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Further adventures of the good ship Ripple

Here is the plan.

Liza and Keefer Douglas plus two volunteer crew will join the Salty Dawg rally to sail Ripple, our 1980 382 (Hull #195) down to Abaco, Bahamas starting on or around November 1, 2021. We will leave the boat on a mooring in Man O War Cay, where we have ties through Liza's family. On or around December 30, we will fly back down with our two kids and cruise the Bahamas for the winter months, then return back to the Chesapeake by end-June 2022.

Here is our information for anyone interested in following along. Or if anyone else out in the Morganverse is cruising the Bahamas this winter, hit us up and we'll be happy to meet for some grouper burgers and Kaliks!

MMSI (terrestrial-only AIS): 368064420
Predictwind GPS tracking: https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/SV_Ripple_1
Instagram: @ripple4010
Email: ripple4010@gmail.com
Offshore email: ripple@myiridium.net

As with all things nautical, Neptune and Murphy may have other plans for our plan, so I will try to post updates here from time to time.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Awesome! Congrats on getting started on this!
I'll be watching your instagram & tracker. Looking forward to hearing how Neptune and Murphy are treating you and Ripple.
Cheers,
-Mark
 
Happy to report that Ripple and her crew made it to the Bahamas without incident. We had two days of mostly favorable wind to start, crossed the Gulf Stream right off of Hatteras, then were mostly becalmed for the next 3 days. We only carried 10 extra gallons of diesel on the deck, and came pretty close to using all 50 gallons on board. Spent a long time motoring at low RPM to conserve fuel, and eventually a passing Hylas 56 from the rally was kind enough to stop and transfer over 6 more gallons from their very large store. Of course, as soon as that was done the wind picked up and we ended on a high note with 15-20 kts on the beam. Other highlights include stopping for a swim in calm crystal blue waters about 250 miles offshore, and catching two mahi (one of which we traded for the diesel, along with a bottle of rum).

We cleared Customs and picked up our mooring just as the heavens opened up and the wind clocked South then SW then West, a classic fall/winter front coming off of the US and leaving any boats still trying to move South beating into a near gale. That included pretty much all of the much larger Salty Dawg fleet headed for Antigua, unfortunately for them.

We were easily the oldest, slowest and smallest of the Bahamas-bound Salty Dawgs, but held our own admirably. Next time I am taking a few more jerry cans, but otherwise am happy to confirm for myself that our old boat is still very much a comfortable and capable passage maker. But all of you smart Morgan owners knew that already :)

The Abacos are still very much in recovery mode from Hurricane Dorian. They really need tourist dollars to accelerate reconstruction and get businesses back up and running, but the amenities still are not there to make it worth the trip for most folks. A real Catch-22, and COVID only made things worse. We went over for lunch in Hope Town, which in the past was a serious hub for cruisers, the harbor nearly always completely full. We anchored there with no problem, maybe 5 other boats in the entire place. Looking forward to doing our part with some more dollars to spend come January.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Keefer - thanks for the update! It's funny, I was just looking at your Instagram and Predict Wind about an hour ago. I don't know much about hurricane Dorian, but read up and was surprised to see it's the strongest storm to ever hit the Bahamas. 185 mph winds: no thanks! And that is quite the one-two punch since it was followed by COVID. I'm hoping they can bounce back fast.

Glad to hear the trip went well.
 
Yeah Dorian was about as bad as it gets, 185 mph and just parked over the region for nearly a full day. Every single boat in the well protected harbor at Man O War Cay (a longstanding hurricane hole) sank or was driven ashore. All of the docks destroyed, and a large number of houses destroyed or heavily damaged. The last of the boats are just now being picked up by barges and hauled off. I posted on Instagram about the Valiant 40 that was wrecked on our property, and before we left I watched as they hauled her off.
 

royaltern

Bert Willett
Yeah Dorian was about as bad as it gets, 185 mph and just parked over the region for nearly a full day. Every single boat in the well protected harbor at Man O War Cay (a longstanding hurricane hole) sank or was driven ashore. All of the docks destroyed, and a large number of houses destroyed or heavily damaged. The last of the boats are just now being picked up by barges and hauled off. I posted on Instagram about the Valiant 40 that was wrecked on our property, and before we left I watched as they hauled her off.
keefer I am having trouble acessing your instagram. Can you give me some guidance?
 

bob_mcdonald

robert mcdonald
Keefer, you are correct in describing Dorian as the worst ever seen in the Bahamas. We were in The Abacos the first winter after Dorian and the destruction everywhere was simply unbelievable. All Cays were devastated, none more so than Marsh Harbour, which looked quite literally like Hiroshima after the nuclear explosion. Knot Tied was owned by my friend Rich Miller from Montana. Rich did the most beautiful and intricate knot work, hence the boat name Knot Tied. With the loss of his boat Rich sadly has retired from sailing. Enjoy your stay in Man-o-War. We are hoping to be in Abaco in January - if you're still there we'll say hello. BTW can you give an update on the mooring ball situation in Man-o-War - the Eastern Harbour was always a favorite place for us.
 
Hi Bob,

Currently Edwin's is the only game in town, and has three moorings all in the settlement harbor. Ripple is on one of these, and there is a larger Morgan (Catalina Morgan maybe?) on another. The Eastern Harbor has a bunch of moorings but all seem private as of now. That said, everything is still a little chaotic down there - no one in charge, hard to get accurate information about anything. At least as of now you will have no trouble anchoring there, or just about anywhere else you'd like. Maybe that will change as the season gets going? Seems doubtful, though the reports I hear suggest that they are expecting a return to more normal numbers of boats elsewhere in the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Scuttlebutt around town is that someone from Marsh Harbour is in the process of purchasing the Marina with the aim of rebuilding. Many docks and structures have been rebuilt, but that property remains a glaring hole. Consensus is that until that and a restaurant or two come back, Man O War is going to struggle to attract many visitors.

We plan to spend 2 weeks or so in Man O War in January (and then likely cruise the Abacos with that as a home base) before heading further south. Would be happy to meet up.

Small world re: Knot Tied. I mentioned on Instagram but she really is a tragic case. Obviously a well-loved classic, very sad to see her end up like that.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Glad to hear you had a good trip. Conditions were much the same for my trip to St. Thomas. Used about 60 gallons. Not a fan of motoring, and happy to be in the trades with better sailing until i reach the west coast
 
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