After sailing up to Allens-Pensacola for a few days we had tucked back down into Green Turtle expecting some windy weather. We also needed to buy some more beer, about a quarter of the crappy Sands Lights cans Keith had bought were bad because the can wasn’t sealed right, he went for bottles this time and upgraded to the Kalik Gold. Green Turtle has kind of become somewhat of a base camp for us. Every few weeks or days we seems to head back, it offers a little bit of everything we need. Fuel, water, groceries, trash cans, protected anchorage….and of course diving is still only a dinghy ride away.
This time we even “splurged” and took advantage of the amenities that the Bluff House Marina and resort had to offer, well, a few. We were anchored right in front of their docks and had already been entertained with their live music and I couldn’t get a good wifi signal in the harbour so we went in for an evening ashore. The dinner prices started at around fourty dollars so we made an easy decision to do beer, soda, and a plate of french fries. We hung out in the pool, took fresh showers and posted the last few posts too. It was fun to play tourist for an evening, even if we still had to cook dinner when we got home.
Green Turtle also turned out to be the place where it almost all went wrong too. Keith went off in the dinghy one morning and I was down below. I got startled by a double engine powerboat coming up along the side of the boat. I flew out and a guy on the boat asked “this your dog?”. “His tag says he belongs on the boat Wrightaway”. Confused, I reached out and scooped up a very drenched and salty Kai. I didn’t even know he had fallen overboard. It all started to register and I barely was able to choke out a thank you. Had this been any other anchorage, I doubt the ending would have been the same. Most of our anchorages have had a lot of current and been very open. Let’s not even think sharky. It’s hard to think about how slim the chances were that he was delivered back to us safely. We think he probably fell off the bow when Keith dinghied away without him, there is no netting at the very front. (There will be soon) He never stays out when we leave the boat, but now he will always be accompanied by one of us. When the fishing boat that rescued Kai came back in that evening we brought them a bottle of rum, even though it seemed like such an insufficient token of gratitude for being Kai’s heros; I hope all good things come to them. They were on their way out fishing when they saw him swimming in circles with his head barely out of the water, They stopped, plucked him out of the water, and brought him home. Thank You, Thank You!!!. Kai has been overloaded with hugs and nummies since. I am so glad I changed out his tag, it says “I belong on the boat Wrightaway”, they said it was helpful. I think he might have almost gone to back to Florida with a new family. Too close of a call.
Boats are noisy, they move and the things in them and on them move, the water moves, you move, it all makes a noise of some sort. The trick is to know what noises are normal and what noises are not. We heard a new noise on our last sail. A clunk. We were sailing down wind in less than ten knots of wind with just the jib, an easy very slow sail, but we kept hearing a clunk. Like a can of food rolling around in a locker, but more worrisome because it wasn’t. Keith spent close to an hour opening up all the lockers and floorboards in the aft cabin. It sounded like it was coming from the steering gear box, but it wasn’t. I took my turn looking and still couldn’t pin-point it. Keith even dove in the water behind the boat to make sure nothing was on the rudder. There wasn’t anything there but that was definitely where the noise was coming from. Rudders are important, they stear the boat, but more importantly, there is a hole in the boat where the rudder attaches to the boat. Not a great place to be clunking. When we got to the anchorage we dove in again and started troubleshooting. The sound is definitely coming from the rudder, the bottom bushing where the rudder attaches to the skeg to be exact. Ok, so now we know what the problem is and even how to fix it but we will have to get the boat hauled out to do so. This was definately not the way we wanted the day to go. Que Keith’s turn to get grumpy.
It’s not an emergency, everything is working, we just need to get it resolved. I’m not sure if I have posted our upcoming plans on the blog or not, but we are headed back to Florida at the end of August anyway to hide out for the peak of hurricane season, see some friends, and reprovision. (As you may have noticed we are running out of essentials) We had been considering hauling out and painting the bottom this summer as well but just the day before we decided to put it off one year. I guess not. I mean, who doesn’t want to be stuck in a boat yard in Florida in the heat of the summer, right?!? Oh, without AC of course.
But we aren’t there yet, so here’s to soaking up some more pretty beaches and clear water until then!