14 December 2018
The stars are finally starting to align for us and it looks like we'll be leaving either Saturday or Sunday for the Bahamas. The major determining factor for crossing is the condition of the GulfStream and the wind direction relative to the direction of the stream. In this area the stream starts 3 miles off shore and extends almost to Bimini (approx. 40 miles) and it can make for a very nasty ride if you get it really wrong. The GulfStream flows north at an average of 2.5 knots but can be stronger in some areas, conventional wisdom says not to cross when there is any significant northerly wind component. However, this time of year a new front rolls through every couple of days with north winds making it hard to find a good window. I subscribe to a sailor's weather forecasting service that provides excellent information, that combined with various weather apps help us make what we hope are good decisions.
One certain way to tell a weather window is approaching is to watch the harbour, people are getting restless after several days at anchor. Dinghies are constantly heading to shore ferrying back last minute supplies, water jugs are being filled at the dock and jack lines are appearing on deck. We've done our part, our water tanks are full and we'll head to town today and top up our fresh fruit and vegetables.
However, we'll still have time to play, today is our day to visit the historic lighthouse and walk the 4 mile waterfront perimeter of the park. There are currently 4 boats in our little floatilla but only 2 Outrageous and us are heading to the Bahamas for now, the others will follow after Christmas. So we're all getting together at the local restaurant for dinner this evening before parting company.
Today's picture is of an Iguana living in the mangroves on the east side of the harbour. FYI, his body is over 3 feet long.