Saturday, 24 March 2012

Enough is Enough, We're Going to the Bahamas

We left North Lake Worth, and headed back to the southern anchorage to give us some more time. We left on March 22nd for Ft. Lauderdale. The winds were still a little rough so we attempted the caps of 20 restricted opening bridges all just a little too far apart for our boat to time them all in succession. 45 miles, we left around 7 am with the first light and timed a few of them well. Some we missed and had to wait 30 minutes for the next opening. Some we decided to push the motor, she'll do 7 knots, but the injector pump leaks a little fuel... Another future project.

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 6, to see a tiny anchorage full of boats and a boat blowing blue smoke out the back from just grounding... We'll keep going to some down the road. We tried one, and we're in able to hook in. As we were leaving to try another one just back a bit, we got circled by a police helicopter a bunch of times, and a police boat was heading towards us. Nothing came of it, but a real unsettling feeling that we were unwelcome in this country.

We headed back to Fort Lauderdale contemplating getting into a Marina, and the price was, probably going to bankrupt us. It was now 8 pm we were tired and just wanted to get away from shallow muddy water and bad charts. By the time we got to the inlet we decided the weather was half decent and we had overstated our welcome in The USA, off to the Bahamas.

A mad rush to get the boat half ready, and we would spend half the money for a marina visit in Bimini. I took the first three hour shift, barely keeping my eyes open, and Jennie took the second. We never really ate much food, and we were tired when we left.

The gulf Stream was a beast to us, up to 4 knots of head current. It was to take 15 hours, but it took 20. We set a course for 165 degrees with a rum line heading of 125.  At times in the night we were going less than one knot sideways. We had the motor running, a reefed main and reefed jib up. The winds were east at about 15 knots gusting 20, and other than the time I accidentally hit the auto pilot remote and we did a 360, we, add it to the morning to be greeted with the most amazing blue coloured water and 15 knots winds with smaller, much smaller, waves. Jennie got a bit seasick, and so did Dex, no calling dinosaurs. Or anything, just nausea. The auto pilot deserves a break and a pat on the back for sure. We are now sitting in a new marina with wifi, and all the amenities one could imagine.

When we arrived, customs was closed. The Dock master just said, "ah, go tomorrow, it's the Bahamas!" I love it.

We dinghyed into town to customs and immigration, check in took maybe 2 minutes at each stop. Dexter didn't need a vet check up or anything, just the import permit we got before we left. Stamp, stamp, welcome to the Bahamas. What a difference a day makes. We are now going to go and enjoy some of the amenities offered as a well deserved respite from our trials of the past months, and then we head across the Grand Bahama bank.

Picks to come tonight.

 Haggard after a rough night, but what a morning!

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