Trip Report 1-20-10
Position 25 10.333N 78 01.620
Morgan's Bluff, Andros Island
The Trip Across
We left Lettuce Lake, north of Commercial Avenue, anchorage at 0830 heading south for the first of the last four bridges we still had to negotiate. We are heading south, hooray.
The plan is to leave from Port Everglades and steer for Moselle Bank, N25 56.790 W79 12.583, north of Bimini, and then continue on across the banks with our first landfall being Morgan's Bluff. It will be an overnight trip as it is approximately 135 NM from Port Everglades to Morgan's, Or 144 nm from Lettuce Lake. We plan on being within radio range of "Kokopelli", our good friends and cruising partners around midnight on the banks. They are leaving from Snake Creek in the Keys at the same time as we are leaving from Everglades. So that is the plan, but we all know about plans!!!!
So after fueling and bridges, we hit the inlet at 1100. There is little to no wind so it will be a motor cruise for now. The forecast is for light winds from the west northwest, and 2-4 foot seas. Our vector is to steer 125 degrees, and with the set of the Gulf Stream we should end up hitting the bank at Hens and Chickens/ Mossele shoal.
Well the wind forecast is correct and the ocean is pretty much calm. But as we get near the middle of the GS, 27 miles, the seas have picked up with a northern swell of 4-6 feet, but it is somewhat behind us, so a bit rolly but not bad. The northern swell continues until we get about on to the bank, at around 2030 hrs, or 8:30 pm.
It is surely nice to finally not to be rolling around like a cork. Now that we are on the bank, no waves but still no wind. Diane takes the helm for a few hours, and now Sissy can finally go to the front for a needed bathroom break!!!
At around midnight I take the helm and Diane gets some sleep. It is very dark, but I have a BILLION stars to steer by and watch, a truly gorgeous night. The only exciting incidence of the bank is being passed by a motor tanker, and avoiding some one who decided to anchor directly on our course line.
We finally make radio contact with Kokopelli around 0200 hrs. They are 30 miles from the Russell Beacon waypoint and we are 30 miles for the point also. When plotted out, we are approx. 30 miles north of them. It is 0700 when we hit the NW passage to get on the Tongue of the Ocean, and back in deep water. We turn south and make the final miles down to Morgan's, with an arrival at 1130 hrs. We head in to clear customs, and after three hours, they ran out of the required forms, we are legally in the Bahamas.
Morgan's Bluff is a nice little town at the north end of Andros Island, with a small cove to anchor in. It is calm and we are EXTREMELY tired and sleep starved. So after a nice supper we bed down for a good nights sleep, and deserved rest, as it was 144 miles and 27 hrs from point to point.
Well it is finally time to head out!!!!!!! We are waiting on a weather window and we will be heading east. The plan is to go through the Abacos, then down to Eleuthera, then over to the Exumas.
I will update when possible as usual :)
Well we made the decision to go ahead and make a move to Stuart, Fl from Charleston. Hopefully I will have a little better opportunity to find something to do to replenish the " cruising kitty. And it allows us to spend time with our family, who is located in Jupiter.
The trip was a LONG two eeks on the ICW. We decided to come down the ditch to avoid the afternoon storms that were offshore pretty much every afternoon. The wind was on the nose pretty much the entire way so it was a forty mile per day trip. But we were not in a great hurry so it wasn't bad.
The new marina is real nice and we will be here until we head for the islands for the winter. And now going to the islands will consist of a 56 mile trip across the gulf stream rather than a two week trip down the ICW