Thursday, March 19, 2015

Miami to West End Bahamas

...Radeen raises the Bahamas flag...
As we have said many times before, the hardest part of any cruising adventure is leaving, simply departing the safety of your home port or your current harbour. It is far easier to stay at one location rather than to make yourself move on. First of all, you are never fully ready as there is always one more item to find, more provisions to buy, and always something on the boat not working that needs to be fixed. After watching the forecast for days, an urgency factor comes into play when a weather window starts to open. On this preparation for our 4th trip to the Bahamas, it seemed as if this vortex was even stronger. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that we were based at Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Biscayne Bay, Miami, which is simply wonderful. It is also always hard to say good-bye to friends old and new, so we had one more IP Party on the Porch with IP380 Tamarak, IP38 Oceana, IP27 Time Goes By and IP380 Shawnee. Due to all this, we had a hard time leaving, but....we left and made West End, Bahamas, about a week and a half after our original planned departure.

The blue water as we come up on soundings, West End
WOW are we glad we did! We had vivid memories of the beautiful dark blue waters of the Gulf Stream and that incredible aqua blue water coming up on soundings arriving West End Bahamas, but it now seems even better than we remembered. I have taken photos of the water off the stern, the beam, the bow, the horizon and nothing presents the true blue of this water. You must sail it and see it for yourself, it is so special and so beautiful.

After check-in, Radeen hits the pool
Checking in at West End was fast and convenient. Dockage at Old Bahama Bay is discounted 20% for members of the Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht club. We decided to stay two nights so we could enjoy the wonderful pool, Radeen loves to swim, so we stayed one entire day and walked the beach, rode bikes and swam in the pool. After the 91 mile, 13.5 hour passage, it was a very fun day!

Our Bahamas BTC cell phone lit up and started working when we were 8 miles offshore. It really pays to NOT have to go to a BTC Bahamas store. We always buy our sim chip BEFORE we leave USA from www.MrSimCard.com who provides outstanding service and value. The sim card was shipped to us in 24 hours, and was activated on the BTC network two days before our trip. Once in sight of a BTC tower, we simply turned on the phone and were on the network. We use a Samsung Global Phone, GSM quadband, and it has served us well. Welcome to da Bajammas, Mon....you are going to like it here...

Here are some photos Miami to West End.
The boat at CGSC loaded to the max, down on her waterline

After working up the mast for hours on the Radar, I broke the new belt and hit the bitters!
Judith and Haakon's gift from Scandinavia.

The helm electronics. Raymarine RL70C Chart/Radar w/Samsung tab2 and Navionics

CRAZY, my broken Radar WORKED as we left Cape Florida in the dark
Thank you....it is still working. 

Our Laptop screen with AIS on OpenCPN charting software.
We are the red symbol, the line is our intended course and the green symbols are other vessels.

Helm view at night, Radeen checking Passage Weather as we depart.
We use red lights, which don't ruin our night time vision.

Sunrise as we head 065 for West End, Bahamas

Sunrise Hayden and the calm sea

Motor sailing with full main full jib, doing 9 knots in the Gulf Stream.

Full speed motor sail as ten knots of wind is not enough in the ocean

Radeen loves life on the boat

Half way there, SOG 7.5 as the Stream slows down

The blue water over the stern....and the engine on

Becalmed and zero winds, glad we have a new motor

The blue ocean water

Approaching West End, Bahamas

I shot this same photo 4 years ago, Radeen is so happy
See this:
http://islandspirit35.blogspot.com/2012/03/arriving-bahamas-2012.html
The pool at West End Bahamas, Old Bahama Bay Marina
Let this review tour begin now as we return to our favorite places in the Abacos. We are excited to chase down our Island Packet Fleet that left a week before us. We plan to gather Saturday at the Jib Room for Steak Night, no better place! Thanks for sailing along.

2 comments:

Greg Kerlin said...

Love that deep ocean blue. Nothing like it.

Enjoy the Bahamas Mon.

Roger Family Sailing Adventures said...

Beautiful! Love the Bahamas. I'd kill for a conch salad! You can get one just down the road!