Date: 07 Apr 97 15:06:29 EDT
From: Gene Gruender <>
Subject: Rainbow Chaser news

We've been in George Town now for 2 weeks and will probably stay most of another week. What in the world could you do for 3 weeks at one spot?

Well, there are from 200 to 400 boats in the area, depending on the day. That leaves a lot of people to talk to and get to meet. It leaves a lot of people to talk boat stuff about.

When we were back at Stanial Cay, when Nellie went to Thunderball Cave again with Zachary while I went fishing. Not too long after she got back she notice the book that came out of the Jimmy Buffet CD box and told me she was sure that was him she'd seen a few minutes before. What are the chances of that?

Last night we were at a sing along on the beach and they played a Buffet song. An older guy sitting next to me told me he was probably the only guy who ever threw Jimmy Buffet off a boat. He said that a couple weeks ago they were back at Stanial Cay and this guy showed up at the boat next to them and started to climb on. The people who owned the boat were not there and he told the guy it wasn't his boat, to get off and leave. He did. Later they came back with the owners.

The next day the owners wife came over and asked if he knew who he'd run off? Well, it was Buffet coming to visit these friends. But, all is not bad. Buffet's wife was overjoyed that, for once, someone didn't know who they were and he got some privacy. I guess Nellie did know what she was talking about.

And the sing along. You might wonder what people do when they are cruising. How do you waste all that time (other than typing)? Many nights some of the cruisers gather on the beach with instruments and play music. The music is as good of music as any professional group. Everyone brings what firewood they can find and a campfire is built. That can take a whole evening. There are groups on the beach meeting for book swaps, birthday parties, comet watching parties, anything is an excuse to get together.

Those of you who have designs of cruising the Bahamas, or anywhere south of here have probably read or heard of the guide "Gentleman's guide to Passages South" by Bruce Van Sant. He's here now, a very pleasant fellow, and I spent a day doing an interview for Southwinds. (Too bad I didn't catch Buffet!) Watch for the interview in a month or two, it's interesting. I may post it here once it's printed.

In the evening, some of the cruisers take a channel and play music (live) or CD's or put on a regular radio show.

Here's one for you. There is a kid of about 20 here on a smaller boat named Music. He's always coming on the radio with garbage about "LOVE, LOVE, LOVE" or offering massages therapy, or thanking the sun, moon, wind, etc. Very strange dude. In the mornings, they have a cruiser's net. Before hand, the person who is running it for the week, takes boat names and business names of the people who'd like their 30 seconds. Some come on looking for a filter or advise, or a part or whatever. Music, the kid, comes on and drawls on with this garbage. A lot of the people are flipping out over this drug crazed sounding guy and someone has taken it upon themselves to be the so-called "radio police" and keys their mike when he comes on. This, of course, drowns him out. Some people are mad about that, then.

A bunch spent a time with a radio direction finder trying to locate him when he keyed Music. I don't know if they ever found him, I doubt it, but they named him the "Mad Jammer". Lately Music has taken to hogging channel 16 (which, for the non boaters reading this, is the hailing and distress channel. You don't talk on it, just call who you want and go to another channel. It's a major no-no to tie it up.) with his garbage, just on and on. That even makes me mad.

Today, someone called into the cruisers net and requested his time, saying he was the "Mad Jammer". He came on, talking like the typical wrestler on a TV wrestling match. Screaming, hollering, and threatening. Of course, it probably wasn't really the guy who was keying the mike.

We walked to the other side of the island a couple days ago and stood on the sand dunes. This is the side open to the sea, with breakers just crashing on the beach. Looking out, we saw two sailboats heading north with the wind behind them. No sails up. They were rocking and rolling from rail to rail, motoring north. Anyone who had any sense would have had at least the mainsail up to keep the boat steady. It was clear they didn't know what the heck they were doing. They got so close to each other, we couldn't tell how they kept from smashing into each other. It was really too rough to make the entrance and we weren't sure how they would get in. Later, we heard they made it into the harbor just as it got dark. Someone must watch over fools!

We'll probably head out later this week, we're not sure where we'll go yet. Maybe Conception Island a little northeast, maybe back up around Stanial Cay.

We'll get email again Thursday before we leave. We'd be glad to hear from anyone then.

Gene Gruender
aboard Rainbow Chaser