Grand Bahama… an unplanned stop!

Anyone remember Gilligan’s island??

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed,
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The minnow would be lost, the minnow would be lost.

Baptism of fire comes to mind – we sailed into what was meant to be a decent 20 knotter and ended up being a decent storm…


Leaving our BIG friends behind – thanks for all the help – skies look clear!

The skipper definitely had a slight hint of the guilts having had a cursory glance at the weather and dismissing all the tales of the Gulf stream as just another current that you had to deal with once you were out there!!
Hoisting the boxing Kangaroo pre departure

DSC_0211 First signs that things may not be as planned??!

I have never travelled sideways almost as fast as I was travelling forwards, except for maybe when stumbling home after a few too many beers. Literally for every mile that we went forward we were getting swept north 3/4 of a mile. Add to that some fairly uncomfortable seas and big, black ugly storm clouds on the horizon and we had ourselves a ‘situation’ – I tried to keep a brave face, cooked up a good hot stewy soup for the crew, threw 2 reefs into the main and waited… not for long… 15, 18, 22, 25, 28, 30… and then three hours of my wind vane being stuck on 36 knots beating into it… fun fun!

It all looked great at the start

ahh boys – welcome to sailing!!! it was the first time any of the guys had sailed from one country to another, let alone being stuck in the joys of a big, black ugly night, wind against tide, big greenies everywhere sweeping over the decks …. and I’m proud to say it was all handled in great spirit and with no concern!

Fort Lauderdale in the distance – goodbye Florida.

Goodbye blue sky


Nathan "Strike" Harvey here….

If not for the courage of the fearless skip the Squander would be lost.

Gav definately went above and beyond the call of duty in what was definately a tough night. He was awesome in that he had a new crew that was unfamiliar with the boat and with varying degrees of experience. That along with the fact that we were beating into a fickle system with wind speeds building from 15 to 35-40 knots made it a pretty challenging experience. He was the only one on deck all night. You know the drill 15mins awake 15 asleep. Good on ya Gav you’re a legend and thanks from the crew.

end of a tough sleepless night

I remember going up every now and then to check on him and seeing sheets of water flying over the forward bimini and him huddled in the cockpit next to the cabin hatch on duty as always.
Early morning departure shots a distant memory

Along with that we were all a little green around the gills.

Chief spewer goes to Dimitri by a country mile but to his credit he backed up later on with a big stint on night watch. By the way weve come up with a better name – he loves his camera so weve decided to call him FLASH but since hes been sick were thinking FLICK – a mixture of FLASH and SICK.

By the way were yet to come up with a pseudonym for Gav – were thinking BLADE because he loves to cook and cut things or CRUISE because hes definately a cruiser for dealing with us idiots with such grace. Any feed back from you guys would be appreciated.!!

Second place spewer goes unfortunately to me with a little sneaky one while no one was watching – into the kitchen wash tub – Shhhhhhhh – don’t tell anyone.

I’m proud to say the rest of the boys are yet to open the account although Simon "Action" Fraumeni was definately looking like a contender for a while !!

I swear a weatherman is the only job that I’ve heard of where they can consistently get it wrong and still keep their job.

And hows this a weird weather warning came in when it was far too late  that wasnt predicted that they say basically never happens. BA HA HA !!

(that Gav read at 3:30 am after the storm front passed)
NWS Doppler RA indicated a line of thunderstorms capable of producing strong winds of 34 knots or greater….

Breakfast celebratory el dorados – a local antacid!

Well after cursing the weatherman we made it through the night and Squander performed admirably and no bottles of Rum were smashed or anything else important.



We were originally going to go into the biggest marina on Grand Bahama called Xanadu but the seaway looked more like Aunt Marys back creek in Coonamble and so given the low tide we decided to head to Port Lucaya instead and after a nervous low tide crossing of the bar – literally 10 to 20cm of clearance at times we made it to the marina.

Through the shallow channel.

This place is great !!


A lively little spot and plenty of little restaurants and bars all within a fifty to 100 metre walk . HAPPY DAYS !! After we had a nice lunch on land we cooked a great BBQ on board with the music from the Marina bars in the background. WOO HOOOO – were in the Bahamas and Gavs dream and ours is finally on its way – Time to celebrate.

Simon cooking up a steak or two.

We cleared customs with no probs and now have a crusing permit for the entire Bahamas and were certainly looking forward to the next leg.

Well that’s about it now. Were going exploring for a bit tomorrow and then who knows where and when next.


Depends on the weatherman- get it right ya bastard !!

Nathan STRIKE Harvey signing off for now , look out for the next installment.

Port Lucaya Sunset – nice to be here!

PS BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE CARPE DIEM BOYS – here’s to seizing the day. By the way your tank water that we stole at 5:00 am tastes like shit!!


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. MS

    Great update … Port Lucaya looks like a wicked place to start the festivities!!! Perhaps you should throw a cheeky zero while your there Gavil he he …

    On that note … Gavil is the name of a character in a Polish cautionary tale. He’s the kind of guy that would tell his crew that the forecast is great for sailing knowing full well it most certainly is not … Gavin knows the story well. Not a pseudonym but perhaps an appropriate name given the events of the first night!

    BTW Can you believe that the boat you’re docked next to in the last photo “Carpe Diem” was docked in Sydney at Liquidity over NY and throughout Jan!!

    Have a ball guys and have a dark and stormy for me when you eventually get to Bermuda 😉


    P.S. Gav, Che said something to do with you at dinner last night which was seriously funny. We’ll call it a six year olds interpretation of life. Until next we speak, safe sailing 😉

  2. Matty C

    Sounds like I’m in the wrong place, any gig where rum in the morning is appropriate sounds like it could be fun.
    As for Gav’s Nick name you can’t go past “Wheels”……
    Safe sailing

  3. Ryano

    Tank water that tastes like shit? Are you sure you hooked up to the right tank?

    Have fun boys, I’ll keep an eye on you from here.

  4. Stephen & Pauline

    Gavin of the Undertow – with apologies to A.‘Banjo” Patterson

    I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
    Knowledge sent to where I met him down in Sydney years ago,
    He was computing when I knew him, so I sent the email to him,
    Just “on spec”, addressed as follows: “Gavin, of The Undertow”.

    And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
    (And I think the same was typed on a PC left ajar)
    ‘Twas his office mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
    “Gavin’s gone to sea a sailin, and we don’t know where he are.”

    In my wild erratic vision images come to me of Gavin
    Gone a-sailin “round the world” where the best of sailors go;
    As the waves are slowly lapping , Gavin sails over them humming,
    For the sailor’s life has pleasures that landlubber’s never know.

    And the sea hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
    In the blowing of the wind as it whistles through the spars,
    And he sees the vision splendid of the blue horizon extended,
    And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.

    I am sitting in my Bondi Junction office, where a stingy
    Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the buildings tall,
    And the foetid air and gritty of the polluted, acrid city
    Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

    And in place of friendly dolphins, I can hear the blaring horns
    Of the taxis and the buses making hurry down the street,
    And the language uninviting of the office workers whining,
    Drums slowly up the stairwell in a constant beat.

    Oh how often I imagine that I’d like to change with Gavin,
    Like to take a turn at sailing where the seasons come and go,
    While he faced the round eternal of the cashbook and the journal –
    But he no longer suits the office, Gavin, of “The Undertow”.

    Thanks for sharing the dream Gav,
    Pauline & Stephen

  5. Martin Fargs Fargher

    I have decided that your blog will be my top 3 things to check everyday on the net,Do me proud,make me lough and for god sake take care,all the best guys and i will be with you the entire way,


  6. Darren

    Have just subscribed in the spirit of exploration and anticipation of good humour and great stories!

    Be careful Simon breaks things and will simply become a passenger after that….

  7. thunder

    i second darrens comments………at least he can be supportive in dire situations. also, havnt seen any females from the nordic countries in any of the photo’s as promised? they must be stuck in iceland

  8. Rick Fleming

    Hi guys
    It was great meeting up with you here. Good luck with your trip — I hope I can catch up with you later on in your trip.

  9. Tina Razum

    Nath!!! That was some great reading, and I have to say, I was pissing myself laughing at some of your comments, I can just imagine you taking a sly dash to the kitchen.. you’re the man! 🙂

    I have to say, you boys are quite courageous out there, especially handling the unpredictable weather changes, but the experience must be second to none….especially having front row seats to those gorgeous sunrises/sunsets, and the feeling of absolute FREEDOM! What a life! I’m very envious of you boys, but in saying that, If that was me out there on deck, I’d be teaming up with Dimitri as ‘Chief Spewer’ in no time! haha.

    Have you got a video camera on board? If so, I hope you’re making a short film or docco out of this! : )

    So regarding Gav’s Nickname, well you said he loves to cook and cut up stuff, and he’s a legend or a trooper in relation to his ability to put up with you boys, well the first name that came to mind was ‘CUTTIN SICK’ or ‘CUT SICK’, there’s no need for me to explain the expression, as you know what it means i’m sure Nath.. 🙂

    Well for the Love of God, take GOOD care of yourselves out there, looking forward to reading the next chapter so to speak… xxxxxxxx ENJOY. : ) T.

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