived in Bimini we picked up a buddy boat, the S/V Trahlyta! Captain Steve and Admiral Jane had sailed the 40 foot boat from Tarpon Springs FL after only three sailing lessons. So if any of you get the feeling you want to go sailing this is a model couple! They are both retired nurses with very little sailing experience but a lot of will power! Having them along during the trip across was a godsend. There is a lot of traffic on the bank!

We left Bimini mid day and sailed all night across the Great Bahama Bank about 75 miles! The next morning we sailed across the Northwest Providence Channel to Nassau. We rested a couple of days, went out to eat, went shopping for groceries and waited for a weather window to cross the Great Exhuma Bank! The next leg across the Great Exhuma Bank was a beautiful sailing day in clear blue water about 10 feet deep. I could see the bottom and coral heads all along the way to Highborne Cay on the Tongue of the Ocean side of the Bank. The wind was 15 to 20 knots out of the east southeast. Trahlyta had problems with her headsail and could not get the roller furller to work properly! They finally retrieved the sail but the sun cover was flapping in the breeze when they arrived in Highborne Cay. While in Highborne Cay we visited Allen Cay home of the Iguana’s. They are like rats when the food comes out they flock to the food and fight over it somewhat like humans when the dollars come out!

The next day we set sail for Norman’s Cay home to the infamous drug smuggler Carlos Ledeher. When the Feds took Carlos away they left behind bullet riddled buildings and a sunken airplane! Carlos is languishing in a federal prison somewhere and the Cay is now operated by Canadians, no drugs but plenty of small plane traffic at the airstrip! Mc Duffs restaurant is located there and has a very nice outhouse. It is really very cool with all the plumbing of an inside restroom but surrounded by palms and no roof, the sun shines in and it is airy, clean and cool both literally and figuratively.

The next day I did the unthinkable! Trahlyta called on the VHF and wanted to get underway for Staniel Cay. Admiral Jane said the wind was going to be 10 to 15 knots out of the east southeast according to Chris Parker. Without hesitation I prepared to set sail, excited about the prospect of flying the Yankee headsail as this would be the first opportunity here on the banks. Well in all my excitement I neglected to look at the weather on my XM satellite or even so much as look at the sky! I left Ants in the water to trail behind the Tern as it is a fair amount of work to get it aboard. About an hour into the sail the sky took on an ominous look! I immediately shortened sail, now all I had to worry about was Ants! I suddenly realized it was a Friday and this should have been avoided. Old-time fishermen (me 68 years) old have a saying “Friday sail ill will and gale” . Along came these torrential downpours with 35 knots of wind. My fear that Ants would swamp and break loose had me headed for the next available anchorage at Hawksbill Cay a few miles away! I called Trahlyta on the VHF and told her of my intentions. She followed me into the anchorage! The next day the winds abated and I had the best sail yet on the banks . Today is oil change, zinc replacement and routine maintenance to ready the Tern for her trip north for the summer!

The Tern is now ready for the trip north for the summer. We will leave here tomorrow for Nassau. It has been way to short of a winter but I love to sail so the next couple of weeks I should be doing just that!

Ciao! For now,
Mike