Saturday, January 15, 2011


Day after day we watched the weather on various web sites, sail flow, passage weather, NOAA and every time we could manage to get up early enough, we would tune in the SSB (single side band) to catch the weather guru Chris Parker. Weather windows opened, and then they closed. Anyone that has made a crossing can pretty much agree in my opinion that it’s not the crossing but the waiting that is more nerve wracking. Well, it’s pretty close anyway after sitting here recalling some past crossings we have made. Our buddy boat Klabara is also anxious as this will be their first crossing and time is getting short for them as they must be back in Florida by the end of February to return to Canada. For their sake we hoped it would be soon. Things were coming together, the boat was about as provisioned as it could be without completely losing our waterline, the fuel tanks were full, water topped off and to boot Chris Parker said that Tuesday would be a go for the crossing. Although it would be a short window we would jump on it. The last of items were checked off, lee cloths were attached so we could keep items contained in case it was a rough crossing, V Berth, aka garage, tied down,
meals prepared so all I would have to do is re-heat them, jack lines, harnesses, life vest and ditch bag laid out. It was to be an early morning. Sleep was hard to come by but 2:20 found us way too easy in my opinion. Coffee was prepped and we pulled anchor with a takeoff time of 3:10. Our anchorage was very close to the inlet so we didn’t have far to go in the dark finding our way past the channel markers to get into the ocean. As predicted, the winds had calmed down from the day before and the seas were 3 feet or less. All good in our book….The plan was to go straight east till we hit the Gulf Stream than take a heading of 085 and head for Little Bahama Bank, north of Memory Rock. From that point we headed to Great Sale which would be our anchorage for the night. Travelling in the dark is never fun even with radar; we were happy that we had no issues and were glad to see the light hit the horizon in the morning. We hit the Little Bahama Bank eight and a half hours later glad as usual that it was over although we still had another eight and half to go.
You can see the line of lighter water which indicates you are on the banks
As the light was beginning to fade on the banks it became foggy which is unsettling to travel in but we had to continue on with nowhere to stop.
Our first Bahama sunset on the banks

We could have anchored on the banks but like I had said the weather window was to be a short one and sometime early morning the winds were due to pick up and being anchored on the banks with strong winds is something I don’t want to deal with. Once again our radar was saving our butts and we appreciated it. As we approached Great Sale we saw a few lights emerge out of the fog of other boats anchored. There were only 4 others anchored so we had no trouble finding a place of our own to throw our own anchor out. So seventeen and a half hours after we left West Palm Beach we were anchored in the Bahamas ready to begin another cruising season. A few things were put away and very soon after that sleep was on the agenda. We decided to stay put here in Great Sale until Thursday as the winds are predicted to blow pretty steady all day. On Thursday morning Chris Parker said the winds would still blow but not as bad as the previous day. They were supposed to be15 to 25 out of the north and it’s not the best to travel in but we needed to move on. And move on we did with our sights set at Crab Cay. It was a long day with most of it spent heeling and getting splashed with salt water over the side. What I wouldn’t give for a full cockpit enclosure right now. It was 66 degrees out of the wind and it seemed like a lot less in it. By the time we set the hook it was all I could do to whip up a little bite to eat and haul myself to bed as there was to be more of the same in the morning. Friday we pulled anchor at at about 8:30 with Green Turtle in our sights as we have yet to check into the Bahamas. By lunch we anchored off the government dock and Dirk went into customs to get the paperwork done. I will add what I have found out regarding the length of stay that can be gotten right now. There have been numerous reports of cruisers this year only receiving a 30 day cruising permit at a time. At the end of that time you must go back to customs to request another. It seems like anywhere that every customs office makes its own rules up depending on how they are feeling for the day. Our buddy boat and we both received 90 days so at that time we will request another 90 and continue cruising. We then pulled anchor and headed into White Sound to grab a slip at the Green Turtle Club Marina. After checking in the first thing on the agenda was to grab a nice hot long shower. We will go grab a meal later as the marina special right now is that whatever you eat or drink gets deducted from your slip fee. Sounds good to me but remember, we are in the Bahamas now and it won’t take too long to run that tab up. So now this is the start of our new adventure. Time to quit running every day, take a breath, sit back, relax and enjoy. Just hope the weather decides to be Bahama weather rather than what our friends are experiencing back home right now.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guys...just found your blog through S/V Sandy Dreams and thought I log on...Sven and I are both from Germany, Preetz by Kiel and have been living in New Zealand for a few years now and both of our children are born there...we decided to take some time out and have been sailing around the caribbean for the last year and having lots of fun... maybe we might see you one day on the waters when you are making it to the BVI's.....have a look on our blog if you like and alwyas hoping to catch up with some fellow sailors.....have a great day and a wonderful crossing and great weather for your crossing


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