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A Month on the Thorny Path, and Boas (yes, the snake)... - January 11, 2021

We are officially on our month long passage from Florida to the Virgin Islands. The last time we made this trek (affectionately known among sailing circles as the “Thorny Path,” we did it on a schedule, in sub par conditions and we first vowed never to do the Thorny Path again. Then, once we forgot some of the bumps and bruises, we said well, if we DO do it again, we will give ourselves plenty of time so we can wait for the right weather window. So, fingers crossed, that is what we are intending to do, but you never really know with these enigmas called boats.

Keep in mind that adding to the intricacies of this journey, Dirk is teaching online math classes. This means that, in addition to weather, we have to factor the availability of internet on Monday - Friday into our passage plans. This is another reason we are giving ourselves a month to transit.

I am working on keeping up with the boating business, booking charters, doing some strategic planning for our 2021 Summer season in New England and making some enhancements to my charter database system. All of this is in addition to keeping up with the demands of Miss Catatonic 500, so there is never a dull moment around here.

After today’s math classes, we moved around to the East side of the Berry Islands, which is the more remote side (although on the West side, there’s pretty much just the Government dock and a couple of houses). On the way we passed an area where the cruise ships used to dock and had their own little private amusement park. There was an empty ship there but no guests. It was a little creepy, an abandoned place that normally would be crowded, but was a ghost town.

We will spend Tuesday night East of the Berry Islands and then Weds afternoon we will head to Sandy Cay, just a small spit off the coast of New Providence Island.

Thursday afternoon we will go Highbourne Cay where we must take our 5 day antigen test. We will arrive there Thursday evening, check into the marina at noon on Friday, take the test, spend the night at the marina (because they won’t test you if you’re not a marina gue$t).

Saturday we will head to Conception Island, an uninhabited marine park that is an important rookery for nesting seabirds, a hatching site for green turtles and home of a new species of boa, called the Conception Bank Silver Boa. Hmmm…..

On Monday (assuming we survive the Silver Boa), we plan to head to Rum Cay, an island that is believed to have acquired its name from a shipwreck cargo of rum. Its population was recorded as 99 people in 2010 and 30 in 2013. Not sure what happened to those 70 folks who left. There’s beautiful diving here including the wreck of the HMS Conqueror in 30 feet of water, a preserved wreck that is part of the underwater museum of the Bahamas. She was 20 nm out in estimating her position and, after making her landfall, cut too close to the southeast point of Rum Cay and went hard aground on the reef. Her captain, fearing that his crew (most of whom could not swim in those days) would drink themselves insensible when it became obvious the ship was lost, ordered all ale, wine, and spirit casks to be broken and their contents ditched. Sounds like cause for mutiny to me.

Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, we’ll see what happens from there. But I can guarantee that we will not throw the Rum overboard! Speaking of which, Dirk came up with a new cocktail tonight - a Cucumber Mint Mojito. Delicious!


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