It’s island time, baby! In this episode we take you exploring with Rahm, discover some amazing seascapes off the beaches of Great Guana Cay, cook the best coconut French toast, and start to assimilate to cruising life in the Bahamas.
We also fly our drone for the first time while under sail — and it all nearly goes tits up! In our last episode, we showed you how we land the drone onboard, even offering a few tips, like we were pros or something. But flying a drone is even harder from a moving vessel, scarier over water, and the worst when you have to navigate around a sailboat’s rigging to retrieve it, while moving.
We’ve flown our Mavic at anchor, and while underway on the rivers — when the mast and rigging were removed. And we’ve flown it with others onboard who could help navigate while landing (which really is a two-person operation). But, we had yet to try this out under sail with just the two of us…
Select tracks in this episode by Johnzo West from his new album “WAVES” 🌊
Hope you enjoy!
Lauren & Kirk
FILMED: April 2019
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This episode features music from Johnzo West’s new album “WAVES” released 8.28.20!
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Thinking About Buying a Boat?
– We just left Green Turtle Cay, said goodbye to my sister and her fiance and we’re off to Great Guana Cay. To get there we have to actually go out into the Atlantic Ocean and then come back inside. In between here and Great Guana there’s a bunch of shifting sands and you can’t get through in between. It’s Great Abaco, right?
– [Kirk] Yeah.
– And then all of it’s barrier islands. We’re about less than a mile away from getting through that cut right now. It’s called Whale Cut.
– We’re seeing some open ocean swell coming in through here ’cause there’s no barrier reef out here to stop it. So we’re starting to roll up and down, which is cool. Ya we could tack and come at it the other way, but I don’t really want to mess around with breaking seas and reefs and rocks.
– It’s not a very wide channel.
– No, it’s not very wide.
– Yeah I think we need to maybe turn on the engine
– just to get off the shore a little bit. All right baby, sail, sail. You’ve got the wind now.
– [Lauren] Don’t you have to do that?
– Yeah, I have to do the sailing part.
– We made it through the cut, no drama. We sailed all the way through and didn’t even turn on the engine. What about that? That was easy peasy.
– Well that’s only half of it. Still gotta do the other half.
– That’s true.
– [Kirk] Nice looking boat. Oh, that’s a Hallberg-Rassy.
– Yeah The boat feels all weird because the wind is coming this way so we’re heeled over that way, but the tide’s coming this way, fairly quick right now and so the boats like, kind of all sluggish and moving around all funny. It’s not a bad movement, it’s just-
– You can feel it, yeah.
– [Lauren] What tea would you like?
– I think vanilla camomile.
– This morning I am making some French toast out of Bahamian coconut bread that we got at a bakery in New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay. I guess you can find it throughout the islands, but this is the first one we’ve been to so, I can’t speak for that yet, but we’ve already had the French toast once. We actually made it when my sister was here at her Airbnb and it was one of the best French toasts I think I’ve ever had in my entire life. I think it’s hard to say that it’s the best, because I think there’s so many different ways that you can make French toast that are awesome. So, but Kirk said that the only thing that can make it better was
– [Kirk] Bacon makes everything better.
– And bacon makes everything better.
– I like to do one egg per slice because I like it extra eggy. ♪ Got to feelin’ happy when my lover’s near ♪ ♪ Lord let this moment last for another year ♪ ♪ Thought today has ended ♪ ♪ The night’s still young I’d say ♪ ♪ Lover, don’t go away. ♪
– The coconut bread’s, like, really nice, light white bread with a light coconut flavor and it’s just ever so slightly sweet. Makes perfect French toast.
– Oh yeah. This is our first snorkeling expedition to an actual reef.
– [Kirk] I don’t know if we wanna snorkel out there.
– [Lauren] You think it’s too shallow?
– [Kirk] It might be.
– [Lauren] So you wanna go over there and snorkel off that?
– I dunno, let’s just go explore.
– [Lauren] All right. There’s a bunch of vacation rentals and houses and private residences over at Great Guana Cay and we’ve heard that people aren’t super nice about you walking on the beach out in front of their place, so we figured that we’d just go over to the other uninhabited island. I think it suits us more.
– [Kirk] Yeah, I think so too. Apparently 10 years ago none of those houses existed on this island and this was like all, I think that’s where all those comments on ActiveCaptain where you could walk all the way around on the beach, now you can’t.
– Well, we didn’t try.
– We didn’t try.
– We didn’t bring our sandals so it was a bit hard to walk around so we’re going out to see if we can get to the reef. This was the furthest we had taken Rham from Soulianis before and we were trying to be cautious because Rham’s just a little guy and so was out e-propulsion. we’re still exploring the limits of our equipment and with any activity that takes us away from the safety net of other people an assistance, we try to make sure we’re not putting ourselves in a position we can’t get out of.
– I think it’s mostly just the current that I was worried about.
– [Lauren] Just going in between these two things? That’s what we tried before, right?
– Yeah, that was too shallow. Was there any stuff?
– There’s some stuff. Some brain coral, a bunch of spongy things. We went snorkeling yesterday. We took the dinghy around to the Atlantic side. It’s probably a half hour dinghy ride, 40 minute dinghy ride, and as we’re puttering along with our little trolling motor, Kirk says that it would be really nice to have a motor that could plane our dinghy. But what we did agree later on was after watching someone try to start their outboard was, we would take being able to start our outboard any day over a planing dinghy.
– [Kirk] Yeah, every day.
– [Kirk] Every time.
– Every time.
– Without fail.
– Pulling and pulling and pulling and swearing and cussing and ripping the top of the outboard motor off to clean the carburetor, replace the spark plug, spray it with starting fluid, pulling and pulling and pulling and realizing it’s flooded, cursing some more, sitting and waiting and just drifting downwind. Yeah, it’d be nice to have it planing motor though.
– [Lauren] Next boat.
– Next boat.
– So we’ve been anchored on the North side of Great Guana Cay for two nights. It’s been a little rolly. Every time the tide changes the boat just doesn’t know what to do and it’s rocking all over the place so, we’re gonna move a little bit further South and it’s only going to be a three or four mile, little sail and the winds are super light. So we’re going to try to throw up everything we got. See if we can make it there before the afternoon’s over. This is a new pre sailing ritual. We now have to take the paddle board off the deck and put it down into the cabin so that we have free top sides to move about the boat. Now you just had his puppy to the mast and we’re good to go. All right, what are we doing?
– We’re going to fly the drone with just the two of us on board for the first time while sailing. You ready?
– [Lauren] Are you nervous?
– I’m very nervous.
– Yeah, I’m ready. Perfect!
– [Kirk] This is the aftermath.
– I so wish we had this on camera.
– [Kirk] Yeah, that would have been nice.
– [Lauren] Well, you were filming all the time, right, with the drone?
– [Kirk] Yeah, yeah.
– The drone would not come near the boat. Kirk would get him towards the boat and were moving. Every time it got too close to the radar, to the backstay, to the bimini, to the sail, he would just take off again.
– He flew between the sail and the backstay twice.
– So at the last second, fortunately he wasn’t screaming yet.
– Right, he was not. That would have cranked up the tension a lot more.
– When the drone starts to go like it’s a frigging alarm before something blows up. So yeah, he wasn’t doing that yet, but we’re close. At the last second I’m like, I’m getting the dinghy ’cause there’s no obstructions around the dinghy. So I pretty much fell in the dinghy.
– [Kirk] Jumped slash fell.
– [Lauren] Jumped slash fell, and yeah, that was it. Got him on the first try.
– [Kirk] Thankfully, there were no boats around, there were no shoals around.
– We had plenty of sea room.
– This was a pretty good spot to do it.
– Yeah, and the wind was-
– [Kirk] Light enough.
– [Lauren] Nine, ten.
– I think next time we’re gonna turn off the collision avoidance and we’ll just luff up into the wind in heave to, before we try and land, ’cause that was way better. I think if we had the Phantom where you could just grab the landing gear and just hold onto it and then shut it down, it would be way easier, but the Maverick is hard to land.
– Yeah, you have to grab it’s body, there’s no other place to grab because you’re trying not to,
– I can’t believe,
– touch the blade.
– I didn’t hit the radar or the backstay. It was so frickin’ close. That was, exhilarating.
– We’re just anchored and I just made up a snack plate for lunch.
– [Kirk] This is was the first time we’ve done this in a long time.
– [Lauren] Yeah, sat in the cockpit with the table up.
– Yeah, and actually enjoyed being out here under the shade.
– In our lovely bimini. There’s going to be a lot of shots of that. That was a lovely little sail. I feel like every time I want to pull out the camera and talk about a sail, it’s a lovely little sail . But that one was probably the littlest, loveliest little sail.
– [Kirk] Yeah, that was the littlest that’s for sure.
– It was like three miles. And now we’re set, and Kirk just showed me Navionics, we always look to see, every drop of the hook, we start doing this swinging back and forth.
– That means we’re hooked.
– That means we’re pretty darn hooked.
– We forgot to bring our anchor because we were gonna go to a dock and so we figured we didn’t need an anchor. And these docs are really high and it looks like everyone has a stern anchor, but there is a fortress hanging out here right on the dock. I said Kirk, is this a complimentary anchor? He’s like, no, it’s not. And we’re tooling around here trying to keep the dinghy from going underneath the dock. And he said, well, maybe it is a complimentary anchor.
– Go back to the boat.
– What’d you think of the Nipper?
– The Nipper was good.
– I think it was guava flavored. I think that’s what it was, it was pink. Got me tipsy.
– I think I’m gonna get a nap and we get back to the boat.
– Yeah, yeah.
– First I gotta all the sand off me though. That’s what happens when you go snorkeling off of beach, get all the sand all up in your bits. Got sand on your bits, Kirk?
– I got no sand in my bits. My bits are sand free.
– Aren’t you lucky.