Bahamas at Last!
01 February 2016 | Alice Town, North Bimini
We have arrived at Alice Town, North Bimini. We made it in the month of January albeit the last day. We are docked at Brown's Marina, a small marina with room for a dozen and a half boats at fixed docks with lots of current and two foot tides. The water under Whisper's keel is a bright clear turquoise blue. We look over sand flats with occasional islands, the birds are walking there at low tide. We saw a manta ray leap out of the water just off the dock last night. It feels like island!!!
It wasn't without more 'issues'. Our original plan to cross over from Angelfish Creek to Bimini was changed when we awoke on Friday morning to depleted batteries. We diverted to Key Largo Harbor marina to plug in and diagnose the problem. When we arrived at Key Largo, the batteries had charged up fully. Go figure??
We called on our friend, Matt Koblenzer, to help with the diagnosis. He and Bill determined it wasn't the charging system. The next morning, Bill and his new best friend, Capt Carl, took both the house battery and the starting battery to the auto parts store for analysis. They came back with a new starter battery. So far, two days later, it appears that has solved the power issue.
Russ and Lisa forwarded Chris Parker's (the weather guru) recommendation for a Sunday crossing. We anchored out at Rodriquez Key Saturday night to be ready for a very early start on Sunday. Early came at 3am. We followed three other sailboats through the cut at Molasses Reef to get out into the open ocean and the Gulf Stream. We were four hours into it when the sun came up at 7am. We had 8-10 knots of breeze and 2-4' seas throughout the crossing, unfortunately mostly on the nose, but compared to the stories from our friends of eleven foot seas, we were very lucky with our weather window. We mad the crossing in eleven hours.
Just as I said to Bill as we approached the Bimini #2 marker at the channel entrance, "Are we close enough to believe we are really going to be in the Bahamas today?" he announced "I can't get the shifter out of gear". Luckily it was only 2 o'clock so we had some time to resolve this latest glitch before dark. Bill determined it was the linkage cable so we disconnect it. The plan was for me to operate the gear shifter directly at the transmission while Bill docked the boat. Good plan, except for taking into account a following wind and a swift current. After a couple of tries, and a few more bodies on the dock. we managed to man-handle Whisper into the assigned slip.
After a much needed rest (we were in bed by 8pm) we are up, fed, and ready figure out how to repair our transmission. Today has provided continuous rain, but it appears to be clearing now. The weather forecast for the week appears benign. We've already met some friendly folk, and acquaintances on LUX whom we originally met on the ICW. We are eager to explore by land and dinghy. We have our fishing and lobster permit. And yes, we are in the Bahamas.