Back Home in Kinsale
(Or We Are Now ‘Dirt Dwellers’ Again)
By Tom and Kaye Assenmacher

After spending a very interesting and spectacular winter cruise to, in, and from the Abacos, we are finally back home in Kinsale.  We left Kinsale aboard our 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER on 26 October 2006 in company with Lou and Jean Wayne of Rochester , NY who made the cruise aboard their 1967 MK-I Sloop PIKA. We returned to Kinsale on 23 May, 2007 . 

Our special thanks to Lou and Jean for their forbearance, guidance, good humor, patience, knowledge etc., as Kaye and I, aboard SHEARWATER,  trailed about 200 yards behind PIKA for most of the trip!

We logged about 2515 Nautical Miles since we left Kinsale (the majority of the miles were logged on the ICW going to and from Florida ).  We ran our diesel engine approximately 550 hours (mostly motor sailing, but includes battery charging time), and consumed approximately 300 gallons of diesel fuel. Our speed (no current) speed averages about 5.5 kts.

The only notable equipment failures occurred on the way back from the Bahamas, in South Carolina, within about a week of each other:: The Hurth/ZF M150A transmission (installed by the Skipper); Transmission shift cable (again installed by the Skipper); and an electric fuel pump (spare carried on board).  Both transmission problems required towing by TowBoatUS.  Thankfully, we had "Unlimited" Towing Insurance from Boat U.S.   This was the first time in over 28 years of sailboat ownership that we've needed to be towed...... Guess there's a time for everything..... but since we were in restricted waters, with lots of current, and several opening bridges to pass through, we decided that we would put the Towing Insurance to good use.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, learned a lot about the culture of the Bahamas (life goes on at “Golf Cart” pace!), enjoyed meeting many fellow cruisers etc.  Both Kaye and I have somewhat 'matured' in our cruising abilities and capabilities (and we are still speaking to each other - after 7 months of never being separated by more than 37 feet).

Places in the Abacos that we visited included Great Sale Cay; Green Turtle Cay (one of our favorites); the infamous “Whale Passage”; Marsh Harbour; Lynard Cay; Hopetown (another favorite); Great Guana Cay; Treasure Cay; Man O’ War Cay (still another favorite); and numerous other great anchorages.  Actually, all the places are fantastic with crystal clear turquoise water.

We still have quite a few photos of our cruise posted on the A-37 Web site – we’ll leave them there for some time – so take a look. You’ll want to go to the Bahamas !!

We may also publish some cruising “Lessons Learned” articles in subsequent Newsletters.

We won’t be cruising the Bahamas by boat this winter, as we have some other travel plans to visit family and friends in the Midwest US.  We however, are looking into a rental cottage in Man O’ War Cay for the really cold months here (January and February).  Perhaps next year we’ll be heading South again on SHEARWATER……

Thanks for all your patience etc., etc., during our ‘sabbatical’ – we especially appreciated all the emails!  We would recommend this cruise to anyone - but don't wait till you are over 65 – DO IT NOW!!!!!!!

Photos of the Cruise.