Coral Harbour, NP


Our run from Alan’s Cay was with a quartering sea, our first cruise of any distance where we have not been banging head seas all day. The ride is a bit gentler, still a lot of motion, but the stabilizers take out most of the roll, so the motion is much more smooth than the come-up-short action that accompanies a head sea. Much more comfortable, despite having about 4 ft. of swell. Even Sammy snoozed a bit for this run!  We had arrangements made to spend a week or whatever time it takes for parts to arrive for the generator and the repairs to be completed. I was able to run the tracking number, it appears that in true Bahama form, our exchanger is in Freeport. Uh, wrong island!  Our slip is in a canal behind a  private home, the owners are retired cruisers, and rent out dock space to cruisers who need a place to leave their boat for a few weeks, or as in our case, need a base of operations to complete repairs or provisioning.


Our hosts are Brits, both retired. Nick manages the boats staying behind the house, there are presently 6, 2 of which have cruisers aboard. The latest arrival on Thursday was Invictus, Krogen’s brand spanking new 55 footer, hull #1 with Bill & Lisa on board. What a beautiful boat!
Carolyn does birding, nature tours and that sort of thing. Both are very active. The neighborhood is rather isolated, there is a grocery within easy biking distance, a liquor store, and a pharmacy. The grocery store is well-stocked- fresh milk, a real rarity in our travels, inexpensive eggs, a good selection of staples, and a fairly large meat department, with a good stock of meats, chicken feet, sheep tongue, and cows’ feet. Yum-mee! Now some of the frozen steaks are, well…. they’re just not the right color. Very odd. Pass the sheep tongue, please… NOT!!


Coral Harbour is another Bahamas development that stopped short of its goal, like most. A hotel complex begun several years ago and development along the canals was halted, and the government took over the site of the hotel, converting it into the Royal Bahamas Defence Force Base (no, that’s not misspelled!) The building is still unfinished, and from the sound side looks like a bombed out shell.


We’re still getting accustomed to the unfinished construction here. All over the Bahamas it seems to be more the rule that construction is mostly started and rarely finished. Everywhere there are buildings in various stages of completion, but relatively few are actually completed. Many very large development projects lie in limbo. The most striking impression is that right next to a years-old start, there will be another project getting started, surely to meet the same fate. This area is the same, many new homes started, many more started probably 10 years ago and still unfinished!


Since we’ll be here a couple days awaiting parts, we broke out the bikes. We biked to the Bacardi Factory a few miles down the road. Unfortunately, they were not doing tours, nor were we permitted to enter the grounds. Too bad, I really don’t like their rum anyway, I prefer Gosling’s (which we’ve been out of for at least 2 weeks, more on that). We also stopped by Bahamas Gas to make sure they’ll fill our propane tank, one is empty, and we should be good for nearly a month on the remaining tank, but as we have learned now (reference the Gosling’s), when an opportunity knocks, ya’ don’t shut da’ door! Cruisers’ rule #2. If it’s available and you might need it, BUY IT!! You may not need it now, but you will, and when you do, it won’t be available where you are when you need it. To wit, eggs at $6.00 a dozen. Eggs here are $1.87, you can bet we’ll have plenty when we leave NP! We’ll also have a stock of Gosling’s! To that end, Monday will be car day, We plan to rent a car for at least a day, and run all over the island to do our errands, provision, do some touristing, and look for a few chandlery items. It’s amazing how that anchor bridle chafes when it’s in use every day, especially when the winds crank up!

Hopefully Tuesday will bring the parts we need, and we’ll be able to put Maerin back in full operating condition. Some maintenance is already complete, main engine oil & filter change, the seawater pump that was new in September and now has just under 600 hours run time, began leaking at the seal, stopped moving enough water to keep the exhaust cool, and the raw water alarm started screaming just as we were making the final approach to the dock. CRAP!! Nothing serious, a quick check reassured us we would be OK until we were secured. So the following day the backup pump was brought out from the nether regions of the hull, and rebuilt. I had planned to do a complete rebuild at home, making use of friend Bill’s press and machining skills, but it never was completed. So I replaced the seals, impeller, cam and the rest of the pump end, leaving the bearings intact since they were in good shape, and would require a righteous press to replace. I have a vise. Not good enough! The pump is in place, and works like new, now to determine the reason for the short service life and get some more parts on hand for the next time. Those will wait until we return stateside, shipping parts here is no picnic! Cruisers’ rule #3, carry plenty of spares, the ones you have will prevent the things they go on from breaking. Only those things for which you do not carry spares will break.


One Response to “Coral Harbour, NP”

  1. Bill and Lisa on 21 Apr 2009 at 1:06 PM #

    Great site and great folks. Steve, you know systems on a boat better than anyone we have met in our cruising. It was great getting to meet you and glad you liked the rum.