May 31st The Great Bahama Bank

We departed at sparrows fart (5am) to cross “The Great Bahama Bank”, this is a significant area of sea which is a shallow tableland of water. It extends 75 nautical miles at its widest point, and 180 nautical miles from North to South. The majority of the water is 5 to 6 metres deep but there are numerous sandbars that are always changing. The nature of the bank makes accurate charting impossible so careful attention is needed when crossing. Whichever route you take there are 60 nautical miles to get across, plus the 15 miles from the anchorage to the North West entrance to the bank, which for a slow boat like us means it is unachievable to make the whole passage in daylight. Hence the zero dark thirty departure, so as to arrive at South Bimini in daylight.

I was grateful that we had good weather for the crossing as making that passage in any decent amount of wind would have been unpleasant.

Of course the boys trawled lures and they were rewarded with a very nice Wahu. Brad being the CFO, (Chief Fishing Officer) has a double title coz that also stands for Chief Filleting Officer. This is a job Robbie is always keen to get out of so poor Brad copped it again. It was a big fish and we ended up with 8 bags of fish. Kristie and I cranked up the Vacuum Pack machine and soon had it all bagged, sealed and in the freezer.

We were all amazed at the cloud formations, the whole way across we saw varied cloud patterns, thunder storms, rain and beautiful rainbows. I guess the shallow water and the heat produce these clouds continuously. Brad and Kristie have downloaded a 500 card game app on their phones, and they passed the time playing 500. The last few games we have played they have kicked our butts.

A few boats passed us during the crossing, one other motor boat called “Ziggy” who called us up and is a Nordhavn fan and had quite a chat with Robbie. We had intended to go to Gun Cut Cay but he suggested we go to South Bimini where he was heading, which we did. Ziggy was towing a sports fishing boat behind him, this is a very common sight in the Bahamas.

We arrived at 5.30pm and anchored near Ziggy on the South Eastern end of the island. It was very pretty but a bit roly. At 6.30pm Robbie spoke to Ziggy on the radio and they had checked out the other side of the island and it was very flat and calm so we both moved around.

It was much calmer and a very nice long sandy beach with a few houses dotted here and there. Robbie dived on the anchor to check it and came back up with a very nice large shell, like a conch but different. We had a pleasant evening with Mahi Mahi and chips for dinner and watched the Italian Job.

Tomorrow is our last day in paradise, before we head to Fort Lauderdale Bahia Mar marina on the 2nd.


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