Onwards to Allans Cay

The next day, it’s time for a little perspective.

We ARE sailors. We’ve sailed from North Carolina to the Bahamas almost entirely on “the outside” (ocean, not ICW). With every sail we make mistakes but learn so much from them. We may not have a lot of experience, but we are gaining it quickly.

Yes, things always break but that’s normal on a boat. What matters is that we are always able to fix them.

Yes, the unknown is not always a comfortable place to be, but we have always been able to find a place to drop anchor, we have never dragged anchor (yet), we have yet to hit another boat, and we are learning more and more every day, with every mistake we make.


Last night was doom and gloom, but today is a new day. We have sailing to do and, oh yeah, we need to see if the engine is going to start or blow up again.

Stéphane knew right away why the engine was revving up to a bajillion RPM last night, so he fixed that issue. The problem is, we’re not sure how much damage was done to the engine; not sure if she will even start; kind of afraid to start her up.

Well, wouldn’t you know, Dave on Surely Boo is a diesel engine mechanic! Seriously? He and Stéphane talk engine stuff and start up the Perkins. She hums as she revs in her normal happy place at 1000 RPM.

Well, okay then. I guess…let’s go to Allans Cay?

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En route to Allans Cay. See that dark patch over there? Rocks and/or coral. Steer clear!


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Stéphane finally got a fish…barracuda, rather…we threw him back.


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Posing on the bow!


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Snacks. We eat whatever is threatening to go bad first. On this particular day, salami, swiss cheese, and tomatoes were nearing the edge.

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Arrival at Allans Cay!


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Stéphane explores in the dinghy.


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Our anchorage at Allans Cay. Breathtaking.

Again, not much wind so we motor-sailed six hours south and east to Allans Cay (pronounced “key”). Allans Cay is a collection of three small islands upon which roam iguanas. But not just any kind of iguanas – the iguanas at Allans Cay really like people. Because people come in droves on tourist boats to hang out on the beach and feed them grapes. They really like grapes.


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Making new friends.


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You have to keep your eye on them otherwise they will charge you and they do bite! Also their vision isn’t great. I threw a grape at one of them and they kept charging at me, thinking I still had food.



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Our anchorage on Allans Cay. Free Range is loving the warm, blue water (and so are we!!!).


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We go snorkeling and explore the little islands around our anchorage. The water is so many different shades of blue and it is amazingly clear. We see coral, neon-colored fish, empty sandy beaches, and more iguanas running about.


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View from our favorite snorkeling spot. A big current rips through here so Stéphane swam out and set our dinghy anchor and ran the line out so we could hold onto the line and be suspended over the coral reef but not be pushed out to sea by the current.


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Exploring Leaf Cay (part of Allans Cay). Lots of mini palm trees, vines, sand, rocks, and more iguanas.


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Iguana tracks!


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Friends Dave & Nikki (s/v Surely Boo) cruising around on their dinghy. Can you believe the water color?!?!


We are in paradise and loving it!


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    • Naeha on December 20, 2014 at 7:29 am
    • Reply

    Looks fabulous! Missing you and Stefan so much!

    1. Come visit, Nay!!!!

    • anthony pylar on December 20, 2014 at 11:10 am
    • Reply

    Awesome ‘cuda (I would have fried him up!). Christmas in the Bahamas, not too shabby!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Grandma on December 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm
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    Wish I was there! Waiting for a pick up. We’re going to Ryan’s parents for an Xmas party!

    • The other "S's" on December 21, 2014 at 11:30 am
    • Reply

    OK children, don’t leave us hanging. What’s up with the engine? Although your knowledge of the engine has probably surpassed ours by now, I always believed that the only way to stop a diesel was to interrupt the fuel source. I thought the toggle in the motor panel controlled a solenoid which interrupted the fuel line???
    When we first moved the boat to our dock in Pamlico, we experienced a mini-version of your situation (engine wouldn’t shut off although no increase in RPM) and I actually opened the Racor filter housing (there was only one then) hoping to introduce air into the fuel line. The motor did shut down and I never found the cause and the problem never returned??
    Anyway, if you get a chance, between disasters, keep posting photos. We really enjoy them, however, I see “that look” in Sally’s eyes, and if I see Boat Show tickets in our mailbox, I’m joining ISIS.

    1. Hey Steve, didn’t mean to leave you hanging. What do you do, when you see a loose screw and fuel dripping from it? You tighten it, right? Well… not this screw. Turns out, after further investigation (handy dandy Perkins workshop manual; Thank you Steve and Sally!), this screw turned out to be the Anti-Stall device. With the limited access to the engine, I didn’t see that there was a locknut at the bottom of the screw. To shut down the engine, I had to pull that screw out as fast as I could with the Perkins sounding like a dinghy engine at full RPM. Every turn of the screw lowered the RPM slightly until we could shut it down with the kill switch. We let the engine cool down overnight, and started it in the morning with no issues and no more fuel leak after tightening the locknut. We’re back in business! 🙂

        • The other "S's" on December 23, 2014 at 11:52 am
        • Reply

        Good catch guys. We had no knowledge of the aforementioned screw. Carry on!

    • The other "S's" on December 21, 2014 at 11:33 am
    • Reply

    Iguana tracks?? We just thought Stephane had long toes 😉

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