Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Adventures of Captain Gale: The Tropics

From: briangale@alum.bucknell.edu [mailto:briangale@alum.bucknell.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2003 9:03 AM
Subject: The Tropics

Hello again! Thanks to all who have written - please remember when replying not to return my message to me, it helps keep the phone bills at a less painful threshold.

I am writing from Georgetown on Great exuma island. Georgetown lies on the Tropic of Cancer and therefore I have officially made it to the Tropics. My friends Truman and Nisa have just left, leaving my boat quiet. I had an action-packed 10 days with Nisa and 2+ weeks with Truman. I picked up Truman in Nassau and we had a great 5 days sailing and snorkling along Eleuthera Island (25 deg N,76.5 deg W, for those with the home game). The most memorable anchorage was Hatchet Bay, whose entrance is blasted out of the cliffs and cannot be seen until you are upon it. The guide book claims that the entrance is 90' wide, but Truman and I put it more towards 60 feet. And when you're boat is 10' wide and you have a following sea pushing you into the rocks, well, the chanel gets even skinnier. Truman (who is twice the sailor I am, was at the helm for this entrance, waited until the point of commitment for this entrance before he says (just to needle me, I'm sure), "Do you think thi!
s is it?" Thanks Truman, great thing to say as we're getting blown upon the rocks...

We returned to Nassau to pick up Nisa, and immediately headed southeast towards the chain of islands known as the Exumas. The first stop was Allen's Cay, which is well known for its agressive locals, the rock iguana. I swam ashore and within a few minutes the locals were beginning to hiss and surround me, at which point I bravely fled to the safety of the water.

The next morning on the way out of the anchorage we finally did the inevitable; I finally ran aground. I was at the helm and Truman was on the bow looking for shallow spots. Truman turned around and said, "It looks ok, what's the depth?" "10 - 6 and a half...(reversing engines)" Bump. We bounced a couple times over what locals now call Truman's rock, and we were on our way. I earned a good hard look from Nisa, who was brushing her teeth at the time. 2055 miles without grounding , a good run, though some might say I'm not trying hard enough.

We had a great week together. Truman and I did an AMAZING wall dive - the coral shelf just drops vertically from 65 feet to probably 200 feet, before it drops further into the depths. We went through an amazing archway and down to about 100' where I saw the most incredible and varied coral I have ever seen. Later in the week we went to Thunderball Cave, a natural grotto which was used in such movies as the James Bond movies "Thunderball" and "Never Say Never Again" as well as the timeless classic "Splash". To enter the cave you have to snorkle underwater through an archway, arriving in a round opening approximately 30 feet across and 15 feet tall. There are holes in the limestone roof with moss dangling and the water is teeming with fish waiting to be fed. We had brought a few scraps of bread, and when offered the swarm of fish was so intense that it had a clostrophobic effect. I had a grand time tossing bits of bread across the grotto to where Truman was swimming and !
watching him squirm. Sailing further south, we managed to land a 35" mahi mahi, great eating for two dinners.

We finally arrived in Georgetown (23 deg N, 76 deg W) on Great Exuma Island, a town of 900 residents and 200 cruising boats, quite large by Bahamian standards. We rented a car and toured the entire island, from the town of Rolleville on the nothern tip to Rolletownn on the southern tip. Who is this Rolle guy, anyway?

With my guests gone, I am provisioning and waiting out a bit of weather before I turn my attention to the far out islands where towns and cruisers are scarce. I return to Nassau to pick up more crew on February 10, but until then I'm free to cruise as quickly or slowly as I wish.

I hope this email finds everyone well. Please send a line when you have a moment.
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Friday, January 19, 2007

"The Bar" photos now available

Boat Drink - under construction
Originally uploaded by mauiss7.
These photos are of "The Bar". Lots has happened at and around this bar, my father in law had it for years and years andnow it lives at my house. I asked him for my wife's han over this bar, his answer..."Are you sure you want to do that??? She's quite a handful..." appearently I had no idea what I was getting myself into - LOL.

Please enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

GTA Coca-Cola Ad

This is cool...and the lyrics are great "Give a little love and all comes back to you...you're gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do...Give a little love and it all comes back to you."

Something to think about-

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Adventures of Captain Gale: West End -> Nassau

From: briangale@alum.bucknell.edu [mailto:briangale@alum.bucknell.edu]
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 11:06 AM
Subject: West End -> Nassau

Hello all! At last writing, I had just cleared customs in Bahamas and was preparing to make a 3 day journey to Marsh Harbor, relieved that I was finally assured of making it in tme for Christmas and Mom's arrival.

HA! On Christmas Eve I ran into a big low pressure system and had to duck into Green Turtle Cay just before the 35 knot winds started blowing. I spent Christmas Day eating, reading and eating. Fortunately the storm blew itself out quickly and i was able to make Marsh Harbor only a day late. Mom had been marooned in the Miami Airport by the airlines, so mom, sister and I arrived simultaneously. We had four nights of sun, fun and sailing they departed on the 31st, which gave me the opportunity to cut loose and... not go to bed until 10:30. Hey, I woke up for the 2:30 fireworks!!

After a couple days lounging in Marsh Harbor waiting for weather, I'm on the move again. After a short day sail, I made the 60 mile transit from the Abacos island to the Eleuthera Island chain (25.5 degrees North, 69.8 degrees West, for those of you playing at home).

I've spent a fair bit of time on this vacation out of sight of land. Well, out of sight until you look down and realize that you're in 6 feet of water! On my first full day in the Bahamas, I helped a couple get back into the channel after they had run aground - out of sight of land! On this particular passage, however, things are a bit different. The water here goes from 80 feet to over 13,000 feet in just a couple miles. After spending a few weeks here, it is somewhat comforting to be able to look out and judge the depth of the water by its color - dark green is good water, yellow is shallow. When it gets this deep, however, the water becomes an incredible cobalt blue, absolutely beautiful. Beautiful and a bit unnerving. I mean, sure, you can drown in seven feet of water just as easily, but thirteen THOUSAND feet? Seems a bit extreme to me.

With that uneventful passage finished, it was another 40 mile hop to Nassau, where I pick up my buddy Truman. Truman did this same vacation three years ago, so he'll be my guide for the next week as we return to Eleuthera before returning to Nassau to pick up my second tour guide, Truman's co-pilot Nisa. From Nassau we'll head south to the Exumas, where I'll sopend the next month.

I hope all is well with all of you. Thanks to everyone who has written. One request - when you write, please don't reply with a previous message atached. Phones here are on a fairly slow microwave and satellite system, and I've been creating gridlock at the payphones downloading my email.
Take care,

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back in Business!

Looks like the mobile posting is finally working again with the "New" Blogger! I'm back to Mobloggin! (PS sorry about the lame desk shot - I had to test with something!)