Sunday, April 29, 2012

Exumas, A Rainly Sunday and our Coconut Internet

We are currently lying in Big Majors in the Exumas. As has been typical, a front is coming through with wind and rain. The anchorage has about 20 plus boats riding it out as well as using the anchorage as a staging point to explore the local and beautiful waters in addition to boat migrations both north and south.

The winds are out of the ENE about 16 knots with an occasional gust up to 26knots. To be honest if we were not looking at the gauge we would not have known it. Our anchor watch has us holding to a tight arch as we have swung around with the wind and current. We don't really notice it unless you watch out the window; Seabright rides well at anchor.

Yesterday before the rain started I checked the anchor using the dinghy and it was completely buried (the waters are so clear that it is easily seen, didn't need the lookie bucket ), the only visible part was about half of the roll bar on the top of the Rocna anchor. We have about 145' of chain out in anticipation of a bit of a blow. This includes about 10-12' for the snubbers. We always set our snubbers low into the water line. This not only transfers the stress of the anchor and chain to the snubber lines but just as importantly helps keep the angle of the of the shaft to the sea floor below 9 degrees, which will keep it from popping out in strong winds.

Because it is so rainy we are focused on indoor boat chores. We made water and topped off our tanks. Jeannie is making a chicken stew in the crock pot. After some chores around the boat I will work on some navigation issues which are mostly centered around some areas we want to anchor  while we are here.

Our internet is through the Bahamas Telephone Company. We are not near any high speed connections since leaving the Abacos. While some use SAT links, it can get quite pricey and our need is not that great......just a reasonable link. To accomplish this we purchased a Zoom broad band modem  and then paired with a BTC sim card for data only. If we can anchor near a BTC tower we are good to go. The down side is that it is quite slow, averaging 16.4bps, sometimes more and sometimes less. It is better in the early morning and late in the evening. Good for basic email and related things. Pictures and lots of graphics just take too long and can be frustrating.  I would say so far it has worked great and is a good inexpensive method to connect. If you want to surf the net and need lots of graphic downloads a SAT link is a much more costly but better option.

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