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Sailing Naked


Why not??? It was hot! We were out on the Little Bahama Bank, with no other boats around. I figured even if a boat came within five miles of us, they probably wouldn’t be able to see the stretch marks on my hips, even if they used binoculars. This old wrinkled body would probably look pretty good from that distance. Gary wouldn’t take his clothes off. But then again, he doesn’t have the HOT bod that I have (literally).

The wind was from the SSE, 10 – 13 nautical mph. During the first half of our journey to West End, Gary motor-sailed an easy 5 – 5.3 SOG (speed over ground). The fair wind and following seas provided a smooth ride (that is why the phrase, “…fair winds and following seas…” is included in the sailor’s prayer).


In the salt life world of sailors, power boaters, and fishermen, a commonly heard poem is:
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.
Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.”

Sunrise at Great Sale Cay

Sunrise at Great Sale Cay

Every sailor knows this is not always true. Meteorology is much more complicated than that. However, while enjoying the beautiful red sky as the sun had risen this day, the aforementioned poem came to my mind and I wondered if it would hold true.

Storm on the horizon

Around 10:00 AM, while motor-sailing toward Mangrove Cay, Gary noticed storm clouds and rain, once again, to the west of us. Not knowing if the ominous clouds would bring the storm our way, the captain watched them, and Sirius, until the threat dissipated. I, in the meantime, brought out life jackets, and our ditch-bag…just in case. We needed to get the items out for our Gulf Stream crossing anyway. Now the only other preparation would be for Gary to attach jack lines, running from bow to stern, in case he would need to attach himself to them to go to the bow, for some reason, during our crossing. We have these things as precautionary items, with the hope of never needing to use them.

The rain stayed everywhere but over us until we started to go over the shallow bank to get to West End. Though there was lightening and thunder in the distance, we just got rain, until we anchored in the anchorage outside the marina. We anchored in shallow water and dropped the anchor in what appeared to be sand, which is good holding ground. However, the anchor skipped a few times, but fortunately settled in and held tight. We no more than got anchored when the wind picked up and we saw 30 MPH on our wind meter. We started the motor and got everything ready in case the anchor started dragging. It held tight during the short squall. We knew we would not get a good night’s sleep, worrying about another squall coming upon us during the night, so we called Old Bahama Bay Marina on the VHF radio and made arrangements to stay one night.

Safely in a boat slip, Gary went to the office to check us in and pay for the boat slip and 5 gallons of fuel he had put in a jerry jug. After a short rest and a cool drink, we went to the swimming pool and swam a few laps before going to the shower house. We had dinner on the boat. I prepared for grilling: grouper fillets (purchased in Green Turtle Cay), Mac ‘n Cheese (from Sea Spray Marina and Restaurant), and broccoli. Gary tended to the grilling, and as usual did a great job. Team work. We are so blessed in that we work well together and play well together, and we got to play a lot during our 35 days in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas.

At Old Bahama Bay Marina

At Old Bahama Bay Marina

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