Apr 04 2007 – Conception

Meggie departs for the D.R.
Spoony at anchor on Conception (it's about time!)
Finn tries swing a la the Spoony girls
Kid's Movie night on Spoony - Teague, Finn, Hannah, Lilly, Katie (Alouette), Audrey, William (Alouette)
Jenn from Spoony
John & Sue from Alouette
2 Friendly trunkfish greet us at Conception looking for handouts

Grace and Alouette sailed to Long Island together.  We spent some time with Spoony and Amicus in Thompson Bay then moved up to Hog Cay and Calabash Bays to stage for Conception.  Meggie who was headed for Rum Cay gets turned around by high seas and joins us in Calabash Bay

From there Spoony, Meggie, Alouette and Grace make the day sail to Conception.  The conditions are not quite as predicted.  The seas aren’t awful but they’re rolling us pretty hard on occasion and all the things that weren’t stowed well, along with the trash, are strewn about the cabin sole.  In hindsight this is a good thing.  It reminds us before we head out for the long offshore run to the D.R. that we need to prepare the boat better. 

Conception is amazing!  It is a national park to protect migratory birds that sits far offshore surrounded by deep (1000’s of feet) Atlantic waters.  The water is the clearest we’ve ever seen… and after having spent 3 months in the Exumas that is saying something!

Meggie spends a day then sets sail for the D.R.  We spend a great evening with Alouette and Spoony before saying goodbye to Spoony who will now begin their return trip to the U.S.

As if our rough ride out to Conception wasn’t enough to prompt us to make Grace more ship shape, we hear on the radio about the problems encountered by the boats Meggie split from 2 days earlier when she returned to Calabash Bay.  Tashmoo, a 41’ Bristol – a well built boat – has her centerboard snap off during the pounding seas.  The centerboard is left dangling by a cable and the crew has to go under the boat offshore in high seas to cut it away.  She makes it safely to Rum Cay and then begins a long conservative trip back to Florida for repairs.  Cadana, a single-handed Catalina, has jerry jugs break loose and the anchor pin come free releasing the anchor while underway in high seas.  And no one has heard from Joe, another single-hander with only a dog for crew, on a small boat called Seneca.  Joe is short on cash and needs to get the boat to the D.R. or Puerto Rico to get the boat hauled for hurricane season while he flies home to earn some more cash.  Joe pressed on despite the bad conditions… Godspeed Joe.

John from Alouette and I spend hours going over charts and coming up with a plan for our sail.  Then I spend hours making important offshore preparations.  We secure everything down below and add padeyes and bungees to keep drawers and loose items secure underway.  And I commission the outboard bracket which we hadn’t used until this point.  Using the crane, I take the outboard off the dinghy and secure it on the rail to relieve the stress on the arch.

We’re nervous and excited to get going… 3PM arrives and we set sail.

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