Well it's not a very dramatic second part to the cliffhanger.... and the only photos I can use to illustrate are old ones I took when we first got the boat up to New England. (Four years ago?!) Before we put the boat in the water, Skip drilled holes through the keel and centerboard when they were lined up in the UP position... just in case we ever needed/wanted to pin it up. We hadn't planned on having to pin it while the boat was in the water.... just another case of bad planning. So... the holes were there. All we had to do was lift the centerboard up, line up the holes and put a steel rod through it to keep it in place.
This shot shows the back of the keel with my grade school drawing showing the holes and pin placement. Actually the chain under the keel shows where we put the rope before we got a rod to put through the holes. The ends of the rope were tied to the rails on either side of the boat.
The second shot is the back of the keel shown from the side, with a red dot showing the approximate placement of the hole. The center board is hidden up inside the keel, sort of like a sandwich with the centerboard on the inside and the keel on either side of it. Really it's more like a pita... since it's only open on one side!
Seeing these old photos of the boat makes me realize how overdue our before-and-after blog posts are. The bottom is now black and the red stripes are now bright green. I'll move "work on before/after posts" up on my to-do list.
I only have a few photos for this blog because I had a temporary camera meltdown.... it had to do with formatting (or rather not formatting) the card properly and I lost all but these two photos. The first is a cool papaya that Tasha, who runs the small grocery store at Farmers Cay, gave us. It has NO seeds. She said her mama planted the tree that grows these seedless papayas and she gives them to the sailors passing through. It was pretty tasty.
And just to prove that I really am on this trip too (for those of you asking that I hand the camera over to Skip once in a while) here I am lazing in the cockpit on our way to Georgetown. I'm probably asking "What's the f-stop?"
This will be the last post from the Exumas; we're planning on heading out tomorrow. The high winds have had everyone pinned down in the anchorage here for a week and everyone is getting antsy. From the sound of things on "the net" here in Georgetown there are a few dozen boats pulling up their anchors tomorrow and heading in all directions. The snowbirds are heading north now that winter is ending; most everyone else is heading south to warmer and warmer places. We're headed for the Caribbean... with stops along the way in the Turks and Caicos and perhaps the Dominican Republic on our way to Puerto Rico and on to the Virgin Islands.
By the way, I take back anything snarky I may have said about Georgetown and 'the net' here. It was through the network of boaters here that we were able to borrow scuba gear (thank you Shamrock!) and found just the right steel rod to hold the centerboard in position (thank you Solar Eclipse). Our Swedish friends, Martin and Johanna on Snowbird are here too and Martin provided some of the muscle to help us get the board up. Thanks everyone! We couldn't have done it without your help.
Another Georgetown correction: it's not AAG (Alcohol Appreciation Group) as I originally wrote a few posts ago. It's ARG (Alcohol Research Group). Either way, it's a big old party on the beach and we went this past Friday and made some new friends. Everyone brings a dish to share and it's clear that we're all on a budget.... there were a lot of plates of cheese and crackers and bowls of popcorn!
We've said goodbyes to some of the friends we've made along the way, including our Italian friends Alfredo and Nicoletta (and their little dog Trudy) on Jancris. They've been living aboard Jancris for about 15 years and have been really interesting to spend time with. They're headed north for now but told us to keep an eye out for them in the fall or winter in the Caribbean. I hadn't counted on so many goodbyes along the way and it's a little bittersweet. We're hoping to see some friends that have plans to be in the Turks and Caicos about when we hope to be there (hi Jim & Heidi!) and we'll see some of both of our families in the Caribbean over the next two months.
I don't know what kind of internet access we'll have as we keep moving but I'll post as often as I can. Thanks so much for sticking with us so far!