After two frustrating, patient-testing weeks, we are in the Bahamas! We left our anchorage in Key Biscayne at 4:30 am yesterday. Waiting and delaying paid off. The winds and waters for our trip over were good, and we were lucky to dodge the many squalls that were in sight all around us as we crossed. A pretty sunrise greeted us in the gulf stream.
The day was mostly cloudy, but as we approached Bimini, the sun came out to welcome us!
We traveled through waters that were 2,600 feet deep! That’s approximately half a mile, and some of the deepest water we’ll travel in over the next few years. And, I watched NBC tv , clear as a bell,all the way to the channel!
It wasn’t dead calm, and with the possibility of having to pass through a squall line, we put the paravanes out as a proactive measure. Here’s what I’ve learned about the paravanes: they are great at keeping our roll down when we’re in bigger seas that I’m not comfortable with. However, to put them out or bring them in, you have to bring the boat to idle speed. So now your “in neutral” in the same waters that made you want to use the paravanes! It’s a race for Scott to get them in as fast as he can, while we roll and flop.
We always try to put them out before conditions get too bad, and ideally we pull them in when we’re already in a harbor, or when the waters have already calmed. That’s not always possible though. We need a certain amount of water depth to put them in or out, and sometimes there is too much boat traffic in a harbor or an entrance channel is too narrow. Overall though, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I’m so glad that we have them!
So back to yesterday. We put the paravanes out ahead of wind and squalls. The squalls missed us, but because they were in the area the winds and water picked up (winds also tend to pick up in the afternoon). We were rolling pretty good, and glad that we had the paravanes out, but the options for pulling them in were low. The harbor in Bimini had the room, but not the depth. So I had to do my best to keep the boat into the waves (to avoid flop and roll) while Scott brought the birds in. As the wind and waves pushed us sideways, I had to put the boat in gear and “goose” the gas.
Once that was done, we entered the channel while the current came out and the winds blew in. When the two oppose each other, it creates a washing machine effect. So we had to work a bit to get to the finish line, but it was worth it!
Scott put a line in the water as we traveled, hoping to catch us some dinner. He had me on watch, so he could keep an eye on the line, and be able to hear it if something caught. I went to see how things were going, and here’s what I found…
Seriously?!? This is fishing? Now I realize that Howard is an avid fisherman..
No luck yesterday, which is good for me, since I’m the one who has to clean and fillet it (still have to learn that)!
After tying up in our slip at Brown’s Marina, we unloaded our bikes and peddled to immigration, followed by customs. They both went off without a hitch, and we now have a 60 day permit for the Bahamas. After that, we headed to Batelco (Bahamas Telephone Company) to get a sim card for my phone, so we could use it for internet data. Turns out, can’t use my phone, so we bought a cheap one and put data on it. We can use this one now, as we travel to other countries.
Lastly, we went to the liquor store. There is a brand of rum here that you cannot get in the states, and Scott loves it. He bought two cases. Leaving only one bottle in stock between two stores; it took two trips on the bike. He purchased containers to bring with us, to act as rum tanks. They hold eleven bottles worth, needing far less storage! Now he’s set for his stay here. After that, back to mango rum withdrawal.
At our second stop for rum, I noticed a bottle opener tied to the checkout counter. The man in front of us bought two single bottles of beer, paid for them, opened them at the counter and headed out the door. As Scott was checking out, I decided that I too would like to take a single beer with me. I walked toward the refrigerated cases, but the woman behind the counter called out to me to get one out of the freezer. Freezer?! It was the size of a mini van, and full of beer. God bless her! My teeth hurt it was so cold! I was so happy, that I went back this morning, to get another before we left…and to get some pictures!
We gave Howard a chance to stretch his legs. He was anxious to get off the boat, once he realized that there was a pier next to us. I think he was eyeballing the boat next to us, and planning a boarding. He is now restricted to supervised outings with a leash, after his escape onto the 3 million dollar boat
By this time, we were starved. Big John’s was right next to our marina, so we walked over. Our dinner was terrific! Scott had grilled lobster sandwich, and I had fried snapper. Delicious!
We woke up to a beautiful Bimini sunrise.Today we’ll continue east, toward the Berry Islands.
Internet is great here, as we’re right ear a Batelco tower. I’ll post as I can, when I can get a good signal. A few photos
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”