17 December 2018
There was a lot of debate about when the best time to leave Florida was for crossing the GulfStream, we decided to leave Saturday morning and it was perfect. We hoisted anchor at 7 a.m. and joined 5 other boats heading for the Bahamas. Most opted to head to Bimini (42 miles) but we decided to head for Morgan's Bluff on Andros (130 miles) where it is easier to clear customs. We had great sailing conditions, south winds 15-20 knots, 3 foot seas and lots of sunshine. As we neared the Bahamas bank the wind and waves increased a bit and clouds rolled in with a few showers but we soldiered on. After 12 hours on the move the winds subsided so we anchored behind Mackie Shoal for the night.
We had a nice quiet night at anchor, however, it's hard to describe how dark it was. We were 40 miles from the nearest settlement, in 12 feet of water and the only lights were our anchor lights. From time to time the clouds parted and gave us unbelievable glimpses of the stars. We were up early Sunday and carried on to Morgans Bluff where we dropped the hook at 3 p.m. As it turns out Customs was closed and we had to wait until Monday morning to checkin. The anchorage here is wide open to the north but the winds abated and we all enjoyed a peaceful night.
By the time we headed in to clear customs on Monday morning 3 other boats had arrived making for a festive atmosphere on shore as we waited for the officers to arrive from the airport. The people here are extremely friendly and do their best to make you feel welcome. There were numerous forms to fill in but we were all done within an hour and free to explore the Bahamas.
We will probably head 30 miles south of here tomorrow to visit the town of Fresh Harbour before heading to the Exumas. As always, in the Bahamas one must watch the weather.There's a cold front arriving Friday so that will dictate where we'll go.
Today's picture is of the hoisting of our Bahamian Flag.