Yes, you are reading it right……today is the long awaited day. We were up early and Mike tuned in Chris Parker on the SSB radio to get the updated weather forecast. We had made arrangements with Joe to radio him at 08:00 as he was going to contact other boaters and see if they were fine with the forecast to head over. He said that most of them were staying put this morning and going across later in the afternoon. We dingied over to talk to them before making one more trip to the grocery store. We packed up our computer to catch some wifi somewhere to upload a couple of blogs. They told us a Starbucks was close by the Publix so we went there first for coffee and got upload some blogs. We also got a video uploaded to our Christmas back home blog, that we had posted the day before. Mentioning this because some of you may have read that blog before we got the video posted. It is in the paragraph where Becca comes home and surprised us. Mike was ready to video her homecoming since he knew she’d be ringing the bell. And I must warn you that you’ll hear alot of screaming. lol
Anyway, after working awhile on the blogs there, we topped up on some more canned goods at Publix, we dingied back and decided we would hoist the dinghy on the bow of the boat for the crossing. I made some phone calls to my dad, family in NB and to our kids and others to let them know we were leaving. We will probably not have a phone when in the Bahamas. We weighed anchor and left the anchorage at 16:00.
Here we go…..we’re BAHAMAS BOUND BABY!
We headed out into the ICW and down to the Lake Worth Inlet. Mike noticed these colourful condos and the marina. Loggerhead Marina is a popular chain down here. And we weren’t sure what these little huts were on the water. Back in ON huts like these would be on the frozen lakes and used for ice fishing. Well, at least the one that is close would be suitable for cold weather. Of course we saw some yachts too.
And the cruise ship that was in dock was from Nassau, where we could be in a few days or at least sometime in the next three months. It is quite a bustling port here with lots to see and we even saw sailboats in dry dock.
We looked behind us and could see the flotilla. We weren’t sure how many were doing the passage with us until we did a radio check in later and there were 13 of us! We were in the middle as some had headed out just before us. So we motored on and got these shots of a couple of the boats.
The winds were blowing 10-15kts right on the nose. The waters got rougher as we continued. I took a gravol but the captain didn’t. The waves were pounding us on the beam and we were pitching and rolling. It was as if the seas were confused. No wonder everyone says not to cross when there is any north in the wind.
We did not feel well at all. We were getting pounded. The Gulf stream was really rough. Two of the boats had to turn back. Modaki was having engine problems and in these rough waters there was not much one could do to help. He was thinking dirt in his fuel line. Although the filters had been changed, waves and rough seas like this stirs up any dirt in the fuel tank. That happened to a boater that we met in Rimouski. The other boat that went back with Modaki was having problems with his GPS and he felt it better to get it fixed in the US rather than in the Bahamas. And some of the boats took a different sail path to go to West End and take a dock. They would get in at 04:00 and we felt it was too tricky to follow a channel and get docked in the middle of the night. Our route would take us 45 nm further but we would be anchoring in daylight. It was great to have the auto pilot working.
We came upon one tanker crossing in front of us but other than that it was a quiet night. At 01:30, we went from over 2000 ft of water to 29 ft. That is how we knew we were in the Bahama Banks. And that is when it got smoother, so much smoother. Winds were then 5-10 ENE. We took turns at watch and had a beautiful crescent moon. And later watched the sun come up and saw our first gorgeous Bahamian sunrise.
And there it was……our first glimpse of the signature turquoise waters of the Bahamas. We arrived at Great Sale Cay at 09:24 after a 17 hour crossing. We anchored in 8 feet of water and the bottom was all sand. Had to take this photo of seeing our chain in the water.
LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT!!! Our long dream of sailing to the Bahamas had come true. We had finally made it. The Captain is to be commended on a job well done.
We radioed a few of the boats that had arrived and more kept coming as we were shutting off instruments and settling down and then we ………slept.
Today we travelled 105.7nm.