Across the Gulf Stream
Mike and Kathy
01/14/2008, Great Sale Cay, Bahamas
Out of the country...January 12
I was up at 6 tuning the radio to catch Chris Parker (weather man) at 6:30. Before he finished, Bob called from English Rose saying that he thought we should head across. We left 10 minutes later and sailed ( no motor for hours) all the way to the Bahama Bank ... 50 miles and averaged 7.2 knots. The middle of the Gulf Stream was a little rolly with 4 or 5 foot swells with 2 foot waves on top, but it was a perfect day of sailing. We pushed on another 50 miles to Great Sale Cay and arrived at about 10:45pm.
I had two lines out all day and just after we hit the Bank I caught a 25 pound barracuda on a hand line. I had to bring it aboard to get my $15 lure back but in retrospect, it may have been a mistake. Barracuda not only look like northern pike they have the same slime and smell .. which were both transferred to our cockpit. I removed the hook with two sets of pliers and heaved the foul fish overboard. You can eat them if they are small but anything over 5 pounds is dangerous.
On the way over we had our first experience with flying fish and after a day of watching I moved them just ahead of the Pelican as my favorite animal. The small ones hang out in schools. They are abut 8 inches long and a school normally has 20 to 50 members. They are easily spooked and they all take off in the same direction...away from you. But the big ones are much smarter. They measure about a foot to 18 inches and hang by themselves. When they fly the always take off into the wind and hit the tops of every wave ... where they wiggle their tails enough to get another 20 meters of distance. Most make it about 200 feet but I saw at least two that kept going until out of sight... at least 100 yards.
I'd like to add that we left in a great hurry-I was barely out of bed. It was also difficult for me because my mother fell and broke her hip yesterday and was having surgery and now I will be out of contact for a day or two. There are plenty of airports in the Bahamas, should I need to fly home.
The picture of our boat under the rainbow was taken by Antje or Bill from "A B seas". We saw tons of rainbows for a few days in Vero, which means we had lots of rain showers.
It is quite exciting to have crossed the Gulf Stream under sail and in comfortable conditions and to actually be in the Bahamas!
Waiting some more
01/14/2008, Lake Worth, FL
We left Vero this morning at 6:45 sharp and motored south in the company of "English Rose." The plan was to go offshore but by the time we got to Fort Pierce, which was only an hour and a half south, the winds were building and our arrival time may have been too late in Lake Worth to fuel up... (which was important) so we stayed inside and dealt with nine bridges. Our anchor was down before dark but the weather seems not to be what was forecast. The winds today were 20kt.s and we need a day to let things lay down so we're sleeping in tomorrow and hoping that Sunday gives us a window for crossing... I'm thinking that in reality it may be a few days more.
It was a long day of driving with shoals at every inlet. We fared well timing the bridges, only waiting on one or two.
Leaving Velcro Beach
Mike and Kathy
01/10/2008, Vero Beach, Florida
Leaving Vero Beach...
There is a weather window (for crossing the Gulf Stream) forecast for this weekend so we are leaving tomorrow morning for Lake Worth with the plan of heading for the Bahamas on Saturday am. Although we don't know exactly where we'll end up there, there are three or four potential destinations. Our preferred plan would like to sail about 100 miles on Saturday and anchor in Great Sale Cay and then move on to Green Turtle Cay on Monday to check in.
Our general plan is to work our way down the Abacos toward the Exumas by the end of February.
We are going to be traveling with five other boats although there are apt to be about 20 or 30 making the crossing this weekend.
Tonight we had a small get-together with friends here to say good bye....We had great time and played some music. Most of these folks we will see later this winter but there are a couple that we will need to return to see.
Hopefully we will have the Pactor modem up and running soon to remotely add to our blog. Yesterday I was on the phone with the SCS factory rep and from the hardware perspective, everything is fine. We must have a problem with the Winlink or Sail mail software that needs fixing.
Mike and Kathy