SEA GEM LOG:September 11, 2002. Bahamas to Titusville

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September 1, Vintage Airlines carried Saundra and I from Daytona to Marsh Harbor, Bahamas where we caught Aubrey's Ferry to Man-O-War Cay, Sea Gem's home for the last five months. There we had her bottom re-painted and other work done. Removing the Maxi-prop propellers, returning them to the manufacturer for reconditioning entails recording the exact pitch of these (automatically feathering propellers which reduce drag while under sail) and keeping track of which is the port and which the starboard prop for the purpose of reinstallation. We removed the worn out Spurs, which are the knives attached to each shaft just fore of the props. These cut lines and nets before they can wrap around the prop. These heavy-duty knives do a pretty good job but we had run over too many lines and nets during the last 16 years.

We brought with us the two new sets of Spurs and the reconditioned like new Maxi-props. Sea Gem had to be hauled again to install these, and immediately upon rolling back into the water we set sail for home. Mike Watson, a friend and executive of Agere Systems, had joined us on Sept. 6 in Man-O-War Cay for the 250- mile sail home. Our first stop was Green Turtle Cay, a wonderful place we found almost forty years ago and have been frequenting ever since. After a good dinner and an uneventful night at anchor we showed Mike the island and the town of New Providence. Saundra had to fly home to be with her brother, Jerome, who was in the late
stage of cancer. It was a quick trip across the bay to Treasure Cay Airport in our 19- foot Key West (with a 150hp Yamaha) that we were towing home. Mike and I sailed a short hop to Manjaq (sometimes spelled Nunjaq) Cay to visit some friends Saundra and I have been visiting for some years.

Bill and Leslie Herrington are the only inhabitants of this Cay with their home overlooking beautiful bay. They are amazing people; building their own home and guest house to construction standards and fine finish work that would rival any artisan in America. Moreover, these are self- sustaining and environmentally sound houses. They are entirely solar maintained with more than adequate hot water, lighting, refrigeration and electric power. The roofs are like most houses in the Bahamas structured to capture rainwater and carry it down drainpipes into a cistern. The houses even have the latest type compost waste system that provides fertilizer for their extensive flower, shrub and tree gardens. Bill and Leslie are incredibly friendly evidenced by the sign on their white sand bathing beach reading, " Trespass Please". They served us a lovely lunch on their home's cool veranda overlooking the bay where Sea Gem was anchored. (Photo 491)Although we were invited to stay for lobster dinner we felt we should make a few miles before dark. They gave us four fresh lobsters for our dinner, which we greatly enjoyed that night anchored behind Crab Cay.

The next morning we sailed out Umbrella Cay Pass through the reef and on to Walker's Cay where we anchored for our last night in the Bahamas. From Walker's Cay it is 24 hours for Sea Gem to make Cape Canaveral. We arrived at 8 AM, September 11, docked at Cape Marina and checked in with Customs and Immigration. I couldn't help but remember the tragedy one year ago that day. By early afternoon we were docked at Titusville Municipal Marina from which we had set sail on January 16, 1999 on our trip around the world.
We had officially circumnavigated the globe crossing 11 seas and oceans; visiting 38 countries on 6 separate continents of the world.