Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Capt. notes

Back in Miami where my cell phone, wireless Internet, satellite TV,  and sattilite radio all work; in fact all the rest of the systems on board Stray Cat are in commission.
 After a couple of months in a beautiful island country like the Dominican Republic where the most often heard expression is tranqcuilo, the local news here is a  social shock. A stream of items that make me wonder. People often ask me if it is frightening to sail to the various island countries I visit, it doesn't but I wonder what visitors to the U.S. think when they see or hear our local and national news.
It's good to be back though, to catch up with friends and family is very nice. Slipping into the roll of Charter Captain again which assumes the ancillary rolls of marketing,advertising, teacher,maintenance technician and boat owner; one who pours all available money back into the boat, feels good too.
I can't say enough good things about the D.R. I will sail there again next year. I more or less forgot I had a camera on board so I only have a few pictures but I will post those to the site this week.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nassau, Bahamas

Monday, September 11
Nassau, Bahamas

Chapter 13.
Getting close. Spent the last 2 days basically motor sailing in light winds up through the Bahamas. Nothing like the great ride we had in the Trades getting here. The Gulf Stream was also pretty quiet and we arrive Miami with mixed feelings. Only change is the fish score which is now 2 barracuda and 1 blue fin tuna in favor of the good guys (us). Not sure either of us is happy to be back as this has been a truly enjoyable trip. Dominican Republic is a fabulous place to visit. Think both of us would like to go back and see more of the country and, who knows, maybe it will happen next year.

The End


Personal note - I wish I could come up with words to thank Mark, but they would not express what I really would like to say. We have been together on Stray Cat for slightly more than 3 months and not a voice has been raised or a harsh word spoken in this time. A real tribute to the kind of person Mark is. You have to understand that Stray Cat is Mark's home and he is used to doing things in a certain way and in his own routine. Even though I had previously sailed with him 3 or 4 times, I think that my coming aboard for this trip must have been like having an in-law arrive for a visit and never leave. On top of that, I am not the kind of person to sit back and watch. I want to be involved and have my hands on everything (except maybe cleaning the shower sumps). To Mark's eternal credit, he had the patience to teach, listen and ask for my input throughout the cruise even though in many instances this impinged on his 'territory'. To anyone who reads this, I would say that if you want to spend an enjoyable time on a sailboat charter either learning or just kicking back and enjoying life, you could not find a more likeable, competent or enjoyable person to do it with. With any luck maybe we will do something similar next year.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Georgetown, Bahamas

Chapter 12.

Homeward bound. Sail back to Luperon from Samana was an absolute delight. For 2 days we have the Trades and seas at our backs and at times the boat is surfing at up to 13 knots. Mark actually catches a fish as we approach Luperon. Believe it or not, this is the first fish we have caught even though we have been trolling lines since leaving Fl. We had hoped to supplement our food stocks with fresh fish. If we had really counted on this, we probably would have starved. Mark cooks it (mackerel) to perfection on the grill and we celebrate our ineptitude as fishermen with our first (and so far only) non-restaurant fish dinner. Spend the following day with 2 of our friends from one of the boats that came to Dominica with us and get everything ready for leaving in the morning.

Leave Luperon about 9 the following morning and 53 hours and 375 miles later arrive (Tues. 9/5) in Georgetown, Great Exuma, Bahamas. Absolutely wonderful sailing. First day, Trades were blowing around 20 mph and we logged about 175 miles with speeds consistently in the 9-10 knot range. This is cookin' for a sailboat not designed as a racer. Caught our 2nd fish as we entered the Bahamas, but as it was a barracuda, no fish dinner tonight. For anyone contemplating this kind of sailing, a large catamaran like Stray Cat is hard to beat since we are sailing 'flat' all the time and the physical fatigue that one finds in a monohull from holding on constantly, doesn't occur. The trip is too short to get on regular sleeping schedules, so we are tired and will spend the night at Georgetown before pushing off in the morning for the next leg to Miami.