Wow, it is really Christmas! We are thinking of all our family and friends and trying to make it seem as much like Christmas as possible. Christmas music, a tree, lights and even a “fireplace crackling” youtube video have all helped!
Before Christmas Eve we were in No Name Cay and took our dinghy out on to the reef for some snorkeling and to find lobster. Warning the video is my first attempt and choppy :) Grant saw one but we couldn’t catch it! The reef was beautiful with big sea fans, brain coral, colorful fish and the deep blues of the water. We have spent many hours looking amongst the coral for lobster, in grassy sand for conch and trawling for fish but no luck!
On Christmas Eve we had calm weather for “The Whale” – a passage most vessels must take ocean-side to get farther south in the Abacos. Our weather was great with little ocean swell. It did rain on us but that was good because it cleansed salt from out boat. Taking advantage of the deeper ocean depths, we trawled two lines on our passage but still no luck!
We anchored by the beach on the northern end of Great Guana Cay (home to the famous Nippers bar). Amelia snorkeled some more for conch, and then we walked the beach. Our land foraging resulted in one coconut! Amelia used her massive strength to open it and we celebrated Christmas Eve with at least one uncanned thing. This is our first Christmas wearing only sunglasses, t-shirts and shorts.
Wow, what a Christmas! We have had below zero nights recently and have about 4 ilnches of snow on the ground. Seeing the video made us feel warmer, though. Merry Christmas. Love, Grandpa and Carla
I wonder if you could comment on what you did to install the traveller on the aft coaming. Did you have to beef it up at all? Could you provide a brief description of the work?
Love the blog.
Thanks for your comment. We have really liked this modification.
It keeps the cockpit more open and the angle from farther aft is fine.
First, we went to Bacon Sails in Annapolis to see if they had any used consignment travelers and cars we could bend to fit ourselves, but were unable to match up the right combination of length and size.
They are Harken dealers and told us that if you give Harken some specific measurements they can bend a track for you. This kind of bend is called a horizontal bend and was about $40.
We used the Small Boat Traveler System 2739, runs about $400 but they had one on consignment for $150. I’ve seen this kit in a few boating stores.
Then, we actually found a low beam Harken track on consignment for $20, usually about $60.
We gave Harken the measurements with our track and got it back in about a week.
The track was bent perfectly. It has a gentle curve and the middle and a harsher curve on the ends.
The traveler car flows over the track great. The cleats ends are tightly fitted on the track. Given the bend, we could just get them on!
It is attached to the combing with large washers and bolted on. After seeing the attachment of the original traveler system, this is a lot beefier!
It was not too hard to attach, the most important part was getting that first bolt drilled in the right spot. Our traveler angles slightly forward for the best fit. My Dad’s theory is that the curved combing is actually one of the strongest points of attachment because when the fiberglass is sprayed into the mold a higher concentration is in those grooves. It was thicker fiberglass there.
We have used the traveler sailing, but also to raise and lower the mast taking on most of the strain (we have a hinged mast).
There are probably other track/car combinations that would work too. Every manufacturer has a proprietary way that their cars fit on their tracks. We found the Bacon Sails and Harken customer service really helped us piece this together.
Hope this helps, I will also email it to you with some pics.
1. Sorry to hear your lobster hunting was no more successful than Conch Tickler’s and Lobster Hunter’s many years ago. It must take years of practice and an apprenticeship with some old crusty local. Good luck!
2. The underwater footage is really cool! DID YOU SEE ANY SEA TURTLES?
3. Nippers!!!! YAY! Your parents came over for Christmas and we were talking about Nippers and re-living the story about you “misplacing” your passport and me spending the night by myself with the cat :)
4. Too bad you only found one coconut, because if you found two, you could race :)
Good luck with the hunting and fishing. Glad to hear you could make it a little Christmasy, the yule log burning video is a good idea, haha.