April 4- 7 Staging to leave the Bahamas and enter the USA

April 4

The sun was just coming up when we weighed anchor at 06:40 and left the anchorage at Manjack Cay.

It was a beautiful day to be on the water. Here are some of our sightings today from Persuasion:

Passing by Cooperstown on our port side

And Powell Cay on our starboard side. Enjoyed being there with Joe and Yvonne in 2015. We saw beautiful tropic birds and found some great shell treasures

Center of the World rock with some surf on it. We were on the other side of it in January and it looked different on the other side, more white faced

Look at the sails on this boat

Passing by Little Sale Cay

Yay! Both sails out

Jim got this video of Persuasion sailing along
Click here to see Persuasion sailing on the Gulf Stream

Amazing Grace with her sails up

Great Sale Cay anchorage

We set the hook at 15:30 and had travelled 53.80 nm. There were only about 6 boats in the anchorage when we came in. By evening, there were over 30! Everyone staging to cross back to the USA with the favourable weather. Here is our sunset.

April 5

We weighed anchor and left at 07:00

What a beautiful day to be on the Bahama banks; where the ocean meets the sky

Jim and Cheryl had their fishing line out for awhile but no luck! It was a quiet day on the water. We did see a cruise ship in the distance.

We arrived at West End, Grand Bahama at 15:30 and set anchor. It was rather windy. Here are a couple of photos of our view from the anchorage.

We went over to Amazing Grace for supper. Beef tenderloin, potatoes and gravy. A real Maritime favourite. So yummy!

And here’s our last sunset in the Bahamas.

April 6

It was a short night. The alarm went off at 01:45. And we weighed anchor at 02:00. There was lightening off and on for quite awhile. And it was a bit rolly at first.

Finally the sun came up and we saw our last sunrise over the Bahamas. 😦

Later on, Mike lowered the Bahamas courtesy flag. That was a bit bittersweet.

What a beautiful day for a crossing.

We saw a couple of ships.

And this is the last time you’ll hear me mention that the water is the colour of ink. 🙂

Amazing Grace hoped to reel in a fish or two but no luck. Maybe this guy scored some fish.

Land ho! Our first glimpse of land in The USA.

Heading in to the Fort Pierce inlet was the roughest part of our trip. Some of the waves were 3-4 feet. The wind was against the current and it was an outgoing tide. I couldn’t get photos when it was so choppy but here’s a couple I took after. You can see that the boat behind us was rocking around.

We saw Sea Tow and Tow Boat US tied up; ready to help out if needed.

This derelict boat had seen better days.

Lots of people out enjoying the beach.

Heading under the Fort Pierce Bridge

We set the hook at 15:30 south of the bridge and off the ICW. The humidity hit us like a brick wall. So awful. We had to clear US customs and we had put the app on our phone but needed wifi or a US phone number. Since our dinghy was still on the bow from the ocean crossing, Jim lowered his from the davits and we all dinghied in to the Fort Pierce City marina. Mike and Jim dropped us there while they went over to Riverside boat yard, where they store Amazing Grace, to pick up Jim’s van. Mike dinghied back and Jim was not far behind with the van. We finally got enough wifi signal at the marina to get checked in. Then we all got in the van and went out for supper. We all had a few laughs in the van as it was packed full of things that they had taken off Amazing Grace before leaving for the Bahamas. Polishers, a pressure washer, you name it. Lol. What a hoot getting Cheryl and I in the back. We were all starving. And we all enjoyed every kind of food at the Golden Corral. It was so good! Fun times, great memories! After supper, it was too late to go and get a US sim card for the phone. They parked the car at the marina and we dinghied back to the boats.

This was our first Florida sunset after leaving the Bahamas.

It had been a long day on the water since leaving the Bahamas at 02:00. We had travelled 87.85 nm and were blessed once again with good weather and calm seas for a safe passage. As we viewed the sunset, we couldn’t help but thank God for the wonderful time we had in the Bahamas. Being there with old and new friends and of course, having all our kids and grandkids visit, was the icing on the cake.

April 7

We had taken down our Q flag and raised the US courtesy flag the night before but it was too dark for a photo, only remembering to do it long after the sunset. We did however get a photo of our first Florida sunrise. What a lovely way to start the day in the USA.

After breakfast, Mike and I got our dinghy off the bow and in the water. We dinghied in with Jim and Cheryl to the marina. Much faster going with two dinghies. Four adults in one makes it hard going. Lol

So started another fun day. First things first, Jim and Mike moved some things around so Cheryl and I could have more room. Our first stop was to the jetty down by the inlet where we had come in the day before. It is called Jetty Park, and rightly so. There is a lovely park area and lots of parking. Walking in, we saw a few of these lovely benches.

And a nice beach. Apparently this beach is all new because a hurricane a few years ago had taken the beach out. They brought in a dredger from the ICW to replace the beach that was lost.

There were so many folks out fishing and we talked to a lady who obviously was having a good day catching crabs.

This is what she used for bait.

This photo is looking across the inlet to the State Park. Looks beautiful.

Next stop was to the airport for Jim to get a cruising permit. We then found a T-mobile shop so we went in to get our new sim card and US phone numbers. Nice to be connected again. 🙂 Next, the van needed an oil change so we saw a Valvoline drive through place and did that. The assistant manger and his apprentice were both great young people. By then, it was lunchtime so we pulled in to Steak ‘n Shake for lunch. Their milkshakes are so good! Then of course, we had to stop at Harbor Freight. Last stop….Walmart for a few groceries and engine oil for Persuasion. Then the van was really loaded down. We dinghied around the marina looking at a few boats. Some we had seen in the Exumas and Abacos were now at dock. By then, it was close to suppertime and we both headed back to our boats. So ended our stay in Fort Pierce. We had a full day, got lots of errands accomplished and had lots of laughs.

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