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Dee Light - Cruise Log
Bahamas 2011- Log E
Harbour  Island to Compass Cay
Links to Log A or Log B or Log C or Log D or Log E or Log F or Log G or Log H or Bahamas 2011 Main Menu
 Current Position  - you can follow our travels from Fort Myers thru the Bahamas by clicking on the  CLICK HERE  photo link above .. our current location is updated once an hour .. check out the Google Maps .. zoom in and out .. etc ..
Friday June 17th



heading home
in Port - Valentine's Marina - Harbour Island  (242) 333-2142
.. Oh boy .. another early wake-up call with Pat and Jim leaving at 6:45AM to catch the early flight .. early riser Mary Lou was also on the dock to say goodbye and wish them a safe and pleasant flight .. it was time to say farewell for now ..

.. spent the rest of the morning chatting with one last visit to the Ice Cream Parlor before loading the last of their snorkel gear, etc. and at least 40 pounds of pink sand Carol G. had managed to scrape off the beach and stow away onto our boat and into the cockpit lazzerette ..

.. promptly at 2:30PM Duke was back at the dock to load up everyone along with their luggage for the trip to the North Eleuthera Airport! .. we wished them safe travel with the knowledge that we all had a marvelous time together .. It really IS better in the Bahamas! .. Adieu good friends!

PS .. they finally "found" our golf cart parked at Sip Sip - go figure!
Saturday June 18th
Devils Backbone
travel - Harbour Island to Compass Cay

.. time to move on .. we have really enjoyed our visit to Harbour Island and Spanish Wells and were glad to have had the opportunity to get to know both areas much better .. Marcus, Valentine's dock master is an absolutely gem and the entire staff here has been super to work with too!

.. at 7:45AM we had pulled away from the dock and A1 Pilot came aboard to guide us to the other side of the Devil's Backbone and thru the backside of Spanish Wells.. it was a beautiful morning and we had a wonderful cruise .. we took the Fleming Channel route south thru the reef and made our way to Highborne and the top of the Exuma chain .. from there it was an easy cruise to Compass Cay ..

.. by 3:00PM we were greeted on the dock by Tucker and David with a warm "welcome home!". .. and everytime we come back to this special place we truly do feel as if we have come home!

Sunday June 19th
Jim .. Kim .. Carol
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138

.. after our very active schedule of the last couple of weeks we decided to sleep in this morning and we had a leisurely breakfast ..

.. a little after noon Jim and Kim Townsend appeared on our transom in their new 24' center console they got last fall from Johnny Depp's island .. Autumn was soooo excited to see Kim she could hardly contain herself and after catching up on "the latest" they took all 3 of us on a boat ride .. we crossed Conch Cut and headed over to Bell Island where we were able to see the latest new developments and saw that the place was buzzing with activity ..

.. we returned to Compass Cay during slack tide so we decided to move DEE LIGHT to a different location where it was easier to get our dinghy off the bow .. we also noticed that TONTO'S REWARD and SALTY LADY had arrived as well and walked up to the "cocktail lounge" with a drink to say hello .. we also had a chance to catch up with Melanie and Bob on ISTABOA .. they and Radar (their Havanese doggie) spent a winter on their boat at our home port of Legacy Marina and are now spending time here at Compass for a few weeks ..

Monday June 20th
cocktails aboard Dee Light
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138
.. spent the day catching up on boat chores and launching the dinghy (note to self: remember to put the transom plug back in before putting boat in water!) ..

.. we invited our dock neighbor Dave on OUTPOST and the crews of TONTO'S REWARD and SALTY LADY over to DEE LIGHT for cocktails this evening and had a great time visiting with everyone .. David and Gail and the others are leaving Compass tomorrow and planning to spend the next few days at Staniel Cay before heading back to the States so we may see them again before they head out ..

Tuesday June 21st



the Bread Lady Ronda
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138
Happy 1st day of Summer! ... Northern Hemisphere summer solstice begins on Jun 21 2011 at 1:16 P.M. EDT Today, the North Pole is tilted toward the sun more than any other day in 2011.

.. yesterday we started having trouble with our water maker and went down to the engine room to troubleshoot the problem .. finally got a hold of Dave on OUTPOST to come have a look and determined a part on the pump needed to be repaired .. after a couple of phone calls we decided to pull it out and ship the pump to Ft Lauderdale for repair ..

.. after boxing up the pump we loaded up the dinghy and took off for Staniel Cay so we could get it on Watermakers afternoon flight .. when we got to Staniel we first stopped in to say hello to Shyvette and gave her a hug from everyone who was here with us last year .. we also had to stop in to see our favorite baker Rhonda .. we also gave her great big hug hello and she gave us two loaves of freshly baked bread - our favorites - cinnamon raisin and coconut!

.. after our walk we had a delightful grilled mahi sandwich at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club bar and met a really neat couple from Minneapolis, Mary and David .. they now live in New Smyrna Beach and fly an airplane to the Bahamas that the two of them built from a kit! .. wow! - we would love to see it sometime ..
Wednesday June 22nd
Compass Cay Beach
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138
.. took a walk to the crescent beach here at Compass Cay today .. and it is prettier than we remembered .. chatted with another Nikon "shooter" who told us he has traveled the world over and has never seen a more beautiful beach ..

.. landing dock was also busy with visitors today! - Jamal told us he grilled a case and a half of burgers today (there are 50 patties in a case!) .. weather continues to be hot and dry with nice late afternoon breezes ..

Thursday June 23rd
" become one with nature"
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138
.. "dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today" - this is the inscription on Dave's Planetarium on Compass Cay Beach ..

.. when one is in this part of the Hemisphere time seems to stand still .. except for the movements of the tide and currents, the never-ending motion and colors of the clouds above, the smells of the sand and water and shifting of the breezes from every direction which keeps one focused on being in the present ..

.. we took the dinghy to one of our favorite beaches, planted our little skimpy umbrella in the sand and just decided to " become one with nature" .. while we were on the beach we watched the dark rain clouds move over us and then as they parted overhead with some moving to the west of us and the rest moving well to the east and over the ocean .. we marveled at the swiftly changing pattern of the clouds and waves on the water and the rain falling in the far distance and just dug our toes in the sand and enjoyed it all .. when we finally decided we had enough sand and salt for the day we headed back to the marina without seeing a single drop of rain ..
Friday June 24th
trip to Sampson Cay
Saturday June 25th
world famous Tucker burger
Sunday June 26th
at Decca Center
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138
.. we are enjoying our time here on Compass with no schedules or appointments to keep .. 5 boats traveling together from Louisiana arrived here today .. one of them is LIONHEART - also a 60' Viking one year newer than DEE LIGHT .. it is amazing that with only 35 hulls of this particular model made by Viking we see so many of them between Nassau and the Exumas ..

.. friday afternoon we took the dinghy to Sampson .. after topping off the gas tank ( 5.6 gals at $6.20 per gal ) .. we picked up a few items in the Ship's store and went to the bar for some lunch .. they were out of fish so we settled for conch fritters instead ..

.. on Sunday Kim and Jim came by in their center console boat and picked us up for lunch again on Sampson Cay .. Hmmm!? - out of fish again? .. Oh well .. the grilled chicken Caesar wraps ended up being a very good substitute .. after lunch we stopped by the abandoned DECCA station for some beach time and a refreshing swim .. what a perfectly great way to spend a lazy summer Sunday afternoon with good friends!! ..

.. For those who want to know more .. this just a sampling of what we have learned about DECCA :


The Decca Navigator System was a hyperbolic low frequency radio navigation system (also known as multilateration) that was first deployed during World War II when the Allied forces needed a system which could be used to achieve accurate landings. As was the case with Loran C, its primary use was for ship navigation in coastal waters.

.. The Bahama stations were known as the AUTEC chain and was built for the United States Navy The acronym means Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center. It's still around today and based on Andros Island, Bahamas. AUTEC's purpose is to be the U.S. Department of Defense and Navy range of choice for conducting undersea warfare testing and measurements in the Atlantic. Decca was used to provide accurate position fixes to support the research which was being conducted on the AUTEC range.

Back then, the chain was run from the New York office of Decca Navigator Systems Inc (DNSI) but installed by the personnel from the UK. DNSI was the company established in the USA to give Decca a presence in North America thus providing a single point of contact for all the activities being pursued in the '60's and '70's.

This chain ran successfully as a Mk10 system with 820 control racks but had big problems with salt deposits on the insulators thus degrading performance. Decca tried all sorts of things like MS4 silicon grease but nothing really improved the situation until the rain washed off the salt. Eventually the stations were abandoned and the equipment was shipped to the UK for refurbishment and redeployment. . No information is available on the approximate opening or closing dates for this chain.

Bill Gaston of Marco Island, Florida and Christopher Rose, a former Decca employee have identified the locations of the former Decca stations. The Master was located on Pipe Cay in the Exumas. Golding Cay, off the coast of Andros Island and Eleuthera are the other two sites.

Christopher Rose of Orléans, France briefly describes the conditions. "Our accommodation was composed of portacamps - very makeshift. We were originally supplied by a yacht, then a converted coast guard cutter and finally once a month by a seaplane. The staff did three month shifts on the cays then had a two week break working at head office in Nassau. We were a mixture of British and Americans I think, all ex-servicemen, but so was everybody in those days. Rotations were slow as people did not like being moved around too much. I once spent more than two years in one station in Vietnam. I heard a story from the Persian Gulf of somebody driving his replacements off with his rifle."

Dan Ahart, a serious traveller, describes what he saw on Pipe Cay. "Our first stop was the abandoned U.S. Navy DECCA station on Pipe Cay. The station has been abandoned for about 20+ years, but it was once a communications station of some sort. I don't know what DECCA stands for, but knowing the military's penchant for acronyms, it probably has something to do with defense communications. The layout looked very familiar to me because I spent some time at similar stations when I served in the Air Force. It had the standard military generator building supplied by diesel fuel via an above ground pipe from a remote storage tank. Closer to the pier was the all purpose building, which included living quarters for at least five and maybe as many as nine personnel and an electronics equipment room. Adjacent, was the foundation of the antenna tower. Interestingly, the boiler for distillation of fresh water had not been removed".

Monday June 27th
Lionheart heading out
Tuesday June 28th
Never Say Never
dinner with Bahama Star crew
in port - Compass Cay - Tucker ( 242) 355-2138
.. Monday AM we finally received word that our pump for the water maker had been repaired and was ready to be shipped back to us .. just needed a copy of our cruising permit which we scanned and emailed along with (of course) the requisite credit card info .. it would be on the Tuesday Watermakers Air afternoon flight ..after a few morning chores on the boat we headed out for Staniel Cay to pick up our package ..
Never Say Never .. as we traveled to Staniel Cay we came across the yacht Never Say Never .. it was built by the Oceanfast (Austal) yard in Australia the NEVER SAY NEVER is 37 m 122 (foot) in length. Launched to celebration in the year of 1985 her interior design confirms the traditional interpretations from Bannenberg Designs Ltd / Eric Johnson (Refit) and their approach to interior yacht design. Superyacht NEVER SAY NEVER can accommodate up to 8 people with 7 qualified crew. The former names or project names are 3000-01; Never Say Never; Never Even Say Never; Lady Myth; Always; Odyssey; Apocalypse; Prosper. She is able to reach a high speed of 34 knots.
in the meantime, the BAHAMA STAR came in with 2 lovely families from Georgia so that meant it was deep-fried Turkey night aboard the STAR!

we had a great time and even pitched in 2 cartons of Publix Premium Ice Cream from our freezer to cap off the end to a wonderful summer evening ..
NOTE - this is the End of Log E .. "click" on Log F to continue with our cruise
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