“Cruising is repairing boats in exotic places.”
Underway across the banks, heading north, we are on plan C. We left Georgetown yesterday early and travelled 68 miles to Big Majors Cay, just off Staniel Cay. The weather promised to be kind to us, after 3 days of lashing us in Georgetown. Seems that the weather really is not really improving, despite being in the Bahamas later this year, but it is what it is.
Ethan and Penny left on to the next leg of their 2 year OE. They seemed to have enjoyed themselves, experiencing dolphins close and personally, with a 25 mile trip over to Lee Stocking Island to hike, to visit the ghost town of the Perry Marine Lab. Luckily the weather was good for the most part. We had only a few days of 20 knots of wind, to pin us down in Georgetown.
We ran out of fuel in the tender one morning. I carry spare on board, but could not get it restarted. So we had to beg a tow from a fellow boater. I changed out all filters, filled the fuel tank, but could not get it started, as the system did not have a primer bulb.
Jenny went with Ethan and Penny to the clinic via water taxi, as Penny was sick from conch fritters (we learned later). The weather was flat calm, so I kayaked from Sand Dollar over to Georgetown and back to get a primer bulb. It was about 2 miles round trip. I got the outboard started and it ran great. I picked up the kids and all was well.
Over the next week the outboard would starve sputter, I would squeeze the bulb and off it would go again. The issue became more frequent, until it died and would not start again, bulb was firm.
Michael from N68 Kya towed us into GT, to the watersports boat rental company, who is also a Yamaha mechanic. We left it and were called a few hours later, with a diagnosis that the fuel system was blocked, and they could not help.
And so the passage that started yesterday. We are heading back to Nassau to the Mercury outboard mechanic. This is about 140 miles back. And so we are on plan C.
Just as we left GT, we heard from our friends in Roam, that they were heading to GT from the Raggeds. And several other Nordhavns are heading to GT.
Oh well, we have to get the tender working, so the trip is required. We hope to get it resolved in a day or two and we can head back to GT, maybe on to Long Island and Conception Island. Maybe the weather will settle.
We are learning to be philosophical about these things. We have ‘plans’, such as head over to the Raggeds to see Roam. But equipment or repairs require us to do or go somewhere else. So be it.
It will be sad if we miss Clark and Michelle on Roam, as they are next heading to Key West, and then to Texas; Far from our ‘plans’ for the season. So we may never see them again.
And so cruisers life goes. We meet people, share laughs, some food, stories, and then they are off, often out of our lives.
And so many fellow cruisers we are learning are not planning to do this full time or for more than a few years. We have seen in our short time as full time cruisers, many other cruisers, selling the boat, and going ashore.
I wonder if this life is really sustainable. I do know it is at times frustrating, waiting for weather, or running from it. Trying to figure out how a water maker works to diagnose why it failed, or why an outboard won’t run.
It makes me realize how much I don’t know, and does seed some doubt in my mind, if we can make the long, long run across the Pacific Ocean with my skills? But in the end, we seem to get there; sometimes with sheer luck and perspiration, sometimes with the help of friends, sometimes with a few unexpected trips back to civilization to where we can get expert assistance.
We made it back to Georgetown to see Roam, and KYA again. The issue with the outboard turned out to be a defective fuel pump. And after Roam departed we went back to Nassau again, and had the pump replaced under warranty.
As we do this more and more, I speak to other boaters, who too are having their own share of boating problems. As one delivery captain in Nassau joked to us, “Cruising is repairing boats at exotic places.”