Happy May Day from Fish Cay in the Acklins!
I'm happy to report that the parts arrived on Saturday and all systems are back up and running! My dad was an invaluable resource by keeping in regular contact with Bahamas Air Cargo to make sure that the packages made it through Customs and onto the plane. On Friday afternoon we received a message stating that both packages were on their way and that the woman that we had been dealing with had personally delivered them to "the man in charge" with explicit instructions to make sure that they made the flight.
The flight was scheduled to arrive at 10 AM on Saturday, so that morning we hiked to the airport. Let me tell you, the airport was the happening place! There were more people at the airport than we had seen since we arrived. The airport consists of a small building, a restaurant across the parking lot that's only open on flight days (Wednesdays and Saturdays), and an old Corvair-240 that's seen better days. The flight arrived right on time and our hearts sunk when we didn't see our packages on the luggage cart. I checked with the agent and asked him to check the mail bag. You should have heard the cheers when he pulled the boxes out of the mail bag!
We then got a ride to the only grocery store on Acklins Island. The mail boat had arrived the night before and this was the only chance we'd have to find fresh produce. We weren't disappointed and the owner even arranged for a ride back to the docks for us.
The first thing that I did was to install the new high pressure hose and started making water. It was a wonderful sound to hear that pump running. We had managed to reduce our water usage so that we had only used about 50 gallons over the previous week.
I then installed the new exhaust mixing elbow on the generator. The old one had developed an internal leak and was starting to allow salt water into the engine. This is the exact same failure that I've had before and I just don't understand it. NextGen, who makes the generator, claims that it's due to electrolysis, but I don't understand this at all. There's a zinc on the on the heat exchanger that is in perfect condition. Also, you need a complete circuit for electrolysis, and the mixing elbow connects to the muffler which exhausts overboard above the waterline. There's no complete circuit. If anyone out there has a theory on what's happening, please let me know as I can't let this keep happening!
On Sunday we had planned on moving to Fish Cay in the Acklins, but as we were departing Unicorn developed steering problems. Their steering cables had slipped off of the quadrant which turns the rudder. BJ was able to effect a quick repair, but wanted to spend more time checking things out, so we stopped at Long Cay to give him a chance to do that. After a bumpy night we headed to Fish Cay, which is about 9 miles S of Long Cay.
You definitely want good light when going into Fish Cay as there are quite a few coral heads along the way and for the last mile or so you're in a channel that's 8-10' deep. We started with good light, but on the way over the skies clouded over. The guide books tell you to follow the deep blue channel into the anchorage, but when you've got dark clouds overhead, there is no deep blue channel. We made it in without any problems, but it was fun doing so! When the sun came out later, the channel was obvious, as shown in the photo to the right.
Fish Cay is one of several cays on the W side of the Bight of the Acklins. The cay itself is about a mile long and half a mile wide. The cay is surrounded by miles of sand flats that are frequented by people doing flats fishing. The cays are uninhabited by people, but there are lots of sea birds and iguanas around. We were amazed at how pristine the beaches are and the sand is incredibly soft. The views are spectacular with crystal clear blue water over white sand.
We're looking forward to exploring the area cays both above the water and below the water. I'm charging the batteries for my dive camera right now. Yeah! I'll provide an update later on.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
We anchored on the S end of the cay at the end of the channel. You need to go past the end of the cay and find sand as just off of the end of the cay it's mostly fine sand over rock. We're anchored above sand bores which provide nice, deep sand. The image to the left shows plenty of sand to the E of where we anchored.
The currents are very strong here and it's not really possible to swim unless you're at slack tide.
Log ID: 960
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