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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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It looks Good - We're up and ready
winds wnw 8, Temp 68
02/14/2009, Miami Fl

Okay at 3 am it still looks pretty good here - we're heading out at 4 am. The approximate location of the Gulf Stream is 8 nautical miles from Port Everglades;

Happy Valentines Day to everyone - Sending love...
The First Mate and Capt'n

It looks like a go for tomorrow
82 and mostly sunny
02/13/2009, Miami, Fl

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well after listening to the weather and looking at the weather patterns on the web in the morning and this evening it looks like we'll be leaving in the morning ~ 4am so we can make the Bahama Banks by 3pm in order to be able to see the coral heads and shallows in the right lights. 2pm would be better but we'll work with 3 LOL.

So today was a workday. We dinghied over to the Miami Marina near Government Cut to fill up our Diesel cans, then hauled water (3 trips to the police station) to top off our water and get a little extra (stored in the tub) so we wouldn't have to pay for it as soon once down there. Next the dinghy emptied, engine off it and onto the boat rail, then dinghy on the boat deck, course calculated, and plotted from Government Cut to Bimini and entered into the chart plotter; everything stowed away again.

So our tentative itinerary (weather permitting) is tomorrow we head for Bimini and clear customs there. Depending on how many boaters are there (we heard it's a favorite power boat destination and it's a holiday weekend) we may be there one or two days. From there we're planning on heading to Chub Cay but may anchor on the bank before getting there depending on the time/weather element. From Chub Cay we'll head south to Andros Island. There's a place called Morgan's Bluff we've heard about on Andros so we'll probably stay a couple days there and from there we'll either head further south on Andros to Fresh Creek or cut across to New Providence to the West End. After that we'll head further south into the Exumas but aren't sure which islands yet.

Because Internet and wireless are poor to nil there - we'll be out of communication until I can find areas. I'll post more to the journal when I'm able and will try and stay in contact and check my email as often as possible.

I'm nervous and excited to start this next chapter - hope I can get some sleep before the alarm goes off at 3 am...

Love and hugs to all!

Moving Day but not the right move
84 and sunny
02/12/2009, Miami, Fl

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Needless to say we're still in Miami. We still need to get water & fuel, plot where we're going, etc... We got up this morning and over coffee started going over the charts and our options. There was a little friction since I tend to question things - sometimes it seems - a bit too much... During our discussions a motor yacht - Dolphin Moon - decided to zoom, zoom us from 15 feet away, kicking up a 4 foot wave, then came back a few more times for good measure a little closer and faster with larger wakes. A few things went flying below and I was just glad that my water filtration container didn't break as it went flying off the galley counter. I got on the radio and hailed him - thanking him for the consideration. I'm sure the property owners appreciated it too with all the salt water coming up over the seawall to water their grass and sending their skidoos bobbing into the wall. It looks like a lot of the mega yachts are filming their wakes for some reason - probably a selling point at the Miami Boat Show!

We decided to move to the east end of the Venetian Causeway, so after finishing coffee we re-anchored near Spirit and Last Boat. They spotted us coming in, dinghied over as the welcoming committee, and filled us in on where to get water, where the Publix is, hardware, etc., etc., etc... They were given a pink slip by the police and told they can only anchor 7 days total in the Miami Proper area so we were waiting for that welcoming committee only it never came. We dinghied over to the Police Station (we're anchored in front of it) to ask about anchoring and where we could get copies at, only nobody was there. Lunch time and water patrol would probably be two good reasons why nobody was there - so we walked to the Publix (yes I got 2 more Cubans- love that crusty bread), then we went to the gas station to get transmission fluid, and Office Depot to make copies of our boat documentation for Customs at Bimini. It was interesting wandering around Miami. Most of the people we heard talking, were speaking Spanish and the people that we spoke to had accents. I almost felt like we were in a foreign country already - but we're in Florida.

After we got back to the boat Wayne scrubbed the waterline of the boat & Marie and Chris (Spirit) came by to invite us over to the boat for dinner with Ondra and Nelson (Last Boat). We had a very nice time. Marie made a wonderful dinner of Lasagna with a mild sausage, salad, and cheesecake and I found out that Marie and Ondra were also teachers at one time! After dinner we went over some of Chris's Bahama Charts. He had a full set of the large ones that were really terrific! They're heading down to the Keys before heading to the Exumas so maybe we'll see them down there. Last Boat is heading for Cape Coral to visit with family - seems we both have brothers there! It'd be funny if they knew each other!

It was a most enjoyable anchorage and evening - tomorrow would be a good weather window to head out but we're not ready yet. Laura emailed us about Friday the 13th and 2 Abens heading into the Bermuda Triangle - did we want to do that - LOL annnnd she's probably right - good thing we're not leaving tomorrow! Saturday and Sunday are looking good so, if we can take care of everything tomorrow, and the weather holds, it looks like Saturday will be our departure day.

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