Howdy again folks.
Now back from an Exuma trip and this is a short report:
Left Ft. Lauderdale around noonish and motored into a South 15 knot
breeze to NoName harbour in Key Biscayne.
Had a knot
or so current
on the nose so the going was rather slow.
6 hours to get there and put the hook down...Just in time for sundowners and early din-din.
Next day the weather
was resonable, but not perfect for the Gulfstream crossing: SE at 10 to 15...Beating into it once again and motorsailing...From hook up to hook down took about 12 hours, seas 3 to 5...Kind of choppy, but sometimes one have to break eggs to make omelette.
was the same for the next 5 days, so we just got it over with and crossed sooner than later.
(Have seen the Gulf stream
flat as a mirror during previous crossings in June.)
Anchored of the West beach of Bimini
and went in to Weeches Marina next day at high tide to check in.
Supposedly the entrance to Bimini
were dredged last year, but saw no indication of it....Mesaured 6.5 feet of depth
at high tide 50' of Sands Marina...No markers to indicate the "new" channel.
Coming out the next day also at high tide I went further West and mesured 7.2 feet 200' off Sands Marina.
Would have been aground at low tide for sure.
Tried to "read" the water
and poke around to find deeper water
, but can only conclude that the drifting sand bores has closed up the dredged channel and that things are back to where they have always been.
(If anybody has knowledge of deeper water from a recent Bimini trip, pls let me know where and how.)
The custom office in North Bimini has moved again, back to the old location in the pink building.
After we left Bimini Harbor, anchored again off the West beach and waited for a change in wind/waves to cross the bank.
Got a lucky break and crossed next day in SE 5 to 10, seas 2 to 3.
The CPT II Autopilot
worked good and the wife was happy.
Being a rather slow boat
we did not cross the banks in one day, but anchored 10 miles before the Northwest Channel marker.
Next day to Chub Cay and a quick trip to the fuel dock
to top of the tank....29 gallons for an average consumption
of 0.65 gallons per hour...The diesel price
in Chub is currently $2.75 per gallon.
(Gasoline is around $4.50 per gallon.....Ouch.)
Spent the night in the anchorage and produced a perfect rum-punch in the galley
that tasted really good as the sun went down.
Next day more motorsailing into more 5 to 10 and more 3 to 5.
A good 8 hours to "Bottom Harbor" just south of Rose Island.
Did an oil
and filter change there before I popped the first beer
of the day.
Next day MORE motorsailing into the same 5/10-3/5...Crossed the yellow banks with the coral
heads and headed straight for Hawksbill Cay in the Exumas
Nice day and even nicer as the anchor
came down at 4PM and old friends dinghied over to greet us with drinks and sailing stories.
Hawksbill is in our opinion one of the most beatiful islands in the Bahamas
...The softest beaches, the clearest water, AND off the beaten path so not many boats stop in there.
No bugs and protected anchoraqe from the prevailing weater.
(Ya guessed it: 5/10-3/5....
To be continued............