Sailing on Dutch Love

 

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the Ocean

 

 

 

        Dutch Love has covered many subtropical nautical miles
          and many crew have enjoyed her ways, including many that 
          returned over and over to taste the motion of the ocean. 
          Way to go old buddy,
          We love you.

 

skirting the reefs  deep sea fishing and snorkeling.
Yep, we are catching lots of Mackerel, Tuna, Grouper and
some Dolphin fish, great food on the barbeque at night in the anchorages.

Bimini has been a destination  25 years now, a great place for a  3-5 day
Sailing out of
Islamorada
 with some fine beaches, snorkeling and diving. We just past by there a few
days ago, spend the morning in Honeymoon harbor, one of the most incredile beaches
in the world, we where the only people there. quite magic, quite unbelievable for a
Sunday morning just a few hours from Miami.
 

Memorial day weekend we went to Bimini with 7 divers, the visibility was great,
 

 Shark valley with some snorkeling.The Wreck2.20.jpg (38123 bytes)
We spend one night anchored behind a small Island and the second night we visited
Alice town on N. Bimini. 

 

 We are laying in Georgetown Harbor a busy cruising destination in the winter month,
however in this period, the stormy season, there are only a few yachts in the harbor
so we are enjoying the solitude and the still warm waters. Georgetown is in the very
south of the Exuma Island chain in the Bahamas, a chain of some 365 islands they say,
everyone with at least one incredible beach.

Georgetown is also a good place to weather the winter storms

We  finished a trip thru the chain with Bobby and Lizzy a "cool" couple from New Orleans,
they came to join us for some of the most fantastic  sailing, snorkeling and beachcombing of the century. And of course we cooked us up some of the finest cuisine this side of the Mississippi.

crew by pool Nassau.j40.jpg (113685 bytes)                           lauriebow.JPG (81579 bytes)

We left Nassau some time ago and stopped in the Allen Cays the first night,
a small chain that has Iguanas on the beaches, an immaculate place found with
no equal anywhere in the universe.   I mean if you where cruising the furthest
reaches of the Universe, coming to the Exumas would be why you would want
to create an earth, and so it was, and here we are..       It just took a few
million years to put together. I worked on it myself quite a few years, and
putting all the pieces together to be able to come to an area like this took
also a long time.  Dutch Love and its components is just one incredible piece
of ocean going equipment.

We stopped at 14 different islands in an 11 day span, every one more exiting
then the other. We swam in the worlds grandest aquarium, and roasted our
buns on the beaches.

stockingc20.jpg (41153 bytes)    blustery day in November 

Georgetown   Exumas                         stockchina.jpg (64856 bytes)

            stockingtoo.jpg (39572 bytes)

In mean time it is blowing 30 knots out there and the wind is howling in the rig.
We are safely tucked into a small hole and it is quite cozy downstairs.
China just cooked some of the best gourmet pancakes hmmmmm.

We have been doing this ritual here now for 20 years, and have been having
great weather.

We are getting to know these islands pretty well.

We hope to see you there. to join us for the trip of a lifetime.

After another summer of great sailing, we made a dive
trip
to Bimini and shortly there after our yearly pilgrimage to the Exumas further
in the Bahamas. 
We snorkeled Thunderball Cave imitating James Bond's under water adventure
there.
Shroud cay the scene of the Humphry Bogart movie "The African Queen"
became our next stop for some great body surfing in a tidal rush, exhausting
ourselves and landing on some of the finest beaches.

wilbertsashasurfing2.JPG (250333 bytes)
Again we found no other boats in the area during this time and our sense of
privacy was complete.
Camp driftwood high up a coral ridge there provides a view point on the
incredible blue and turquoise color waters as no other place in the world.
This is the place from where the CIA and DEA in the 80th stalked one of
the largest drug operations on a neighbouring Island photographing the
ID numbers of the aircraft carrying the goodies, for later identification
and incrimination.

Thanksgiving found us with an invitation to help deliver the Scorpio 72'
"Wildflower" to the Caribbean. Wildflower just finished after 3 years in
the yard for a complete refurbishing now was ready for sea-trials, and
what trials they where. We got presented with just about every occasion
to fix and remedy things on this 1800 mile odessea. We anchored in the
Berry Islands Bahamas for rest and repairs then on skirting by Eleuthera 
with a visit to 
San Salvador, first supposed landing place of Columbus, then 
5 days out into the Atlantic and on thru the Virgin passage between
Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on to St. Croix for Fuel. One week
in English Harbor a yachting icon in Antigua for the Charter Boat Show.
Then on by Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent to 
Bequia and the Grenadines topping of our experience in the Tobago's chain


anchoring in what must be one the most sought after spots in any sailing world.
I felt like we had climbed the Mt. Everest of sailing and landed in heaven.

 

                                                        *************

WestEndwildflower.JPG (65618 bytes)   West End British Virgin Islands the night before we
left for the Azores Island group of of Portugal total nonstop miles 2,400.

 

Here we are, right here in the now, always will be.
What we are having here is a continuous experience
of life at sea shared with all the different personalities that come on board,
and what characters they are, the faces of a humanity so rich so varied, all of us
exploding into the future together, all as one, all there and then, all now.
On top the waves made so grand, the sails spread like wings,

Thank you!!!

 

And so we sailed to Roatan Honduras and Belize this 2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-winter,  trips that had been 30 years in the planning and getting the pieces together. These trips are from Key West direct to Roatan, 650 miles
4 or 5 days offshore thru the night.

Acquired a new home base in Calabash bight Roatan more about this later.

Gulf of Honduras Dutch Love's playground and area of choice to celebrate the 2012 changing of time from accelerating to decelerating, from more stress to less. From warring to peace.
From Fossil consciousness to sun consciousness. Think about it, there can be no life without the sun, no thing.

Maya pyramid map, holy grounds in 2012

our new dock in Calabash bight Roatan    see  Calabashshores.com

view from the top out he entrance of the bight

 

places to go

 

 

Hurricane Special   

September 2004 brought us some 4 hurricanes on very short order and heralded the end of a 10 year period
where we could go the Bahamas in the fall.
Following are  some of the spots we took Dutch Love to hide from the potential strong winds.

hurrcnCharleshole.JPG (67682 bytes)    The first storm Hurricane Charles we found this lone and peaceful spot  and it remained this way thru out the storm.

 t                                                                                                                                                                         
 hurrcnholeCharles.JPG (39049 bytes)

 

hurricaneIvanspot.JPG (62118 bytes)   Let the dance begin
For Hurricane Ivan we avoided to the Grand Bahama Bank behind some small Cay, we had a wild night getting there, but again we enjoyed beautiful weather and sailed back to Key West a few days later

FreighterOcean CayHurrcnIvan.JPG (46918 bytes)   Another one of Ivan's guests in the Bahamas.

.                                                                                                 

2005 here they came,  Dennis,   Katrina,    Rita,     Wilma,   every one of these wanted a dancecard for at least a week of preparations, preparations and some more preparations, only to then put it all back together to go to sea. But what fun it was to get out all the gear, ropes, chain, shackles and shaffing gear to protect the ropes from getting cut where they leave the boat.

                

2006      Just one small storm.

2007      Looks like most storms where in the Pacific this year, we got Noel roared up the Atlantic.
             The waters are rising however, great opportunity for future waterfront property further inland.

             Please consult  Al Gore's  book "Inconvenient Truth" for future storms.

2008      We are here now, Fay, made us go in a hurricane hole, Gustaf glanced by with winds gusting
             to 45 knots here in the neighborhood, before crashing into Louisiana then there is Hanna, Ike,
             and Josephine,

             coming barreling down the Atlantic keeping us wondering witch on will come and hand us a dance card.

             Ike, found us holed  in our well protected basin, hooked up with almost 200' of 7/8th line to
             a 65 pound danfors anchor with some 30' of 3/8 chain laid out to the NE, then 200' of 1'' line tied to
             a mangrove tree trunk with a bit of chain to the ESE, giving me 2 very strong positions with
             protection from the E from where I expected the strongest wind would be coming from, then for
             the tail end of the storm a 100' of 3/8 chain to an 88 pound Delta giving protection from the S,
             then a 120' 3/4 line tied to the other side of the basin to keep us out of the mangroves in case the
             the wind would shift some more to the West.
             The basin is barely 5'6" deep at high tide, so "Dutch Love" sits aground between the tides, and then
             swings to her new facing the wind direction every 3 or 4 hours when she comes to float free.
             Either way she does not swing much because of the multiple lines all coming off the bow, kind
             of dances from one to the other never putting to much strain on either.
             Had the storm passed closer I would have run 2  more lines to wind ward into the mangroves, and
             with that I think we would have been ready to face a category 4 storm, just a matter of deciding
             to stay on board then or not, may need to start drinking some strong brew then to make it thru
             the dark part of the night. As it was we probably had winds in the 60th last night with maybe
             stronger gusts during the squalls, of witch most of them seemed to be passing right over this area.

             It takes at least a couple of days to rig and prepare the boat for such a storm, then along with
             laying low for a few days during the storm it all in all will take 7 to 8 days before things are back
             to normal, but with hurricane Gustaf, Hanna and Ike here back to back it seems like I have been
             at it for some 2 weeks already, that with just 1 week trip squeezed between Fay and Gustaf
            

   

             Welcome to the world of a warming ocean.


             Dear Lord please let me know if there anything I can do to make things better.

                Here is the answer already:
      Stop the motors and lets go sailing.

 

                                                                                                                                                            Captain Harman

 

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