I was up early, before the alarm even went off. I had finished up the blog last night and since we had a good connection, Mike uploaded it. We had breakfast and the anchor was up by 06:55. Here we go…
We were in radio contact with 3 other boats. Sunstorm, Modaki and Trinity I.
The sun was rising behind the trees and as we headed out bound for Florida. And just before 07:00, we were out of the turquoise waters of the Bahama banks at 11ft of water and into 95 feet of the deep blue water of the ocean, into the Strait of Florida.
Each boat set their own course, set by the speed they would travel and we all kept in radio contact. We looked behind us at West End and saw the sun shining through the clouds and looked at the ocean ahead and as far as we could see, there was no land.
The waters were not bad at all today, although by times we were hit by some swells beam side. The winds were out of the E10-15 kn. We sailed along and the others did too. We were close enough to snap one of Modaki. It was a good day to look around and be thankful for great weather. We both read and enjoyed the warm weather. We saw another ship and of course took notice of the colour of the water. Did I tell you that we are amazed at the beautiful blue colour? lol
We motor sailed along and once again, were reminded just how vast the ocean is. And we certainly had nothing but time on our hands so were even aware of the clouds in the sky. Thought the shape of this one was pretty neat. Do you think it looks like a fuzzy bird with a long beak and a bluish eye, Tayton and Easton?
After lunch, the winds went light so we rolled the jib in. And around 13:30, we got our first glimpse of a high rise on the horizon in Florida. You might have to look closely but it is there. 🙂 And about 10 min later, you could really see the high rises.
Just before 15:00, Mike lowered the Bahamian courtesy flag. Looks like all the winds we had experienced there from the cold fronts coming from Florida had taken a toll on it. Once we are anchored we will raise our Q flag.
By 16:00, we could see all the high rises on shore and we were struck with the extreme differences from where we were just a few short days ago. Lots of business on the water around us. Cargo ships leaving and a fishing boat with their stabilizers and nets down.
As we got closer to shore, we could see people on the beach and a young fellow fishing off the rocks. As we navigated through the channel and looked out to sea, it was striking seeing the colour change of the deep water of the Strait to the shallower by the beach and then in the channel where it is so stirred up with silt.
We set the anchor at 17:30. It seemed like a much quicker crossing this time (and so much better. The seas were not as confused as when we had crossed over to the Bahamas in January). Actually we did the return trip to Florida in two stages. We left Great Sale Cay and travelled a little over 60 nm to get to West End and then left from there to do the final leg today. We had travelled 105.7 nm in 17 hours on the way to the Bahamas. We hailed Sunstorm, Modaki and Trinity I who were all anchored close by.
Mike raised the Q flag and tomorrow we will dinghy over to customs. She was from Nassau and probably travelling overnight to there. Just look at the size of her. The trees are dwarfed by her as she passes through the channel. We saw our first Florida sunset in 3 months.
We lowered the dinghy after supper and then learned from Joe and Yvonne that we had to phone in to customs and get an arrival number before we could go to Customs and Immigration. Otherwise, we would have to wait another 24 hours. She had received an email from friends about the change. We and Modaki borrowed Dan’s phone. You must get the arrival number well in advance of clearing customs. Thankfully we found out. Dan and Lucie are on Trinity I and are from Rockland. Their boat is registered in Florida and they keep it in Indiantown. Lucky for us that they had a US cell phone. We were thankful for a safe day on the water. Thankful that we were able to spend a memorable 3 months in the Bahamas. Thankful to be back in the USA and headed home.
Today we travelled 61.2 nm.