Back on the cruise
We continued maintenance project while at Old Port Cove Marina, bidding our time for a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream and into the Bahamas.
We really love Old Port Cove. It is truly a first class marina. Nice floating docks, pump out service at each slip. There is a nice restaurant on site, a great boater’s lounge, where we can watch the NFL playoffs, a gym for Jenny, courtesy car to the supermarket.
But we were growing tired of being stuck here in civilization and are really looking forward to getting on and into the beautiful waters of the Bahamas. We completed lots of projects, including some major work on the generator. And the list of projects is getting smaller and smaller.
We really enjoyed spending time with Bob and Mel Taylor off Istaboa, who have a nice condo here in Jupiter. We watched the NE Patriots win their way to the Super Bowl again, at their house. They loaned us their car to do errands.
We were staying on the super yacht dock, and got friendly with a number of the crew on board the super yachts, even met a Kiwi from Rotorua.
We finally got a short weather window and took off to Great Harbour Cay on 23 January. We cleared out with US Customs that day, and departed OPC at about 3:00pm.
The wind was still about 15knots, but forecast to drop over the next few days, as well as the swell.
We headed south from Lake Worth Inlet, hugging the coast to stay out of the strong northerly Gulf Stream.
Heading straight across to Great Harbour would have meant bucking to Gulf Stream for hours. Clarke and Michelle (new friends on Roam) left from Ft Pierce and came across at Lake Worth. They hit the Gulf Stream and were slowed to 4.5knots at 2200 revs.
And so our passage was very nice, with a slight wind chop on the nose, we stayed along the coast until No Ft. Lauderdale. We did have some pretty busy ship traffic off of Ft. Lauderdale, but it was manageable.
I had a really unusual experience, on my midnight watch. We were making an ENE course, the Gulf Stream pushing me toward the north. We were 30 miles or so from the Bahamas, when I kept noticing white flashing lights to the east (toward Bimini). I thought they must be lights from the cays, but the number of lights grew as I got closer. I then spotted solid green lights right next to the flashing white lights. As I neared the eastern side of the Gulf Stream it became obvious that there was a long string of these green and white lights, in a north/south direction, hundreds of them.
I called Jenny up to see this unexplained occurrence – no radar signals, nothing on the charts. We closed on one of the lights and lit it up with the Carlisle and Finch spot light to see it was a buoy of some sort.
I guessed they were an array of fishing markers, long liners I presumed.
The rest of the passage was uneventful for my watch.
Jenny took over at 2:00am as we were nearing the southern light of the Northwest Passage between Grand Bahama Island, and the Berry Islands. She had to make an evasive maneuver for a 100 superyacht who failed to give us right away.
We were happy after about 20 hours to see the beginning of the banks, and to begin our approach to the Berry Islands. By now the winds were light and variable (as predicted) and the seas only 2 foot. At daylight I put out some lures, but no luck.
Finally we made our entry onto the banks, between Stirrup Cay toward Great Harbour Cay.
By 3:00 we were docked stern to at the marina, where we cleared customs and paid for our Bahamas Cruising permit.
Here we finally met in person, Clark and Michelle on Roam, also a Nordhavn 47. We have enjoyed cocktail time with them since arriving. They are super -nice folks, which we find is the rule of Nordhavn owners.
And now the weather has closed back in on us. As predicted another front covers the SE coast of the US, and we have 30-40 knots of winds. We knew this would happen but we are pleased to be back in the Bahamas.
And so life waiting for the next weather window continues. More maintenance jobs, a good boat wash, laundry, a bike ride over to the BATELCO office to get connected.
Today a cute Manatee is spotted floating around the marina.
Life does not suck too bad.