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Date:Wed, 31 Jan 2024 00:09:00 GMT

Checking in


Passage and finally doing what we wanted!

    So, checking in was easy. We motored into the marina called them on 16 and they called immigration and customs for us. Since we had already done click2clear and had paid they just stamped our paperwork and inspected the boat quickly. The marina was great! they do not charge for checking in and they let us stay there and eat lunch. We filled with water and met new friends and old and had a wonderful morning. As we were pulling up to slip 24 Tom and Tenile were there from boot key! They helped us with lines and we had a nice chat. We also met several other new friends who were interested to see the new folks (lol).

    The harbor looks really small on the charts, but when you're in there it's huge and there is a wonderful anchorage, fuel docks and the marina. It was a hangout for the ratpack back in the day and there's even a Rat Cay. So do not be afraid to come in here. It's a narrow cut but the depths are good and there's plenty of room once inside. The marina is great and the facilities are wonderful. We had lunch at their little cafe and though not cheap, the food was excellent! The marina staff was wonderful and very helpful.

    After that we motored back out and anchored out near where we were a few nights ago. As we were anchoring a wonderful couple on JuMa asked us about the anchorage and then after anchoring we invited them over for drinks. They brought coconut and we had wine and cheese and great conversation till just after sunset. It was an amazing sunset with calm clear waters and a little beach and beautiful rocky shores with mangroves. Hannah saw fish under the boat a few jelly fish and of course you could see the anchor in 7 feet of water. The holding is good with sand clams grass and mud.

     About the passage. We left Saturday on a beam reach from Marathon and it was 33 hours direct to Great Harbor. Kokomo said that riding rock was the best way to enter and they were right. So if you draw a line from Marathon to Great harbor in the Berry's you can see our route. The skys were amazing and the winds were great. The water across the Great Bahama bank is 15-20 feet the entire way and a wonderful sail. We made 7-8 knots and it wasn't until just a few miles from Great Harbor that we finally had the winds shift and things turned nasty. We were heading for a little cove on the west side of Great Harbor but we didn't make it. The winds shifted and the rain started and so we dropped the anchor in 20 foot of water with 2 foot waves and 30g35 knots of wind and went below to hide at midnight. Did I mention I don't like coming into new harbors at night?! Anyway all was well but it was miserable. Hannah and Sam were on the bow with a spotlight looking for coral heads and low water. Thankfully the charts were correct and we did not find anything dangerous. Because of the deep water and the strong winds we had to let out 200 of rode before the anchor really dug in and held. But we rode out the storm safely and securely. We were about 1 mile from shore so that if we did drag we had plenty of room. (we didn't)

     Conclusion? Don't do that!!! Instead come in during the day as early as possible. Sail at night. And then have drinks and snacks with good friends at sunset!
Date:Mon, 29 Jan 2024 06:22:00 GMT

Anchor!


We are Anchored outside in a storm

     Well it's 1am and we're anchored about 1 mile from Great Harbor Cay. It was difficult and the holding was not good in 30 knots of wind. We finally got out 200 feet in 13 feet of water and she's holding. We're about .5 miles from the nearest land so if we do drag it's unlikely we will get very near to shore. It took us about an hour to get it right. Anchoring at night in 30 knots of wind is a bit of a chore! But hey this is also about the adventure right? (Actually I'd prefer less adventure and more relaxation!)

     On our approach we took down the sails in 25 knots of wind about 3 miles out and motored slowly with Hannah on the bow with a spotlight. She saw the prettiest blue square fish and mostly just clean sand. We had a broad reach all after noon but as the winds shifted it clocked around to a port tack. We went slow and didn't see any less than 9 feet of water at high tide. 6 feet low tide. The new navionics charts were spot on and my depth sounder was taking tide into consideration and nailing the same thing as the charts. That makes me feel good when the theory and reality line up. Perhaps I should be scared! ha ha. Anyway It rained pretty hard for about 15 minutes as we were trying to anchor so we just dropped the hook and let it play out. At about 80 feet we found the chain was twisted and wouldn't play out so it took us a bit to get out 200 feet.

     I suppose it would have been better to go inside the harbor but I don't want to do a strange small anchorage at night in high wind with unknown holding. Easier to stay outside for the night. The high winds are supposed to settle down tomorrow morning so we will just wait it out here. So far it's a little rolley but not too bad.

     We have two anchor alarms set and we left the chart plotters on to keep a track of the boat movement around the anchor. I'll write more tomorrow about our entire journey so far. It was a really nice sail.
Date:Sun, 28 Jan 2024 16:39:00 GMT

HI from Bahamas!


We made it across the Gulf Stream

    I know we didn't warn everyone but we left Marathon Saturday a little after noon and headed straight line for Riding Rock and are now crossing the Great Bahama Bank heading for the Berry Islands.

    Winds were 140-190 at 12-17 knots. Seas were 3-5 feet and we made 6-= 9 knots the entire way. It was partly cloudy and a little chilly on a starboard beam reach. Now we're in 20 feet of water completely out of sight of land and we can see the bottom. We're still making 5-6 knots on a broad reach and are planning on anchoring tonight.

     We like night sails and arriving during the day and this was a wonderful evening with partly cloudy skies and good winds. Poor Lilah threw up multiple times as we cleared Sombrero Reef and put up the sails.

    We saw dolphins, flying fish multiple Portuguese Man-o-Wars several birds. One of the Man-o-Wars had a small fish in it's tentacles It took us longer to get ready but Hannah was bound and determined that we not leave Marathon until we were well stocked and everything put away. So we originally planned on leaving on Friday, but in the end the winds were better on Saturday anyway.

    I'm not sure when our next post will be as we are not near the internet for a little bit. So We will be posting here from the SSB radio.
Date:Sun, 07 Jan 2024 18:06:00 GMT

Bahamas Preps


It always seems the last minute things take the longest!

    So the last week we have worked on a bunch of little stuff. We got the cat paperwork back from the Bahamas, we got last minute medical stuff done before leaving the country, we have been shopping for our friends in the DR so we can take stuff to them, we fixed the fuel line to the generator, Sam and I have re done all the brightwork, we got a new sun/rain cover made to extend the dodger, we have purchased charts, and planned our trip. We are planning what food to bring and perhaps building a watermaker. We still have not decided whether or not we are signing up for Starlink, and we are working on insurance for the trip. It's all the little details that seem to take the longest, Grace is fine, she's ready to go and is running out patience with our delays... ha ha. We love all our friends here at Marathon and will be sad to leave them but we will be back with stories, scars, and new friends! We're still not sure exactly when we are leaving but we can feel it getting close and we are actively watching for the right weather windows.

    This weekend was the Celtic festival and we've been enjoying it. Yesterday Hannah Volunteered and then in the afternoon/evening we walked around and listened to lots of good music. She's volunteering again this evening. We missed it last year as we arrived just a few days late. There's always so much to do here between happy hour, corn hole, visiting friends, dinners, jam sessions, and helping with other boats that we never quite seem to get done our own tasks. This is a wonderful harbor!
Date:Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:01:00 GMT

Happy New Year


And a new year on the ocean has dawned!

    Hi everyone! Getting everything ready for the new year means doing some things in advance. This is one of them. Setting up everything on the website for the new year.




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