Marathon to Bimini
12 December 2016
We had a good weather window to go to Bimini, Bahamas on Dec 7th, 2016. The winds were forecast to be out of
the SW at 5-10 knots. We left Marathon on Dec. 6th at 6:30 am, NE along the Keys to Anchor at Rodriquez Key.
Most people with be more familiar with Key Largo, which is near Rodriquez. We arrived just at sundown and had a well
deserved chicken salad. We had not been able to cook earlier due to the seas being a little high. We intended to leave
Rodriquez Key at about 3:00 am, and with a little help from the Gulf Stream which flows 3-4 knots, arrive in Bimini before
Customs and Immigration closed. If we did not clear, we would not be allowed to leave the boat until the next day.
Promise did not get underway until 5:30 am on Dec. 7th, 2016. We had a bad thunderstorm that slowly moved SE along the
Keys throughout the early morning hours. A wise sailor does not pull up 40 ft. of metal chain attached to a metal anchor
in sea water while lightening is striking all around.
Approx. 5 miles off of the east coast of the Keys, we picked up the Gulf Stream. We noticed an increase in our speed and
had several minutes of 8.7 knots, which is unheard of in our boat. We averaged 6.8 knots, and were in Bimini in record
time. It was without a doubt the smoothest crossing to the Bahamas we have had. Winds were light, seas were relatively
calm, and the shipping traffic was light. We did see 3 or 4 container ships and a couple of oil tankers, but they passed
well to our stern. The color of the water in the Gulf Stream is such a deep blue it is diffult to describe. The depth
meter was flashing at 760.2.
Upon arriving to the channel into Bimini, we noticed that it is now well marked, which was quite a change from our
previous trip where we had to "shoot the range" by lining up the markers. We also noticed there was a rather large
cruise ship anchored out as well. There is also a relatively new casino on the north shore. We of course have mixed
feelings about the cruise ships. We understand Bimini wants the increase in tourism, but one of the things we liked
about Bimini was it's lack of commercialization. Hopefully they will be able to maintain some type of balance between
We arrived in Bimini at 4:45 pm and tied up to the fuel dock. As usual Bimini Blue Water Marina would not answer the VHF
to assign us a slip. Dale had cleared us through Customs and Immigration within 30 minutes, and we were able to lower our
Quarantine flag and raise our Bahamian Courtesy Flag.
It is good to be back in the Bahamas Mon..:) For the uninitiated, Mon is Man in Bahamian..:)
Dale & Christina