Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Across the Gulf Stream to Bimini, Bahamas

We had a comfortable 10 hr. motor-sail across the Gulf Stream and over to Bimini. The seas were very tame J  and the winds were light (5 – 10 knots). We tried a couple of times to cut the motor, but our speed dropped too much ….  the Gulf Stream current runs at 2-3 knots and it can push you too far north if you’re going too slow. It would have been great to have had a bit more wind, but then the seas would likely have been higher too. As it was, it was a very comfortable crossing; we didn’t even heel!

We caught sight of a few cruise ships and freighters. With our radar, we were able to follow their tracks (and know we weren’t on a collision course with any of them); but most were very well lit and easy to track visually.

We never tire of seeing the sunrise …. always gorgeous.

As we were nearing the edge of the Bahama banks, Gil decided to try his luck at fishing, and caught a big one – a barracuda! Do they have teeth! From the photo, you can see that something even bigger was after him – he had open wounds on both sides. Barracuda are not good eating fish, so we chose to return him to the sea. It took some effort to free the lure, and some pain as well, as he managed to sink those teeth into a couple of Gil’s fingers – big ouch.

We had left No Name Harbour in Miami shortly after midnight. Our friends on Vita (Rob & Serena) also left Miami (but from an anchorage at Government Cut) at about the same time. We arrived together in Bimini, rendezvousing in Nixon’s Harbour anchorage south of Bimini. There, we waited until high slack water, just before noon, to enter the cut between North and South Bimini, and took dockage at Brown’s Marina.

During this last little leg of our passage, we saw flying fish. I never knew that they actually do “fly!” I always thought that they just leaped very high out of the water; but they actually fly low over the water  … their fins are like hummingbird’s wings, just a whirring  …. it was an awesome sight. The waters around Brown’s Marina were also teaming with fish. From their docks, we saw tarpon, needle nose fish (I don’t know their real name), a nurse shark (no kidding), and several other colorful fish.

We cleared through Customs, and Immigration, and raised out Bahamian courtesy flag.

Alice Town in North Bimini had a Bahamas Telecommunications Corp. office, so we were also able to get a sim card for our iphone and prepaid data cards J

It was a very productive day. Though we were all rather tuckered, Rob & Serena and Gil & I, went to CJ’s on the ocean side for beer and burgers, and a chance to catch up with each other, before returning to our boats and turning out the lights.

We didn't sleep much. Those strong northerlies that were forecast came in. The wind howled and the seas raged. Though we were at a dock and secure, we rocked and rolled and pitched and poled. Ugh. It was way more comfortable crossing the Gulf Stream, than it was at dock in Bimini! My body didn't take too kindly to the motion. I spent Tuesday in Sick Bay. I'm still not 100% yet as I post this, but the wind will blow over, and all shall settle down in time. Tomorrow should be a better day.


A good sign...


  1. Congrats on one of the first really big crossings!!!!Such beautiful coloured water isnt it?

  2. Glad you got across OK...keep up the good work and stay safe and dry :) :)
    Just read that you lost your trailer...did you lose your winter clothing as well or did the kids have room for everything.
    Been really cold up here hitting -40 a few times...warmer weather coming this weekend...but they are now calling for rain....did you guys ever pick a good year to sail south.
    Took a part time job at the hospital...doing about 8 shifts a month - just enough to get out a bit....planing on a trip to Rotan come March....looking forward to sun and sand.
    take care