|Rachel at Cambridge Cay in the Exuma Islands|
Recently, while spending time at Big Major's Spot we put out a query over the SSB net airwaves relating to our malfunctioning outboard dinghy engine. During a grocery shopping expedition from Big Major's to Staniel Cay Joe purchased gas for the dinghy outboard. After adding the new gas to the tank there was clearly an issue. The engine would start, run for a few minutes, sputter and peter out. Even though water in the gas was suspected Joe attempted to rule out other possible culprits by changing the fuel filter, spark plug and Racor filter. Nothing worked. I must give him credit because he refused to give up even though the situation was discouraging. Throughout the long afternoon, Joe continued to work tirelessly on the outboard. "It's new, it's a Yamaha and it shouldn't be having issues!" I agreed but, being without a dinghy on a boat is akin to being marooned in a house without a car. There are no trips ashore, no visits to friends boats, not jaunts around the harbor. It's quite isolating unless you have a penchant for swimming ashore and once you're arrived you're obviously dripping wet. Where could you expect to go at that point other than a wet T-shirt contest?
|Mark and Julie from Rachel at Cambridge Cay, Exuma Islands|
The sail to Cambridge was quick and painless until we reach the narrow coral head studded passage into the anchorage. I was unprepared for the tension of negotiating a zig zag rock and coral strewn, unmarked passage entrance. There were no navigational marks. Close attention had to be payed to the charts, GPS and "eyeball" navigation. I'd developed a slight tension headache when we'd finally reached the safety of the anchorage.
|Joe diving near Cambridge Cay, Exuma|
The experience reiterates the importance of self-reliance when cruising in this area. Carrying spare parts, repair manuals, patience and the ability to problem solve. When all else fails it's great to know that a community of friends is there willing to offer a helping hand.