After spending a great month in Daytona, ending with the spectacular Turkey Run Car Show at the speedway (look for pictures soon), it was time to head to the Abacos. We had an uneventful trip across the Gulf Stream in a 7 seater plane (except for the fact that Dave once again sat in the co-pilot's seat), and a ferry ride across the clear water of the Sea of Abaco, to the boat storage yard.
As we neared the boatyard and saw the boats in the next picture, we got a little worried about what condition New Horizon was going to be in. The sailboat on the far left fell off its stands onto the little boat now on the ground, plus the mast and rigging on the fallen boat tangled with the black boat's mast and broke it.
New Horizon lucked out though. Considering she went through a hurricane, the old girl is not in too bad a shape. The sun is definitely taking its toll, and the paint is getting very chalky (whatever touches the boat turns white), the decks are really dirty and littered with pine needles and sand, and inside had a bit of mold, but minimal water intrusion. The flybridge wind deflectors that broke and flew off during the hurricane, were actually found by the crew at the boatyard and we now can use them as patterns for replacements. They also found our missing aft cabin window cover that went M.I.A. during the storm.
Shortly after our arrival we were met by Barry and Barb from BeachCruiser, who so graciously invited us to have dinner with them and several other cruisers that had just arrived. Barb had made a huge pot of hearty vegetable soup, knowing that we had all been working hard getting our boats back in shape and would need to eat (in our case we had no food on board too). What a fantastic and much appreciated gesture!
Once New Horizon was back in the water this morning, Dave had no problems getting the engines started. The generator was its stubborn self and took about half an hour of bleeding the system and a can of starting fluid to get running. The skiff runs like a charm, but Dave forgot to put the baitwell drain plug back in, and we almost sank the boat. So much for being overly prepared for rain! The Logic Riot dinghy's steering cable was so seized up that nothing would budge it, so Dave ended up cutting it off. Hopefully Marsh Harbour will still have the replacement one that we saw there last year.
Next on our list of necessities was filling up the fuel tanks. Last season we never had to buy fuel, so now it was time to "pay the piper" or in this case, pay the tank filler. 330 gallons @ $5.49 a gallon = a whopping $1811 diesel bill...OUCH! Well, at least we were offered a free water tank fill up too (normally 20 cents/gallon).
Dave is changing over our fuel filters now, so that we won't have to worry about our engines starving for fuel and stalling during the next phase of getting past the infamous Whale Cay Passage. We are conveniently anchored in White Sound of Green Turtle Cay, right on top of the mooring blocks we found last spring....one of the many perks of having a GPS with waypoints. We may be here for several days, depending on the weather, but there is a slight chance we may head to the other side of the Whale tomorrow. We'll keep you posted!