Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MV Gazette Article

A nice article posted this week in the MV Gazette about "When And If". Please read and share.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For Sale

I have not blogged in a while due to the fact that When And If has been put up for sale and I wasn't quite sure what to say. But I've decided to say just that. 
Please visit our website www.schoonerwhenandif.com and contact the owner for more information. 

It's a great day for sailing!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Nassau to West Palm

Location: West Palm Beach, FL 

Weather: Winds W 15-20 overcast and raining. Temp 75 degrees

Update: We are currently anchored in West Palm Beach, FL, making plans for the delivery North and trying to stay dry. They promise good weather for the rest of the week. fingers crossed. We had a great delivery from Nassau. 3 days sail, just Seychelle and I. Hers the log from the trip.


Position: 25.48.86N  77.53.65W 

We are currently anchored in Great Harbor on the Northern end of the Berry Islands. It is a large and fairly deep anchorage with good protection and should suit us well for the night. We left Nassau at 0600 this morning and made a pit stop at Lyford Cay for water and ice before leaving New Providence entirely.  The winds started light this morning, but soon increased to a nice 10-15 off the beam. We had a perfect sail with all of our beautiful, new sails set. Let’s see, it’s now 1800, so the entire trip took us 12 hours. That’s a long day of sailing and I am sun burnt, but it was worth it.


Position: 26.31.36N   78.46.15W  Freeport Harbor, Grand Bahama

Weather: SW winds 15-20.  nice beam-reaching weather, but it rained ALL day. 

 We are docked at Bradford Yacht and Ship in Freeport Inner Harbor. Not exactly the nicest place for a yacht to be, but as we realized on the way here, there is no other harbor in Grand Bahama deep enough for a 9ft draft. Surprise surprise. Freeport Harbor has recently been upgraded with a multimillion dollar deal that is going to turn it in to the commercial shipping hub of the Western Hemisphere. So, as you can imagine, there are many ships. But, it is deep and we are protected. Now we will wait for the winds to clock back to east. And it has stopped raining!

3/28 Crossing the Gulf Stream

Weather: E 15-20  

Sailing DDW (dead down wind) Wing and Wing. Absolutely beautiful! Even in the best conditions, The Gulf Stream has a way of making you feel like a cork, tossed and bobbing in the vast expanse of Ocean.  Luckily for us, we have When And If, who rides ocean swells like a surf competition. Should be to West Palm by 4 pm. :)


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

News from Nassau

So, interestingly enough, just as we are getting geared up to leave, we realize we have become a fixture in Nassau Harbor.  Daily Harbor tours are given all day everyday and we hear them quite clearly as they go past our boat shouting in their load speakers... "Dat is da House of Sean Connery..da real James Bond"... It is always the same animated speech they give trying to make their crowded passengers laugh.  I probably have most of it memorized, but I will spare you the details. ;) 
 Yesterday, however, we heard something different as they cruised past When And If. "Ya see dat boat der, it dates back to de 'ol Pirate days in Nassau..." and so on. His voice trailed off as they got further away. Seychelle and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. They had added us into their harbor tour speech. At least they made someone laugh with the fresh addition. It's too bad, they will have to take it out as soon as they have added it.
 It's not uncommon for the locals to say.."Oh, you is on de Pirate Ship! Ya, dats a pretty boat" 
Well, they got one thing right... When And If  is once again the prettiest boat in the harbor.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bahamas Passages

Location: Nassau Harbor, New Providence, The Bahamas

Weather: Warm and sunny!!! (Finally) The weather this week has been phenomenal! And it looks to continue that way. 
South East Trade winds have begun to blow bringing temperatures in the upper 70s  

Update: Headed back to the States this weekend and eventually up to the Vineyard for the summer. It looks as if we wont be doing our normal spring circuit this year. Plans are to stop in West Palm Beach to collect some provisions, crew, and stored gear, then head straight to Martha's Vineyard for the summer months. 
(Subject to change. keep checking back for more updates)

Ship's Log: For those of you that were asking... here is an abbreviated look in to our Bahamian excursions. As you know, or don't know, When And If draws 9ft and the Bahamas are a shallow draft playground at best. Basically we were very limited in our choice of harbor. After studying charts and cruising guides, we found many places, surprisingly, that could take a 9ft draft. Most of them requiring a bit of crafty navigation and larger than normal "cojones."  We decided from the get-go to keep it simple.   We also needed to stay close to Nassau to receive and drop guests. 
Here's our basic cruising schedule... with commentary 

1/31 - Nassau arrival

2/2 - Sailed from Nassau Harbor very deep and well charted due to Commercial shipping traffic and Cruise Ships  to Hatchet Bay, Eluethera.  
Heading: 075 degrees magnetic: through Fleming Channel, south of Six Shilling Cay. Very wide and deep, but not marked. The banks of Eleuthera are fairly deep, 16-25ft, as is Hatchet Bay Pond. which we found to be an excellent all-weather harbor. Free moorings, which are not maintained, but held our 50 tons in 20+ kts, and decent holding.

2/10 - Sailed back to Nassau Harbor to pick up the owners for a week of cold sailing.  Still warmer than New Jersey. ;) 

2/14 - Back to Eleuthera. This time we anchored off of Gregory town for one night. Eleuthera has a gorgeous coast line. Lime stone cliffs and lots of caves to explore! We also sailed to Current Island and found a deserted gem of an anchorage on the South East corner of the island. Here we found 11-14 ft of water up to 200yds off the beach. cuttting it close, but thats where the cojones come in.

2/18 - Back to Nassau to say goodbye to the Ruitenberg Girls - attempted Current Cut, but chickened out at the depth sounder reading 9.8ft. Instead took Fleming channel again, and every time since. 

2/20 - Motor-sailed to Lyford Cay Bay, New Providence.  Beautiful, sandy bay with good protection from anything but Westerlies.  The trick is getting through the reef in and out. With the help of a friend with better local charts, sending Lyle Ahead in the tender with the lead line to take soundings, and Seychelle up the ratlins eye-balling the way, we squeezed in with 12-20ft of water beneath us. The perks being getting out of Nassau harbor, yet still being near by if need be, and great snorkeling off of Goulding Cay.
2/22 - Said good bye to our good friend Lyle Zell. Then spent a week as a guest on the dock at Lyford Cay Marina.  very lavish.

2/26 - Back to Nassau to pick up a part for the perpetually broken generator. Got stuck in Nassau with some bad news, bad weather, bad hangovers, and the like.

3/12 - Back to Current Island, Eleuthera for a couple days of R&R and then to our old stand-by Harbor of Hatchet Bay. If you have never heard of Hatchet Bay, by the way, it is an interesting story. It used to be a Pond surrounded completely by lime stone rock. An 'cut' was blasted through the rock in the early 1900s creating a 70ft wide entrance and one of the safest harbors in the Bahamas. 

We are back in Nassau now, like I mentioned., making plans to head back to the states. We did explore lots of places with our tender, places we could not get with. When And If.  Please feel free to comment and ask questions. There is a lot of the last two months that I have left out, of course, I can't cram it all in to one Blog posting. (My fault for falling behind) 
All in all, our draft would have been an issue had we been trying to cruise the bahamas as most people do, moving freely form one island to the next, but because our cruising was limited to two islands, we did not run into too much trouble. You know the ol' saying..."Keep it simple."

We do plan on stopping for one night each in Great Harbor, Berry Islands; and Freeport, Grand Bahama on our way to West Palm Beach this weekend. Wish us well. It is just the two of us. 

Thanks for your inquiries. It keeps me writing. 


Monday, February 1, 2010

Key West to Bahamas passage

01/30/10    0400

Position: 24.33.74N



Conditions: Clear Skies, Full Moon. Winds SE 10-15, seas 3-5ft.


Update: Close reaching up Hawks Channel. A bit of shoal dodging. We left Key West just after 12 midnight. We were waiting for the wind to make a shift to the South East as to not be beating our way up the Keys. It is a lovely morning. Just a few stars and a big, bright, full moon over the shoulder. Now, to get some sleep.




01/30/10    1200

Position: 24.57.17N



Conditions: Winds SSE 15kts seas 2-4ft.

Update: Riding the Gulf stream like a champ! We are making 11 kts steady, beam-reaching and just having a fantastic sail. Perfect Schooner conditions. When And If is loving it! Our heading is just North of NE on a course for North Bimini Rocks. We plan to bi-pass Bimini and head straight for New Providence (Nassua) as the winds will be shifting North tomorrow offering us no protection to anchor in Bimini ,and a nice ride down Northeast Providence Channel. And here starts the saga of a boat with 9ft draft tooling around the Bahamas... some of the island most well-known for being shallow, but they sure are beautiful!



01/31/10    0800

Position: 25.30.23N


Conditions: Winds SW 10kts seas short and steep 2-4 ft. S swell.

Update: Almost there.  Caught a glimpse of Bimini just as the sun was going down. Spent the night time hours sailing around Bimini and the morning hours skirting the Berry Islands chain. We thought about pulling in to Great Harbor Cay, Berry Islands for some rest this morning as the winds had increased to 20 kts and had not veered SW as they were forecast to. (go figure) Instead we decided to put 2 reefs in the main at 3 am and by 5, the wind had died. Of course.  We set the D-sail (engine) and have been motor sailing since.  About 4 hours to go to Nassau. Can’t complain. It has been a fantastic sail. (a very wet, salty, tiring, fantastic sail.)   The sunrise this morning was one of the best yet, mostly due to the fact that the full moon was setting at the same time and the color contrast was intense. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bahama Bound...

  The good ship, When And If and her mighty crew of 2 (joined by Lyle Zell for the trip) will be leaving Key West tonight headed for the Bahamas. Not that we haven't had fun, but man o man are we ready to get out of Key West Harbor. 
  The winds look to give us a good two day window through the seemingly endless cold fronts we have been experiencing this winter. We will be crossing the gulf stream early Saturday morning. Should be fun. 3 kts of current used to our advantage. 
  Look for our updated blog in a few days, I will try and keep a running log while we are sailing they seem to be the most fun to read. :) 
   Wish us favorable winds and seas. and we'll see you in the bahamas!!

~Schooner When And If~