Finally out of the States
16 February 2013 | Nassau, Bahamas
Sunny, humid, high winds predicted
Hard to believe but we are here, happy and healthy! Left from Lake Worth, Florida on Saturday, Feb 9 and motored to Lake Boca on the ICW. It was a beautiful day spoiled only by waiting fot 17 bridges!! Weather window ahead, so we left the next day and got to Maule Lake, just past Fort Lauderdale. Going through Port Everglades was nerve wracking. It was full of cruise ships, freighters, tugs, and lots of Sunday warriors bombing around on all sorts of craft.
At Maule Lake our only company was a dozen derelict boats. We dinghied in to the state park and wlaked to Walgreens and West Marine. Needed to buy a new grill. There is no way this first mate will spend a year without the relief kitchen on the rail!
Motored down through Miami which was CRAZY. Boat show was coming up, and all sorts of yaachts were being delivered. The waterway is quite wide through parts there, so every power boat had TO GO AT FULL THROTTLE. Going past the city was beautiful with the terrific skyline and the sun glistening off the glass walls. Stopped to fill up with fuel and water at the state park marina near Government Cut. Then found a spot in No Name Harbor. We were surprised at how tiny it was! Just a little pocket for 12 boats at most. There is a state park there as well, but we left at first light , so couldn't go ashore.
Finally, Tuesday,February 12th, we got out into the ocean and heaaded east. The first few hours were pretty rough with wind versus waves and a lot of spray and pounding. After 3 hours or so, the wind shifted and the waves settled dow. We motor sailed across the beautiful sapphire blue water. The whole day we saw 2 freighters, one small pleasure fishing boat, 3 Portuguese man of war, a a dozen flying fish. Just the way I like it! The approach to Bimini was suppposedly dredged and buoyed.
Well, there were 2 buoys, but they were for South Bimini Resort, though they did give us a point to turn to port. Of course, it was low tide. We could see shoal and coral and breaking water. Nothing to do but forge ahead. I was at the bow and kept telling Jeff, "go left", but he thought that was too shallow. Well, it was just shallow and we bumped; no biggy. Stopped at Bimini Blue Water Resort. Ironically, the same place we stopped 9 years ago.
Bimini got a glowing write up in the Waterway Guide, but Jeff and I were underwhelmed. Tried to eat out to celebrate my birthday and the restaurant was closed. Next day, tried to find the "best" conch salad; walked almost to road's end and still didn't find it. Of course, there is little in the way of signage so who knows. The people are really nice and the views are delightful. Met some folks who were game for crossing the Great Bahama Banks and heading to Nassau.
So, on Thursday Valentine's Day, we set off. What a day!!. After we turned through the Gun Cay Cut the sails filled and we made 7 knots all day.
We were doing so well, that going through the night would have meant a nighttime landfall in Nassau. We agreed to stay overnight on the Banks. Something we'd heard about for so long. Well, been there done that, as they say! It was very windy, we pitched and rolled most of the night, except when we were being rained on! At 5 am we gave up and took off for Nassau.