Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Great Bahama Bank

While we were in Bimini, we were able to catch up with boats we had last seen in Marathon as well as meet new friends.  Our original plan was to stop at Frazier’s Hog Cay in the Berry Islands, but with forecasted winds we decided to head across the banks straight to Nassau – about 125 miles.  At 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, the Bimini Big Game Marina had four sailboats on their docks – by 10:05, they had 0.

Crossing the Great Bahama Bank was amazing.  I could see the bottom in 45 feet of water, and in 20 feet of water you could still see sand ripples, starfish and coral heads.  After a couple hours of going, we were settled into a groove and moving right along.  Baxter thought this would probably be a good time to see if there was a clog in the bilge exhaust tubing.  Out came everything from the lazarette and pretty soon all I could see were his toes as he was buried deep in the hull. He made progress on diagnosing the issue and by night everything was back in order and we watched a beautiful sunset and moonrise across the banks. 

During long passages, Baxter and I take turns at watch while the other takes a short cat nap in the cockpit.   We stay in the cockpit just so we can be accessible in case the other one needs us.  Kala also is always in the cockpit, but she stands every watch, without any breaks.  She keeps us company and is diligent in her duty. 

We pulled into Nassau after requesting permission from the Harbor Control and being asked to standby while Carnival Cruise Line’s Disney Dream pulled into port.  We followed behind and made our way to Nassau Harbor Club.  We would have preferred to anchor, but the holding in Nassau is reportedly poor and with strong winds coming, we were interested in something more secure.  We weren’t here long before our friends from Marathon on Gratitude pulled in a slip.  It was great to see them again as they were our original “buddy boat” but had to stay behind in Miami to repair chain plates (something that you do not want to happen after you leave the states.)

We will be in Nassau for a few days and then heading down the Exumas.  There are surf sports we’ve heard about and beaches for Kala to run and chase birds all day.  We are excited about the adventures to come and the friends we will be sharing them with.

Our slip at Bimini Big Game Marina

Spotting the route through the shallow depths

Baxter looking for star fish

One of the star fish in about 15 feet of water
Zing went the fishing line...5 minutes later - fresh kelp!
Just a little maintenance while we're underway.

The ships and harbor on our chart plotter as we pulled into Nassau (Disney Dream on left)

Disney Dream

Pullling into Nassau at sunrise (Atlantis hotel in shadows)

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