Madcap Sailing

24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida
28 October 2016 | Madcap in Ft Pierce, Florida and crew in Halifax, Nova Scotia
06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida

Across the Gulf

03 January 2011 | Great Sale Cay
Beth / sunny, 70's, cooling after dark
After our fast decision at the coffee shop on Sunday morning to try a crossing that day, we hustled our little bodies through all the preparations and did it, arriving at Great Sale Cay about 4pm on Monday!

Once we made the decision to go, we returned the rental car, picked up our fridge and freezer contents from Nancy and Jim, loaded the dinghy, fueled wand watered up and pumped out and at 12:15, let go the mooring ball that has been Madcap's base for the last 28 days. We headed down the ICW to Fort Pierce in what was supposed to have been light winds. They averaged 15 knots instead and we wondered what we would face outside the inlet. We had an ebb tide that would have swept us out beautifully if not for the waves coming in! Instead, it was a pretty rocky passage out through the inlet with sea water sloshing over the bow, but we persevered, thinking it would probably be better outside - and it was. Unfortunately, it was too rough and the wind too much on our nose for us to hug the coast down toward Lake Worth as we had planned before striking out across the Gulf Stream, so after making about 6 knots in 2 hours, it was decision making time again. Go back to Ft Pierce? Keep slogging south the way we were? Turn out toward the Bahamas and start our crossing from further north? We opted for the latter and it worked well.

We set a waypoint for Little Bahama Banks, and then aimed 25 nautical miles south of that to counteract the current. Doing it this meant that we spent longer in the Gulf Stream than is normally advised, but it was preferable to pitching and slamming down the coast. (We found out later that it was also preferable to going down the inside because of the many pleasure boats roaring by on a sunny Sunday afternoon and the difficulty of timing bridge openings!)

The water stayed fairly sloppy for a few hours - Jim and I both popped motion sickness pills that kept our stomachs level and we stayed above decks for the first few hours to avoid problems. The wind still wasn't at a good angle for sailing and then it eventually died to just a few knots so it wasn't a sailing trip, but it was just fine all things considered. We each got some sleep through the night - taking roughly 3 hour watches - and we saw very little other traffic. We knew there had to be pleasure boats out there because of the weather window, but because they all left from farther south, we didn't see them except for one power boat that passed us in the morning. We altered course to avoid a couple of cargo ships during the night and saw two cruise ships go by in the distance. (The night before, we might have seen our daughter, Mary Beth's, cruise ship, the Norweigan Pearl cross in the other direction, albeit further south - so I'm only imagining that we might have really seen it...) A couple of fishing boats kept us alert as they flew along, and stopped and then flew along again. Along with our radar, the AIS that we installed last year is so handy for night time crossings. Between these two instruments and our own eyes, it is pretty easy to see what is out there.

Dawn brought that fabulous smooth, almost silky turquoise water flowing under the keel as we cruised along over the banks - 16 feet deep instead of over 2000. It also brought coffee and sunshine and the relaxation of knowing we had no more wondering to do about when to cross. It's curious that even when we think we aren't stressing too awfully much about the crossing, there is still a palpable sense of relief once it is behind us.

We were the 13th boat into the anchorage at Great Sale Cay in absolutely flat water. Our mooring buddy - Bonnie Lass - was there already and we had a great reunion with them at happy hour hosted by Linda and Wayne (Isla). Another boat must have come in after that because there were 14 of us when I counted in the morning. It was a true Bahama night - with a sky full of stars, the blessed quiet of no engine, no traffic, no partiers, and the gentlest of rocking as we crawled into bed .... at 7 o'clock!!
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011