Another trip to the Bahamas comin’ up

A little more than three years ago, Barbara (Edelberg; my spouse) and I sailed from our home dock in Clearwater Beach, FL, to the Bahamas and back (see To The Bahamas, Part 1: Start of a Real Cruise). We had intended for that trip to be followed with a year or so by a trip sailing down to the Virgin Islands and perhaps further into the Caribbean, but “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley”, as Robert Burns famously wrote.

However, I managed earlier this year to persuade one of the technical groups on which I work to schedule a meeting in the Bahamas! (It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it, eh?) Naturally, it was my intent to sail to that meeting, and it now looks like it is likely to happen. The meeting is scheduled to be held in Freeport, on the south coast of Grand Bahama Island (actually at Port Lucaya, but that’s a minor detail). This time, we will again take a guest with us: my friend, fellow sailor, and technical group co-chair Andy Coleman. There was earlier a possibility that another friend and colleague, Norm Walsh, might sail with us, but Norm’s schedule ultimately didn’t allow him to spare the time.

We expect to set sail early in the morning of July 8 (2015, of course) and our current sailplan suggests that the sail to Freeport will take about five days. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the possibility of having to wait for an appropriate weather window for crossing the Gulf Stream, so the necessity of arriving no later than the afternoon of July 14 (the meeting starts on July 15) forces us to leave a couple of days earlier than we otherwise might have to.

Before we leave, we have a significant amount of work to complete on Dream SeQueL. In fact, in early June, we’re scheduled for a haulout, during which we’ll repaint the bottom with antifouling paint, replace a through-hull, and — a fairly common problem on Passport 40s — replace the mild-steel (and rapidly rusting!) “cage” that supports the upper rudder bearing. There are more things to, of course, but most of the other tasks don’t require the boat to be on the hard.

So, watch this space for more entries that document our preparations for the Bahamas trip, and, of course, the trip itself!

Just to give an idea of what we’re planning to do, here’s a chart that I’ve prepared using a wonderful plotting tool, Open CPN:

Chart of 2015-07 trip to the Bahamas

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