Weather controls all our decisions
here. Unfortunately, long periods of relatively calm days are
far between from October to March.
Periods of time when it is both
safe and comfortable
to cross to the
Bahamas are known as "Good
Weather Windows". We checked our weather apps
as weather controlled
our decision of when to
cross the Gulf Stream. It looked like we should
have a good day to cross and we were thankful that it was a good smooth crossing.
Our decision to cross was because of a good weather window and because
to cross also!
Chris and Amy
on Imagine This have been to the Bahamas several times
Ned Peppers and us
liked the idea of going with
someone who has experience in the Bahamas!
The morning greeted us with a light breeze and partly cloudy skies. It was a beautiful 72
we pulled lines, at sunrise, to begin our travel from Ft. Lauderdale to West End
located in the northwest part of the Bahamas.
Our speed picked up from 8.3 to 9.8 knots as we entered the Gulf Stream in the
We had 2-4 foot waves which calmed down nicely as the day went on.
Who should go to the Bahamas? That is an easy question. Everyone! The warm climate,
friendly people and hardly any bugs ensure that you will have a great
here in this collection of islands
referred to as "The Bahamas". The only place in
US that even comes close to
the Bahamas has available
is the Florida Keys.
The Florida Keys and the Bahamas are surrounded by warm water.
The Gulf Stream rarely gets
below 75 degrees and the rest of the Atlantic surrounding
the Bahamas rarely gets below 70 degrees.
A small piece of land surrounded by 70
degree water just doesn't get cold in the winter even when a cold
front comes through.
The Bahamas were discovered in 1492 by none other than Christopher Columbus! He
at the southeast edge of the Great Bahama Bank. While Columbus may have
"discovered" the Bahamas, it was already inhabited by a race of people called the Lucayans.
It did not
take the Spanish long to kill off and enslave all Lucayans. The slaves were mostly
Cuba where they were worked to death and by 1600 there were no Lucayans left.
On the map below: Seen from the top, the Bahamas most closely resembles a flat plate
8-10 feet of water. Around the edges of this plate are islands. The light gray
shaded areas of
the Little Bahama Bank and the Great Bahama Bank are generally
less than 10 feet deep.
Dotted around the shallow banks are islands, shown in dark gray.
Surrounded on all sides
is the ocean with water thousands of feet deep.
After seven and half hours of crossing we arrived at our destination, Old Bahama Bay Marina, West End.
We plan to spent our time in the Little Bahama Bank area (Northern Bahamas also known as the Abaco).
From West End we traveled around and to an area below where Marsh Harbor is marked on the
back up to Marsh Harbor. Our plan is to eventually make our way back to
West End again to be in position
to cross back to the states when there is a good weather window.
We put our yellow quarantine flag up
The first thing we had to do upon arrival at a marina in Bahamas was to clear customs.
After clearing customs we took the yellow quarantine flag down and put our Bahamian flag up.
It is customary for visiting boats to fly the flag of the county you are visiting, as a courtesy,
as well as our own US flag. Clearing customs took about 45 minutes, which was about 40 minutes
to clear customs when we entered Canada. Finally we got into our slip!
We were in the Bahamas and we were happy to be here! We were thankful that we had a good
smooth crossing! Our Canadian friends, who were required to leave the US after six months
in the states,
got to the Bahamas with just four days to spare! They were thankful to be here too!
Below: Chris and Amy on Imagine This, Mike and Tammi on Ned Pepper and Bruce and Bev on Seaquest.
The following day we went to an anchorage at Great Sale Cay. Cay is always pronounced Key.
Below: Bruce is grilling our supper on the flybridge. After supper we took our dinghies to
This and had Key Lime Pie that Amy made! What a treat that was!
The sunset at the anchorage was beautiful!
We woke up the next morning to the sound of rain on the bow of the boat! Rain!
We hadn't thought about "rain" for some time! It was 74 degrees and raining! It didn't last
long at all, in no time the sun came out and dried the rain off of the boat.
We had a calm, peaceful night at anchor, with good holding. The next morning the anchor came up
and our fleet of three boats made our way to Leeward Yacht Club Marina, on Green Turtle Cay.
In the Abacos water is available but metered at all marinas and runs from $0.25/gal
We get a lot of salt sprayed on the boat while traveling so when
we get to a marina we like to wash the
salt off of the boat.
We will really appreciate FREE water when we get back to the states! Almost all food and supplies
in the Bahamas
costs more than in the states so we stocked up as much as possible before we came.
Eating out is always an option.
However, eating out in the Bahamas can be very expensive and at
times the food is not cooked the way we
are accustomed to. It all adds to the experience! lol
From Great Sale Cay we
went to Lee Ward Yacht Club on Green Turtle Cay.
I was surprised that "Sale" in (Great Sale Cay) wasn't spelled "Sail". lol
From Green Turtle Cay we went to Orchard Bay Marina on Great Guana Cay.
From Great Guana Cay we went on to Treasure Cay Resort and
our bikes around the island. Vehicles drive on the left side
of the road on the Islands so we had to keep that in mind! Most streets are so narrow
seems to be golf carts or very small cars!
We met up with Steve and Debbie on Gypsies Palace at Treasure Cay.
One afternoon we took our dinghies out to explore the area.
During the evening while we were at Treasure Cay, the electricity went off. It didn't take
because the AC in the
boat stopped working! In the morning we
found out that the
entire island was with
out power! As we left the island that next morning
we thought it
too bad for the people still at Treasure Cay to be without electricity,
were happy we
leaving that island for our next destination, Man-O-War Cay.
When we arrived at Man-O-War
Cay we found out that when you pay for one night you
free so the decision to stay two
nights was an easy one! Also, we were
happy to hear
there was a festival in town
on Saturday! How fun is that!
The ferries brought loads and loads of people to the island for the festival!
It wasn't long after we arrived on Man-O-War Cay the electricity went out there! It was then
out that several
of the islands were without power and that the islands were sharing
power by rotating turns.
are without power
for 4 hours and then have it for 2 hours.
We never did hear why the islands were without electricity but the
shared the power for several days. We hear this happen often.
In the photo below:
notice the cat sitting on the scarves that are available for purchase in the marina store.
It is almost eerie how clear the water is! We easily can see fish, stingrays,
right next to
our boat while docked at the marina!
It wasn't exactly "JAWS" but still it was right next to our boat!
Albury's Sail Shop is a family-owned business that has been operating for three
Man-O-War Cay. The sail shop is well-known for its colorful fashionable
items that are all made from
a sturdy canvas fabric,
traditionally used for sails.
Items are only available from the store on the island, they are not available on-line. lol
The shop was small but loaded with handmade bags of all colors, shapes and sizes.
The ladies were sewing
bags in the same
room where all the bags were displayed and sold.
Our fleet of three
made our way to Hope Town Marina. Enroute we passed over
an area where our
depth finder suddenly showed the water to be 20+ feet deep.
This was very unusual. The water is a deep blue in this area.
We arrived at Hope Town Marina!
Can you see what the sign, on the cottage below, says?
It means: Too good to be true. lol
The streets are narrow and they drive on the "wrong" side of the road! ha.
Below: The Hope Town Clinic.
We played Bingo at Captain Jacks!
It was unique how they used bottle caps for the Bingo cards and instead of calling the
the letters B I N G O, the numbers were called under the letters J A C K S.
We didn't win! lol
It rained a little during the night.
The next morning Bruce tilted the dinghy to allow the rainwater
to drain out
the plug and look who showed up to get a drink of fresh water!
It is funny how the Manatee positions his self so that the fresh water
drips right into his/her mouth.
Our journey continued to Marsh Harbour. Marsh Harbour, with a population of about 6000, is
town in the Abaco, and it is the third-largest town in the Bahamas, exceeded in
size only by Nassau and Freeport. There is an international airport in Marsh Harbor. We
are looking forward to our son, Derek, flying in to the Marsh Harbor Airport this week!
It was fun to run into fellow loopers Steve and Debbie on Gypsies Palace, here in Marsh Harbor.
We plan to stay in Marsh Harbor for 1-2 weeks. We eventually plan to make our way back
to West End to get in position to cross back to the states, when there is a good weather window.