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Cheryl - Windy
11/06/2011, Nassau, Bahamas

Sitting at Starbucks in Nassau using their Wifi. We have had an extremely rough time the last couple of days. We left Bimini with the wind at our nose and pretty much stayed there until 9 hours later when we dropped anchor in the Middle of the Bahama Banks. We anchored behind Mackie Shoal just as the wind dropped a bit. Still rocked and rolled all night but could have been worse and the next night it was. We pulled into the anchorage off the beach on Chubb Cay, wind from the SW. It is a private beach so no going ashore. Wind died and we had a pleasant evening, even grilled pork chops for dinner. Then the wind shifted coming from the North. Not a good wind direction in this anchorage. Wind picked up and blew 20+ knots all night. Bill let out all the anchor chain, we held but spent the entire night unable to sleep. Next morning we pulled up anchor and headed out to Nassau. With the wind from the North it was a following seas, that's a good thing meaning we could sail (instead of motor) the entire way. Before we put the sails up the engine starts to overheat. We kill the engine and put out the head sail. Bill figured it was the raw water strainer. Unfortunately, first one must turn off the seacock, on our boat it is located in the bilge and you have to go through the lazarette (our main storage compartment) to get to it. Everything had to come out of the lazarette then Bill climbed in to shut off the seacock. He then went to the engine compartment and pulled out the strainer. It was completely clogged with sea grass. Bill also checked the engine empeller to make sure it was okay. Bill put everything back together and put all our junk back in it's storage. We restart the engine and all is good. Once we knew the engine wouldn't reheat we shut it off and had a great sail, surfing down the waves, going 7+ knots.

A couple of hours out the wind picked up again and now the seas are 6+ feet. The sea begins to build and now we are in the trough with we estimate 8+ foot waves. At that point Bill says "go get the PFD's (life jackets) and tethers to tie us to the boat". First time for us, we never wear our PFD's (I shouldn't admit that). I start to get seasick and of no help to Bill. We had waves coming over the side of the cockpit, from the high side of the boat. We finally arrive outside Nassau Harbor and hail on the radio the Nassau Harbor Authority for permission to enter the harbor (it's required for everyone to do that). We get authorization at the same time the cruise ship Majesty of the Sea also gets authorization to enter. Keeping our distance as we enter the harbor, Bill says they won the chicken race. Not a minute too soon, I was going to loose it any minute.

We dock at Nassau Harbor Club Marine and Peter was there to help us in and tie up for us. 10 minutes later we are off the boat, glad to be tied up and glad to be alive!! Looks like we could be here until Wednesday, again due to high wind and seas. What happened to our dream of aqua colored calm waters?? So far, hasn't happened. Hopefully it gets better from here. Plan today is to go to Atlantis so I can visit a slot machine or two.

11/07/2011 | sharron
OH MY GOD i would have been scared to death.
Cheryl - Very Windy
11/02/2011, Bimini, Bahamas

We hope to leave Bimini tomorrow morning. High winds and seas the past several days, should start to die down tonight. Next stop will be anchoring out on the Bahama Banks tomorrow night. It's about 100 miles to Chubb Cay in the Berry Islands from Bimini. Hope to get in at least 50 miles tomorrow. From there the plan is to head to Nassau.

11/04/2011 | Craig Horn
Freeport in a week, finally get to dive Theo's Wreck again. Be safe out there.
Added new picture albums

Just added two new picture albums - one for our friends at Aqua Poker and one of Bimini.

11/01/2011 | Dean
Thanks for the update, enjoy your stay.
11/01/2011 | sharron
hi cheryl ray and i want to wish you a happy birthday love sharron
10/29/2011, Bimini, Bahamas

After a rough crossing we arrived this morning at around 10:00 am. We left Marathon at 9:00 as planned. We went out to the Hawk Channel, dodging crab pots the entire way. Bill sat on the bow pointing the way for me to go to avoid hitting one. Did manage to hit a couple but luckily didn't get any wrapped around the prop. Thought we would be done with them in the Channel but no such luck. So, we decided to go outside the reef and pretty much hugged the reef up to Molasses Reef.

Just before heading outside the reef we saw a Coast Guard vessel coming up fast behind us. We slow down. They pull up along side us and announce that they are the US Coast Guard. We say hello. He said they want to do a safety inspection. We say fine. Then he asked if we had ever been boarded before. We say no. He then asks where we are going. We say Bahamas. He then asks if we are married. We say yes. He then tells us to have a good day and they leave. HUH????? Was saying we were married the deciding factor to not getting boarded?

So, we head out the reef and avoid the crab pots but now there is some type of small buoys floating that we need to avoid. Not sure what they were for. We headed towards Bimini from outside Molasses Reef at around 8:00 pm. Around midnight a thunder storm hit. From out of no where it goes from 6 knots to 25+ knots and we almost blew out our head sail. Bill managed to get it rolled up without it tearing. From that point on it was a very rough crossing. I did manage to fall trying to get into the head when a big wave hit. Think I might have a bruise from that one.

Just outside the channel between South and North Bimini we got out the yellow "Q" flag to fly then hailed Bimini Blue Water Resort and Marina to ask for some guidance into the channel. We went through the red and green buoys and headed for the mid channel marker. Need to stay just to the left of the marker, pretty much hugging it. It was close to high tide so we didn't have any problems but it was very choppy and tide was very strong. Couldn't figure out where Blue Water Marina was so we pulled up to Bimini Big Game Club dock and a guy "Cisco" came out to help us and we decided to stay. Only one other boat in the entire marina. All the marina's are the same here, doesn't start getting busy until January. Cisco brought us all the Customs and Immigration forms we needed to fill out. Filled out the forms then I walked to Customs and Immigration to turn in the forms and pay the $300.00. Then it was time to go get some breakfast and take a much needed nap.

10/29/2011 | Charlotte Crissey
Interesting, we were in Bimini January before last and the place was also nearly deserted. They said the busy time was March.???
If you want to go bonefishing, look up Bonefish Tommy. Any local can tell you how to find him.
Smooth sailing.
10/29/2011 | Mike & Francie
Glad you made it safe, we were watching the weather for you from here!
Love the decoration on the bow, too bad it didn't scare away the storm!
10/30/2011 | Laura
Perhaps the coast guards in those waters are actually searching out swinging singles. lol
10/30/2011 | Anna & Greg Feller
Glad to hear you made it safe! Maybe we'll see you in a few. Still getting things ready on Jolly Mon.
Fair Winds
10/30/2011 | Craig Horn
The coast guard probably knew you weren't a beer drinker and decided to leave you alone. Glad you made it.
Cheryl - warm and calm
10/27/2011, Marathon, FL

Looks like our weather window for heading to the Bahamas has arrived. We will be heading out tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, no Fantasy Fest for us this year.

Plan is to head out tomorrow morning at about 9:00. We will stop at Burdine's to fill up the diesel tank before leaving Marathon. We will then head out to the Hawk Channel and go up towards Key Largo. If everything still looks like a go we will then go through Molasses Reef and head up to Bimini. Should take us a total of about 24 hours, non-stop.

10/28/2011 | Dan and Pam
Good luck you guys, have a blast! We wish we could be sailing along side you...Let us know when you are safe and sound.
10/28/2011 | Bill in Miami
Sure hope your blogs come along a little more frequently while you're on the move.
Another Blogger at Marathon a couple of years ago was very informative about the cruising society in Boot Key Harbor.
We Vicarious Cruisers like al the little details. LOL
10/28/2011 | Craig Horn
Good luck and get those sails up. craig
10/28/2011 | Lynne Taylor
Good luck on the crossing. We're looking forward to more blog entries!
10/30/2011 | sharron
glad you made it safe, mom said i was lucky to still have a sister. not sure why the coast guard asked that maybe they were looking for two drug dealing singles.stay safe love sharron
10/21/2011, Marathon, FL

Here is a pic of the flooding on Sombrero Blvd next to the marina.

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