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Heading to Allen's Cay
Cheryl - Windy
11/09/2011, Nassau Bahamas

We are ready to move on and will try to head to Allen's Cay tomorrow morning. Wind hasn't improved but is is only about 30 miles and most the way water depth is only about 12 feet. Peter, the Dock Master here, is going to show us on the chart the best way to exit the harbor. We entered from the West entrance to the barhor but will be exiting from the East. He does say that we need to be on the watch for any coral heads that we might encounter.

Wind direction should be mostly of the Northeast for the next week which should be good for the anchorages we have picked out. We probably won't have access to the internet for the next few weeks. Here is our plan for the first leg of the Exumas: Allen's Cay, West Beach, Highbourne Cay, Saddleback Cay, Norman's Cay, Shroud Cay, Fresh Well Bay North, Hawksbill Cay, Warderick Wells Land and Sea Park. Should have internet access when we get to Warderick Wells. The plan is to say 2-3 days at each location, more or less depending on if we like the anchorage or not.
Allen's Cay is supposed to have hundreds of ignua's that come to greet you looking for food when you dinghy to the beach. Speaking of dinghy, it is still tied on deck. We will keep it there for the crossing to Allen's Cay then pull it behind us until we get to Georgetown. Our current thought is to spend about a month getting to Georgetown and spend at least Christmas and New Years there.

11/09/2011 | Dean
WOW..................... and my plow truck needs a new battery.........................enjoy
11/10/2011 | brent and mary carney B7
You are very brave. If anyone can get this done you two will.
We ran into your son as we were leaving a friends condo on Plum. He looked happy.
Wish this weather would improve so the rest of us could follow. Max was going to leave last Monday but weather reports put us all on hold again. At least we got to Key West for the Crazy's. Everyone is enjoying your blogs, keep them coming.
11/11/2011 | sharron
HI stay safe. let me know when you have internet sharron
Cheryl - Still windy
11/07/2011, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas

Back at Starbucks this morning. Monday morning and all the working folk are here getting their morning caffeine.

Yesterday we took a taxi to Atlantis. I spent a little money on the slots and Bill bought a beer or two and walked around to do the picture taking. As you can see from the Atlantis photo gallery it is very opulent, with the multi-million dollar mega yachts, all registered in the Cayman Islands, at the Atlantis Marina. I believe they charge $5.00 a foot for a slip there.

We didn't stay long, most of the slots were $5-$25 a pull - a little out of my league. They also have all the high-end shops, most being jewelry stores and couture clothing. Did find my 5 carat solitaire ring that Bill still hasn't bought me yet.

Last night Bill joined several of the locals fishing for Jacks on the end of the dock. It is rather disheartening to see such disparity - to see the locals fishing for their dinner within sight of the rich and famous.

On to more pleasant thoughts. We went to the Poop Deck for happy hour. Great free Conch fritters, best we have had any where. Talked to a couple of guys at the bar. One was probably in his 80's, an investment banker originally from Germany living in Nassau for the past 40 years. The other one was part owner of the Poop Deck. Both really nice guys and very interested in how we got here from Minnesota.

Going to do a little shopping this morning. Everything is within walking distance, large grocery store, pharmacy (need to buy more Dramamine), Radio Shack, etc.

Posted pics of Atlantis and of the marina we are at (Nassau Harbour Club).

11/07/2011 | sharron
love all the pictures
11/09/2011 | Mike & Francie
Once you have it all figured out we will follow you and make our crossing sometime between January to March! No more Type 2 fun for you two, only Type 1 fun!
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.

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