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Northern Spirit
Anything's going to happen...its going to happen out there! (Captain Ron)
The Big City - Nassau
01/09/2013, Nassau, Bahamas

January 7th - We had a quiet night and the wind and waves seem to have died down a bit. We headed out again and this time decided it would be okay. Although the wind was still on the nose, it was much lighter and we made the trip in 6 hours. Since we are crossing very deep water of the Tongue of the Ocean, Ron ran out a fishing line and caught a small Blue Runner, a member of the Jack family and very good eating. We anchored in Nassau Harbour among several other boats. There is so much traffic through the harbour and with the wind and current it's a bit rough! Tomorrow I think we'll move into a marina while we get several jobs done.

January 8th - It wasn't a bad night at anchor but there is constant movement - if not from the passing boat traffic, it's from the wind, waves and current. In the morning we moved to Nassau Harbour Club and will spend a few days there. We are once again waiting for a good weather window to move down to the Exumas but there is plenty to do and see while we are here. The Harbour Club has a swimming pool and is close to shopping and restaurants.

We'll have some internet while we're in Nassau and are working on getting phone service.

01/09/2013 | Meandering
Glad to hear your crossing went so well, we were starting to wonder. We have been looking at the Exumas as well for a destination, all the pics we have seen look fantastic. I can see it didn't take you long to wet a line Ron, way to go.
01/10/2013 | Carole
so glad you are safe. nice visit with Colleen in SSM. All ok here. keep up a wonderful trip-safe-
Welcome to the Bahamas
01/09/2013, Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island

Wednesday, January 2nd - Everything looks good to go today. We met in the morning and decided on noon. At 12:30 we left the fuel dock and followed Whish and Truant out to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream. During the day the waves were a bit higher than we would have liked, but we sailed and once in the stream, we were making 8 to almost 10 knots. At sunset, the wind and waves lightened a bit and we had a wonderful crossing, still carrying 8 to 10 knots with plenty of stars and about 10 pm the moon rose - not full but very big and bright. We had a constant stream of freighters, tankers and cruise ships to watch out for. There were consistently 8 or more ships showing on our AIS. We were very happy to have the AIS!

We expected to arrive at Cat Cay Cut about 10 am but we were a bit faster so at about 8:30 we entered the Great Bahama Bank after about 115 miles and 20 hours. But the trip is still not over yet! There is about 75 miles on the Bank in 10 to 15 feet of clear turquoise water before you reach a check-in port. We anchored in the middle of the bank, between the course lines with plenty of lights on! It was a very still night and everyone slept well. It feels very strange to be anchored out with no land in sight in just 10 feet of water! At about 5:45 a fishing boat passed us very close, but we were all awake and watching. We headed out at 6 a.m. in the dark for another 45 miles to Morgan's Bluff on Andros Island. It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed the warmth and sunshine.

It is now January 4th - We anchored in the bay and Ron, Jeff and Mark headed in by dinghy to clear Customs and Immigration. There was no problem clearing, even with Farley. They didn't even look at his papers and gave us a cruising permit for 120 days! Speaking of Farley, he has been such a trooper! We tried to have him 'pee' on the bow of the boat, on the swim platform and in the cockpit and had a newspaper that he had pee'd on previously, but until finally on the second day after 36 hours he walked up to the bow and let loose! That is where the washdown pump is, so it was perfect! After checking in and a swim, we all had dinner and Pina Coladas aboard Truant.

January 6th - and we are still at Morgan's Bluff. It is about 38 miles to Nassau and so far we have had heavy winds and waves on the nose. We headed out but turned back. We keep reminding ourselves that this is a pleasure trip, we don't have to go until the weather is perfect. We are hoping it will improve tomorrow but we are at least safe and sound in the harbour and enjoying the beautiful weather. We snorkeled a bit but there isn't much to see. Jeff did spear himself a lobster. Morgan's Bluff is named for the pirate, Captain Morgan who it is said has stashed treasure in the caves along the cliffs of Andros Island. The village consists of some fishing boats, several derelict boats, and a bar and gas station. There is a restaurant at the bar - they serve Conch Salad - and that's it! We had happy hour, which turned into dinner aboard our boat. Mark and Joanne made Conch Fritters with the Conch that Mark got today.


Happy New Year
01/01/2013, Marathon, Florida

Tuesday, January 1st - Happy New Year! Still in Marathon waiting for weather! This is, at least, a good place to wait. There have been some short windows but we really need at least two or three days. Marathon to Bimini is about 115 miles, an overnight run. Bimini to Chub Cay is about 70 miles and then another 35 miles to Nassau. We have filled our time visiting and planning the trip with our buddy boats, Whish and Truant, attending local flea markets, dinners out, pot luck dinners and happy hours at the Tiki. There are always jobs to do on the boat...cleaning usually. Growth on the bottom is substantial compared to the Great Lakes.

Last night we had a New Years party in the Tiki Hut. Of course, it didn't last until midnight...more like 9 pm! Today they had what they call a polar bear swim...except the water here is the same temperatures as our summer water temperatures!

Our plan was to leave today, but the winds are just a bit too high, so we are now thinking tomorrow will be the day. I won't be posting again until we are across.

01/01/2013 | Sue and Wayne
Happy New Year to you both and have a safe crossing........looking forward to more of your adventure..always looking for new updates
01/01/2013 | pam
Happy New Year!!!
01/02/2013 | David Taylor
Happy New Year. hope you have a great, and safe trip across. Desi misses her Gramma, Farley, and Grumpa.
01/03/2013 | nancy
Fair winds, following seas and safe harbor. Happy New Year! Love, nancy
Christmas Day
12/26/2012, Marathon, Florida

Tuesday, December 25th - We awoke to bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20's which climbed to over 30 before noon! I started the day in a bathing suit in my hammock! It was a quiet morning on the boat. At noon we dressed for the potluck lunch at the tiki hut. There was a huge crowd and plenty of food - both traditional and southern. What a lovely way to spend Christmas!

Late in the afternoon, Jeff and Donna aboard Whish arrived from Little Shark Creek(Bill Pickering - their last name is Bero and they say hello) and joined us at the pot luck. We visited on shore for quite a while. It was nearly 9 pm before we finally returned to the boat!

12/26/2012 | pam
Nice! It was good to talk to you guys. Looks like you're doing your best to enjoy Christmas without the snow!!Have a safe journey across to the Bahamas!
12/27/2012 | Meandering
Love the Hammock Lynne lol. Ken & I are getting all our charts in order here. Be safe on your crossing. Where do u hope to land?
12/29/2012 | Shelley Graham
very festive!! wish i could throw a snowball to you (just to cool you off) LOL. safe journey across to Bahamas. keep us posted. this is great. xoxoxoxoxox
12/29/2012 | nancy
Best Wishes for a FABULOUS New Year where ever the winds may take you. Cheers! ~n~
12/29/2012 | Colleen Taylor
That hammock looks comfy. Kyle and I might fight over who gets to sleep in it when we are there!!!!!
12/31/2012 | Shelley Graham
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! safe travels
Merry Christmas!
12/24/2012, Marathon, Florida

Monday, December 24th - Merry Christmas Everyone!

It's Christmas Eve! Somehow it doesn't seem like Christmas. Our stockings are hung and we have decorated the boat, but its 8 am and already 23 degrees and sunny. Today will be a busy day as everyone prepares for the Christmas Potluck Lunch tomorrow.

Still waiting for a weather window...maybe Thursday...if not, it looks to be a week away.

12/24/2012 | Colleen Taylor
Merry Christmas Mom and Dad....and Farley!!!!
12/25/2012 | Ray and Cheri Raphael
It has been great following you since Chicago. We are members of the Great Loop. 2013 is the year we want to start south like the two of you. I know what it is Like in Marathon at Christmas. Merry Christmas!
12/26/2012 | Chuck and Shirley
The weather outside is delightful , its heading up north and not frightful , its loaded with snow as you already know, so its south you must go uneventful , HO,HO,HO.HO.HO. Nice tree , where is Farleys Hat. Happy Sailing.
Fun in Marathon
12/24/2012, Marathon, Florida

Thursday, December 20th to Sunday, December 23rd - The week was spent getting boat jobs done and visiting with all the other cruisers here. The weather has turned cool and we had very heavy winds on Friday and Saturday. Even on the mooring, it was quite uncomfortable.

On Friday, night we attended an 'End of the World' potluck. It was cold and windy so not too many attended - but since we were all still here the next morning, we caught the bus to Big Pine Key for their Flea Market. We didn't find much to buy but it was a nice morning outing and the winds had died by time we returned.

Sunday we spent checking weather for our crossing and discussing with other groups how best to make the crossing. Many of the people here have done the crossing to the Bahamas several times. We are now just waiting for a good weather window. We hosted Happy Hour today with Flying Free and Truant.

01/09/2013 | marty maynard
Congratulations on the crossing !!
Nice to see you fishing again !
Have a great time in the Bahama's
Marty

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