In a boat's own words: Barracudas, iguanas and shallow waters

And so we're in the Bahamas now, anchored in Allens Cay where the water is clear as air. Check out the video below and meet the new “friends” we just made on the beach.

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We spent our last day in the US in Ft Lauderdale, where I got my teak cleaned (thank you very much!) and met Jan and Nancy, the online editor of Blue Water Sailing magazine, as well as Ginger and Michael (and birthday girl Merry) for one last meal before leaving the US. We had a blast and got plenty of Bahamas advice and a valuable fishing lesson from our guests.

After that, there was no waiting for a weather window, as the conditions for crossing the infamous Gulf Stream were prime the next morning. The crossing was so easy on my skippers that it wasn't even fair! So as soon as we reached the other side I started playing some tricks on them.

You see, the Bahamas are known for their shallow waters and tricky entrances to sheltered harbors. In those situations, the boat's depth sounder is critical. Check out the picture below to see how close my keel and rudder can get to the sea floor depending on where we’re anchored.

Well, as soon as we left Bimini, our first port of entry, I let all my cockpit displays go blank. You should have seen Franc and Andrea's face. I also made sure to turn off the autopilot display, adding some drama to their various attempts to fix the problem, as one of them had to always be at the wheel. Of course, I did it in deep waters (I have no intention of damaging my keel by running into a coral head) so as soon as we entered the shallow Grand Bahama Bank, my displays mysteriously came back up. It was funny to see Andrea and Franc congratulating each other when they thought they'd found the problem, only to discover the next day that my displays weren't working again. This time, I did it right as we were entering a shallow anchorage. Lucky for them, we were following the One Eyed Parrots, another vessel going in the same direction.

The fun ended as we were approaching Allan's key and Franc found the loose cable, not before going into some uncomfortable positions. Check him out in the picture below... :-)

So, depth pranks aside, the big news this week was catching the first fish. I know that I am more fortunate than my two older sisters, Drac Verd I and II. They were never allowed to fish onboard. I am breaking my owners in very well. Fishing is new to them. I heard them telling the story of when they bought the fishing gear and I almost laughed my keel off. "I need the thing with the hook that goes like this [and she waved her fingers like an octopus]". I was so surprised that the salesman did not burst out laughing himself. I make fun of them, but I do have to give them credit. The closest they got to fishing at home was going to the fish market to pick out fresh fish that was just flown in from the Med. They were always so proud to tell their marina neighbors about this wonderful little fish market.

I am not sure that I even need to describe the experience. They have video that sums it all up! You have to hear it just like I did.

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It's really neat how they are linking the experiences on their trip to charity: water. Since they didn't plan on fishing and "didn't budget for the savings they get from not buying another meal" (their words, not mine), they will be donating $5 for every fish that they catch. I feel accomplished and proud of my owners for what they are doing. Not many boats get to be connected to such a worthwhile cause. But don’t tell them I said that! ;-)

Have you made your donation yet?


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Comment by Marsha Knight Gayle on February 15, 2009 at 1:43pm
Hey... sounds like you all are having so much fun! Let me know your destinations so I can catch up with you soon.
Comment by ___/)ances With Sails on January 30, 2009 at 7:53pm
I was curious to know if the Iguanas would attack (from seeing them in anothers pics). Now, Im less curious. Maybe they're welcoming the dragon home in worship style. Ye are their God.

Yall are having way too much fun.

Care free and footloose,
Comment by Kevin on January 30, 2009 at 7:08pm
Great vids & pics, love the sailing stories, keep them coming :-)
Comment by macip on January 30, 2009 at 12:39pm
Iguanas and barracudas! Quite an adventure! The videos are great...
Comment by DRAC VERD on January 30, 2009 at 10:41am
Since Drac Verd I is now 'Normal' Sea' then that makes me Drac Verd (not II). There is no 'blood and guts' allowed on me with all fishing done at Shop Rite (take the skin off please)!
Have you all noticed that our cousin, "Green Dragon" (from China/Ireland) is racing in the Volvo Ocean Race?
Maybe 'some day' I will follow your bread crumbs.

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