28 March 2010 | bimini-Ft. Lauderdale
Both boys got up this morning and were surprised that we weren't underway...at 7am. I guess I have been often getting underway before they are up, but somehow, even though we were crossing the gulf stream back to Florida, it did not seem like we had to get a super early start.
I slept lighly, as I often do the night before a jump, and it was not helped by teh wind blowing a steady 15 east all night. Although we were in a sheltered spot in terms of too much wind chop, we were 50 feet from a solid wall and the waves reflected off of it and made for small wave noises all night. Had we not been getting ready to push off the next morning, I probably could have ignored the distraction, but as it was it kept me semi awake half the night. I think that as I get older I sleep lighter, which doesn't help.
Anyway, we cleared the Bimini entrance at 8am, and after raising sail found that indeed it looked like we would be heading downwind all day, but with a decent enough wind to keep us at a steady 9 knots! 45 miles does not last long at those speeds, and we barely missed the 1:30 opening of the 17th street causeway bridge in Fort Lauderdale. I think at 5 1/2 hours it is perhaps the quickest crossing I have ever done!
New River Marina decided that the best place for me was above the bridges, so we had the fun of navigating a 23 foot cat through a narrow twisting channel with bridges and traffic. All went well and we tied up at 2:30. We then spend an hour and a quarter on hold with US customs, and then took a taxi to Immigration and cleared in with the nicest officer ever (who encouraged us to complain about the long phone waits). And so when the return taxi dropped us off at the local publix, we were all checked in and ready to gawk at the rows of fresh fruits and vegetables. We provisioned for an all salad and fruit dinner, which we embellished with a Manchego and crackers from the boat, and settled in for a restful night. Long day, but very productive. Tomorrow we start teh cleaning of the boat.
Last day in the Bahamas
27 March 2010 | Bimini, Bahamas
Last day in the Bahamas, we did it all. Swam, caught our limit in Conch, tickled lobsters out of their holes, hung out with friends on S/V Butterfly, all in all a great day.
I am glad that I was able to take John and Kerri's boat Aldora back to Florida from Puerto Rico. I learned a lot about bigger cat handling, the fun and drawbacks of diesels, the joys of having a watermaker, the joy of having a bunk for everyone when Bridget and Clara and Aoife are with us, the fun of sailing with my boss Don, and what great boys I have for crew, Roger and Eliot. It has been really great and it is with some regret that I contemplate our return to Florida tomorrow, and the non-sailing life in a few days. Sailing is a big part of me, and I always want it to be that.
Back to work, back to the other half of my family, back to Socia, who will seem much smaller but also much more sporty to sail around. Goodbye to all the great people we have met, until we meet again.