Thursday, December 31, 2009

"It's Better in the Bahamas"

Journal Entry December 26, 2009-12-30

We left No Name Harbour at 1200 midnight and sailed into the darkness. The wind was blowing form the north/west at 10 to 12 knots as we slowly weaved our way through the shoals just outside the anchorage. Our navigating was good and once out in the open we set our sails, set our auto helm, and sat back.

“We’re going to the Bahamas!”, we yelled out at the top of our lungs.

The wind picked up through the night to 20+ from the north, which isn’t recommended (and not what was forecasted I might add) but we had a fairly comfortable ride. Let’s just say, we have been out in a lot worse conditions. It was bumpy but we expected that.

When the sun came up it was interesting to see just how big those waves were...still…not too bad. But, even more interesting was that fact that we could now see Bimini right in front of us. We made it! It only took us four months and 10 days.

I wrote that in my Journal four days ago. We actually sailed right past Bimini and anchored on the Great Bahama Bank that night, which was an experience in itself. It felt very eerie anchoring with no land in sight. In fact the closest land was a good forty miles away. The next day we sailed to Chub Cay (in the Barry Islands) where we spent a couple of days before we headed down to Nassau where we are right now.

Our two days in the Barry Islands were superb and we spent our time there swimming and snorkelling. We even harvested some conch and made cracked conch appetizers for happy hour.

Yup, it’s true what they say, “everything is better in the Bahamas.”


1. A secluded beach in the Berry Islands
2. Marg showing us treasures found while snorkeling

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!

Last night, Christmas Eve, we had a visit from Santa. It was a long trip from the north pole and I think by the time he made it down here he had sampled a little too much egg nog.

All going well we will be sticking to the original plan of crossing the golf stream to the Bahamas late tonight/early tomorrow morning. Pray for good weather and fair winds.


1. Santa and his helper
2. Harley and I enjoying Christmas Breakfast.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting to cross

We left Fort Lauderdale yesterday and had a nice sail down the coast to Miami. It was fascinating to see the hotels lined up, one after the other, all along the shoreline. To me it looked like an architectural competition with each new hotel being bigger and more interesting than the last. From there we sailed into Miami Harbour and we were flabbergasted. Miami is a HUGE city!

Here we sit today, surrounded by beautiful turquoise water, (and lots of other boats) anchored in Key Biscayne Florida waiting for a weather window to cross over to the Bahamas. We were listening to Chris Parker (our weather guru) on the SSB radio this morning and it is looking like we might have a narrow window if we leave Christmas night.

Ideally we would like a three day window since we need one day to travel to Bimini, one day on the Bahama Banks, and the following day to get to Nassau. Now with this narrow window we will probably bypass Bimini, stop on the banks for a few hours then continue as far as Chub Cay to clear customs.

Whatever the case we plan to stay safe and have fun. So….to anyone who reads this, and even those who don’t, Harley and I would like to send a heart felt Merry Christmas greeting to you all. May your holiday bring everything you hope for and more.


Key Biscayne with Miami in the background

Friday, December 18, 2009

Held up in Fort Lauderdale

Nasty weather has prevented us from leaving Fort Lauderdale but we're o.k. with that. We have found a nice protected anchorage (surrounded by multimillion dollar homes and mega yachts) to hold up in and we feel safe and sound.

It poured in rain today but it is still nice and warm so, like true cruisers, we grabbed a bar of soap and shampoo and took our showers on deck. It seemed like a good idea at the time but after I wondered what our millionaire neighbors thought of that.......There goes the neighborhood!


1. I couldn't download the video of the "Dolphin Encounter" but was able to capture this frame.
2. One of many beautiful homes here in Fort Lauderdale

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dolphin Encounter

We sailed from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale today but before we did Harley and I took a little trip down memory lane. West Palm Beach is where we spent our honeymoon almost 30 years ago and it was very cool to be back.

"This is where we turtled the Hobie Cat", I said.

"There's the marina we stayed at."' commented Harley.

"Remember going under this bridge in the Tartan when we went out for a night sail?", I recalled.

It was a perfect day. The sun was shining bright, the sea was gentle, and the breeze was lovely and warm, but the highlight for sure was an awsome dolphin encounter. When I get a better internet connection I will download the video.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Velcro Beach

After seven days, a lot of shopping, and many no-see-um bites we ripped ourselves away from Velcro, I mean Vero Beach. The rental car was returned by 10:00 after a quick trip to the beach just to say we saw it. We plan to only travel fifteen miles to Fort Pierce today. Perhaps we will head offshore from there. We’ll see.

Oh, and by the way, it’s hot, hot, hot, here.

1. Vero Beach mooring field at dawn today
2. Vero Beach

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Hoping to learn from the experience of others when we started planning this trip 4 years ago, we talked to many people who have already done this……however, nothing prepared us for the daunting task of provisioning for the Bahamas.

Yes, we were warned that we would need to bring as much food as we possibly could for the four to five months we will be away. The towns are spread far apart in the southern Bahamas and we could go weeks between provisioning stops. Also, we were told what stores we do come across will have little to choose from and be very expensive. But planning, preparing lockers, and organizing what little space we have on board was totally exhausting. Then trying to decide what we need, making lists, shopping, and stowing drained us of what little energy we had left. If we don’t have everything we need now that’s just too flipp’n bad.

Believe it or not, we bought enough food and paper products to fill four large grocery carts. Even more surprising is the fact that we were able to fit it all on the boat. The biggest challenge was making sure everything was sealed tightly as moisture is a big problem on any boat. It’s a good thing that they make zip lock bags in all sizes. With how many I have bought, I now feel I should own stocks in the company.

Well, it's all done now and are now ready to start heading south and eventually (hopefully before Christmas) head over to the Bahamas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vero |Beach

They call Vero Beach, "Velcro Beach" because they say once you arrive you don’t want to leave.

It appears that there is an imaginary line that crosses Florida and once you are south of it the weather improves dramatically. Seemingly, Vero Beach is south of this line, which could be why nobody wants to leave. It feels so good to have the weather we’ve travelled so far to get to.

Our jaunt down from Daytona was pretty much uneventful. We anchored in Titusville (near Cape Canaveral) for a night, which was nothing special but it didn’t matter as we were not planning on staying anyway. We arrived in Vero today at 4:30 and I think we might just stay for a day or two. Why should we be different?


Seems like some people have found paradise on the I.C.W.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

St. Augustine to Daytona

St. Augustine is a place, in my opinion, that everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime. Being a town rich in history, it has it's own special charm, and there is so much to do and see. For me, I wish I had gone on a guided tour but, never mind, it was cool just to walk through and imagine what it must have been like in days gone by.

Today we left St. Augustine and made the 53 mile trip to Daytona along the I.C.W. We knew when we left that we would be arriving in the dark (since we didn't leave until 11:00am) but we decided to go for it anyway. I have to say, arriving in an unfamiliar anchorage in the dark is not something I would recommend, however, here we are and all is well.

Pictured above:
1. Scenery along I.C.W.
2. Flipper giving us the hairy eyeball.
3. Arriving at dusk...two more bridges to go.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Picture perfect.

With the sun setting and dolphins jumping in our bow we arrived in St. Augustine, Florida. It was picture perfect.

Woke up yesterday to a bright day and the sun seemed to warm us from the inside out. Now that's more like it. We plan on spending a few days here as there is so much to see and do.

Pictured above:
1. Arriving in St. Augustine at sunset.
2. St. Augustine City Hall