Thursday, February 17, 2011


Sampson Cay, Exumas 24º12.5N | 76º28.5W
Jessie Marie, a beautiful sight.
Jessie Marie, Jessie Marie, this is Cara Mia.

This lonely missive has been broadcast twice a day for the last two weeks, not unlike the message earthlings transmit into the ether, in case someone's out there listening. And just like that alien appeal, I've gotten silence in return.

Since leaving Miami on January 18, our only contact with Dale & Karen on Jessie Marie has been by email, a medium sketchy and elusive in the Bahamas. With both of our boats on the move and trading messages every three days or so, it has been a frustrating game of hide and seek -- or maybe seek and seek. The VHF reaches, at its most generous, less than 20 miles. We have a Single Side Band on board but as yet have only figured out how to receive. Little does it matter in this case. Jessie Marie has an SSB that only receives.

In this modern world of constant instant communication, we have been unable to reach each other.

But two days ago, I had just talked to Casey on the VHF when I heard Karen's sweet voice on the radio.

I practically shouted into the microphone, "Jessie Marie, Jessie Marie, this is Cara Mia. Go to 6-8."

Thus followed a lot of happy screaming and catching up, with, I'm sure, the entire Big Majors anchorage listening, relieved and bemused that we finally found each other. (We heard later reports from these flies on our wall.)

Karen reported that the converse lonely announcement had been transmitting north of us as well: "Cara Mia, Cara Mia, this is Jessie Marie," again to utter silence.

Finally within radio range, Jessie and her crew were less than 20 miles north at Warderick Wells. We set a radio date every morning @ 8 until we can find each other again.

This morning, we moped around feeling alone without Casey and Remi aboard, facing a day of chores ahead to get Cara Mia back in order after two weeks of heavy action.

Cockpit laundromat.
At 8, Chip answered Jessie Marie's hail.

"We're at Sampson Cay. It's really nice here. Good burgers at the restaurant," Chip reported, never subtle in his enticements.

After a few minutes of chitchat, Karen said, "Well, we're headed your way."

"Where are you going?" Chip asked, expecting to hear Cambridge or Compass Cay.

"You're way. We're headed to Sampson."

And sure enough, just after noon, Jessie Marie came into view, a beautiful sight. If you look closely at that photo above, you'll see Karen doing the The Gratitude Dance, an answer to our dual happy dance on the elevated stern seats (sorry, no photos of this).

2011: Still the Year of Happy Surprises.

Sampson Cay, Exumas 24º12.5N | 76º28.5W

Cara Mia and Jessie Marie, together again.
Catching up on all the miles between Miami and Sampson Cay.

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