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  • Katharine Hesmer

Bahamas | Take 2 | January 11, 2023

Staniel Cay to Great Exuma Cay, Exuma Cays, Bahamas

KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map

Today promised a longgggg trek to Great Exuma, with George Town as our ultimate goal. Before we pulled up anchor, I took advantage of the unusually light winds to do a quick 360 peek around Staniel Cay.

You can see Steve and me on the bow, and you can also see that I'm still impossibly obsessed with this water.

Staniel has a small airport, and because I was flying my drone in this area, I got a warning on the app that controls the plane. I've seen these warnings before, but new to me was having to certify that I was aware that I was flying near an airport, and that I would take full responsibility for any errors I made in handling the drone too close to another aircraft for example. 😳 I had to check a box that I understood the restrictions for flying in this area, enter my phone number, and wait for confirmation before taking off. The confirmation didn't take long at all, but boy do you ever think twice about going up at ALL under these circumstances. Which is honestly the way it should be. I've been flying a drone since 2017, and it's been interesting to see the rules and regulations evolve along with the technology. Last spring at Norman's Cay I couldn't take off at all. They made it so that the app prevented you from doing so. Now you have to sign your life away in blood and promise to behave yourself near the airport. I basically flew the drone straight up where I could easily see it, looked around, shot some video and pics, and came straight back down. Quickly. 😬

Speaking of the airport, this seaplane flew right over KORKZcrew soon after we pulled up our anchor to begin our journey south. Ron caught it on video, and I caught Ron . . . catching it. 😜

We all enjoyed another beautiful day, and a mostly flat and easy ride until near the end when the wind picked up and things got a bit more rough. I always enjoy watching Ron and Skeet share not only the captain's seat but also their thoughts on the best way to get from Point A to Point B. They typically use more than one chart or device to check the wind, tide, direction and size of the waves, and water depths. It takes a lot of cross-referencing and comparing of notes, and they work really well together. KORKZcrew has a Garmin chart plotter, and Ron and Skeet will often compare the info found there to apps on their phone or iPad including Windy and Aqua Map to help give them the full navigational picture. Skeet is an invaluable resource, and I'm fairly certain he has a map in his head. Steve and I offer basically nothing of value aside from sharing our delightful personalities. 🤓

Navigating a narrow passage between two islands

Might want to turn down the volume for this one. You can tell how much the wind had picked up at this point.

Ron's SV Delos t-shirt is from a live-aboard boating family we've been following on YouTube for years, collecting mental notes along the way, wondering if we could ever follow even slightly in their footsteps. They are still one of our favorite YouTubers, as we tune in every Friday to watch their latest episode. They recently completed their "World Tour", circumnavigating the globe in a 53-foot Amel Super Maramu monohull sailboat.

From their website:

"I bought SV Delos in May of 2008. At the time I had no intentions of documenting our life with YouTube Sailing Videos, but as sometimes happens one thing led to another and here we are 45 countries, 70,000+ ocean miles, and over 200 YouTube Sailing Videos later. The decision to sell everything, buy a sailboat, and set off on a grand adventure was a defining point in my life."

If you're ever interested in checking out one of their episodes, you can find their videos here. They're extremely humble and down to earth. We've also learned a lot from watching Sailing Ruby Rose, Sailing La Vagabonde, Gone with the Wynns, Sailing Parlay Revival, Wind Hippy Sailing, Sailing Nahoa, Project Atticus, Sailing Millennial Falcon, and The O'Kellys.

All of these channels have a little something to do with our decision to give boat life a try, so we feel a sense of gratitude to all of them for their willingness to share their experiences with us once a week. It's a big deal to put yourself out there and to let people "in" in that way, with practically your every move being filmed. It's all-consuming, all the time. I obviously love taking pictures and video, but am pretty sure I wouldn't love being on camera 24/7, showing the good, the bad, and the ugly. And it can get pretty ugly, as some of their videos can be pretty gritty. This lifestyle is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows, and each of these channels does a good job in their own way of keeping it "real". Delos just had a run-in with a major health scare when they were in the middle of nowhere, needing I.V. antibiotics and having only their relatively slow sailboat to get them access to the help they needed. While living remotely can seem like a dream, it can actually be a nightmare for the very same reasons, which is why I do my best not to think about THAT aspect too much. 😳 Denial is a beautiful place to be.

KORKZcrew arrived at Great Exuma right around sunset, after about an hour long rough ride in some ocean chop. It's never scary or unsafe, but it can definitely be pretty uncomfortable, and that's the best way I can describe this afternoon. We tried to anchor near a big Sandals Resort on the northeast end of the island, but conditions were so rolly that Ron decided to call a nearby marina and see if they had a slip for the night. Luckily, the Emerald Bay Marina had a spot for us, and we were grateful to stay overnight in a protected area which also happened to be the same place we left our charter boat in 2019. More memories came flooding back, along with a great story I'll tell you about in tomorrow's "episode" 😜 How can you POSSIBLY stand the suspense?!

7.5 hours underway; 46 nautical miles traveled

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