Thursday, May 14, 2015


We motored slowly over to Christmas Cove in the evening (this time in forward gear), since we couldn’t tolerate another sleepless night in Secret Harbour.  

We anchored for the first time with our new 65 lb MANTUS anchor and all chain rode on the outer edge of the anchorage in sea grass.  I dived down to make sure the anchor set properly.  Once again we woke up quite a few times in the night with the paranoia of dragging anchor.  It ended up holding quite well, and so far we are very pleased with our MANTUS. 

Our Mantus anchor

A mooring became available in the morning when another boat left, so we raised our anchor and motored over to tie up to the mooring.  I dove down to check its integrity and swam a safety line down for extra security just in case. 
Skeeter worked on fine tuning our alignment again after installing the new propeller.  He also wired in the GPS and AIS.  When we are near a land based AIS station you can see our location on!

I spent a whole day online and on the phone trying to find new (actually used, but new to us…and in very good condition) sails.  I had previously thought I could use my newly acquired sewing skills to patch up the tear we found in the mizzen sail, but the closer we looked the more tears, holes, and weak spots we found.  It was kind of like swiss cheese.  The main sail was also in pretty poor condition, and we just didn’t feel comfortable having a major sail catastrophe while mid ocean.  

Just the thought of trying to take the sails down for repair while exposed to wind and waves was daunting, because I imagined the wind catching the sails and tearing them to shreds and maybe tossing one of us overboard.  Not to mention, how the hell was I going to find the space to sew a gigantic sail on our small cluttered deck?  It would be a disaster!  

After much searching I found used sails through Bacon Sails in Annapolis that were the proper type and weight of sailcloth, as well as the right dimensions for our masts and booms.  They said they could change out the hardware for us to match our rigging, too.  

Our Isomat mast requires 15/16" flat slides,
which is an uncommon size hardware

It ended up being very affordable, and they said they could have them to us in two weeks.  I’m excited to get them and have good sails!

We inflated our Tower I-SUPs (Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboards) and have been getting in some fun and exercise paddle boarding around the cove.  

Skeeter on his Inflatable Paddleboard

The swimming and snorkeling are really nice here too.  Lots of green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, and tons of reef fish.  

Our friends Brittnie, Mike, and Amarna on S/V Argo are moored right next to us, so we’ve had some fun times hanging out with them, too.  A couple of dinners together, swimming, and paddle boarding.  We hope to sail together down island too, if our plans end up lining up. 

Our friends, S/V Argo

There are now three Whitby 42’s in Christmas Cove: Salt Whistle, Mary Christine, and Lunacy.  We had dinner aboard S/V Mary Christine with owners Jody & Peter, and Steve from Lunacy.  It was great to meet them and talk about Whitbys and cruising the Caribbean.  That was the first Whitby we’d been on other than our own, and it was very interesting to see the similarities and differences.  Their boat is no doubt nicer than ours (yes, I admit to having boat envy), but it was good to get some ideas.  The previous owners of S/V Mary Christine were woodworkers by trade, so the wood work on that boat is impeccable.  They were also liveaboard cruisers who took excellent care of the boat.  

S/V Mary Christine, another Whitby 42

The previous owner of Salt Whistle hadn’t lived aboard, and had seemingly neglected it for the 10 years previous to us purchasing it.  Ours was a project boat when we bought it, while theirs was already nice and good to go.  So I shouldn’t compare, but it’s difficult not to be jealous.  

S/V Salt Whistle in Christmas Cove

We heard the nicest thing today.  The captain of a charter sailboat who must have known S/V Salt Whistle previously was motoring by, leaving Christmas cove.  He waved and said, "Nice job with the boat.  She's lookin' good!"  It really made us feel good that our hard work showed.

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