Miami to Mrgan's Bluff, Andros, Bahamas
Mike via Remote
The rule in Miami is .. If there is more that than one Cruise Ship docked in Government Cut, all boats go the long way out around Dodge Island. During the early morning hours four such ships pulled . and so our trip to the Bahamas was about 30 minutes longer that it December 20 & 21.. Miami,FL to Morgan's Bluff Andos Island should have been.
Mike and Kathy-warm and sunny
12/19/2008, Miami, Florida
We zipped out into the Atlantic on an outgoing tide to find winds of about 10 knots form the east. There wasn't enough to sail but for a while we made great headway motorsailing. All too soon though there was no wind. The Gulf Stream was oily calm, and confused. We ran at about 5 knots or a little over all day hitting the Bahama Banks at North rock at 4:30 and pushed on. There was still no wind. At about 4 am we arrived at the Tongue of the Ocean which is a part of the Atlantic that is mostly surrounded by the Bahama Banks. At times it is brutal, but this morning it was just a little rolly.
We motored south to the northern end of Andros Island stopping at Morgan's Bluff. It is not really a town because all the businesses are separated by at least a mile. In the Harbor, which is completely open to the north, there is a large wall dock where water from Andros is shipped to Nassau.
There is also a small but deep inner harbor . where we will take shelter tomorrow if necessary. There is a cold front going through and the winds will clock and build to about 30 knots from the northeast. We're ok from the NE, but the North will be killer. Chris Parker told us that the wind should clock quickly through the N to the NE and if that happens we're fine.
We won't check in until tomorrow so technically can't go ashore until then. But we can swim. Last year Barry got some lobsters from a rocky section of the harbor directly behind where our boat is anchored. Even though we technically won't have a fishing license until tomorrow, we decided to take a look. and took our spears.
Nine lobsters later, we had dinner for the six of us. About half of them were small. Red Lobster size, but we did get a few that were more along the medium size range.
After nothing last year. spearing four on our fist day here may be a sign of things to come.
We had a nice meal with our fellow travelers and then went back to "Sapphire" for some dinner and some reading before bed.
December 19th ... Miami Beach, Fl
I was asleep at about 8pm last night so I was up and wide awake at 1am. It was warm so I sat in the cockpit for a while watching the city lights and traffic on the causeway. After a while I went back to bed and slept reasonably well for the rest of the night. The alarm woke us up at 6:30 to listen to the weather. There were no significant changes, so our crossing tomorrow is still on....
There is a cold front following us by about 24 hours so we'll see how we're settled and if necessary deploy a secondary anchor. It looks like wherever we end up ...probably Andros, we'll be there a few days before the seas subside.
After some coffee and a container of yogurt, I topped off our fuel tank from our jerry cans ( a total of 12 gallons from Vero Beach). I picked up Barry and we motored to one of the marinas for 10 gallons of fuel each...filling all our tankage.
About noon we picked up Barry and Susan for a trip to the Publix (the local grocery store in the south) where we picked up some eggs, bread and two nice rib-eyes. We made our last stop at an ATM and headed back. On our way we stopped to visit with "Peservance 2" laying out our plan for the crossing.
Back at the boat, I attempted to fix another leak in our hot water tank but won't know for a day or two if I was successful.
We read for a while and then took the dinghy back into Miami Beach to visit with Kevin and Lizz from "Cielo". It was a treat to see them again after more than a year. Our paths may cross again in the spring.
By the time we got back it was about dark. Secured the outboard on the stern rail and hoisted the dinghy for ocean travel....
We warmed up some ham for dinner instead of grilling the steaks that were originally on the menu. The grill is too close to the dinghy when it is up-we hope for no dinghy problems this year.
From now on we will be back in the remote blog updates...via the SSB ... if we can remember how it works, or whatever wifi is available in the Bahamas. We are suspending our phone and internet service for at least 3 months.
We must say we would like to stay here longer. It is a nice, big anchorage with easy access to town. You can dinghy right to the grocery store (Publix) and it feels safe. It is also a pretty anchorage which is not always true when you're in a city. Ah, well...
We're out of here at 7:30 a.m.
Mike and Kathy-warm and sunny
12/18/2008, Miami, Florida
December 18th... Lake Worth to Miami, FL
Ah yes... on the go again. I was up this morning at 3:56 am. "Night Hawk" was gone so we called Barry to check the conditions on the Ocean. Barry's report was positive, and Mike from "Valkyrie" chimed in to chide us for staying in bed way too long. (3:56... I don't think so) Anyway, we hauled the anchor and were out of there by about 4:30 am.
In the ocean we found some swells that were falling apart and winds that really couldn't make up their mind.... 8 knots to 18 but not consistant. We stayed close to shore and tried to find the Gulf Stream counter current. We weren't entirely successful, but did at times find a fair current in excess of 1 knot. We would catch a push and ride it for a few miles and then alter our depth to try to find another one.
We sailed all day on a beam reach that was rolly but reasonably fast ... most of the time above 6 knots. We caught one king mackerel, but threw him back. We had some mackerel one day that we didn't enjoy. We have since learned that they can be good if done correctly. We also had some dolphins playing around us for a short time.
In the afternoon we rolled up or head sail to allow "Perseverance 2" to catch up. But when they did, an hour or so later, our good wind had died and they passed us going away. We sail well between 15 and 20 knots, which we had been running with during the mid-day hours, but in the afternoon the wind went variable, down at times to about 7 knots, we slowed and eventually started the engine to protect against anchoring at dark.
The wind picked up again and we sailed into Miami with out any serious problems. The hot water heater seems to have another leak but that's a job for tomorrow.
We motored into the harbor and anchored in an area called the Venetian Causeway. There are several man-made islands here with very special older homes. There are boats everywhere. We need to replenish our the fuel that has been expended in the last three days and Kathy wants one more stop at the grocery store before we leave on Saturday morning..... hopefully.
The highlight of our day however, was a VHF call from "Cielo." We met Kevin and Lizz last year in Cape May, NJ and have attempted to keep up with their travels during the last year.... it will be fun to touch base with them tomorrow and get a first hand story of their travels...