Friday, February 3, 2017

Miami Prep Depart Super Sunday

...ahh Anchored off Virginia Key....
We have reached the launch pad and we are planning on motoring out of the USA on Super Bowl Sunday to Bimini Sands Marina on South Bimini. We will dock around 4-6 pm and then clear into the Bahamas on Monday morning. The winds are calm, the waves are to be 3-4 feet and we will need to motor into a 5 - 10 knot head wind as it looks. Then Monday we plan to see if we can depart or if we need to wait one day and then move on. The next leg we will run overnight as there are no real stopping spots.

Leg 2 will be a 100 nm run from Bimini to West Bay on the island of New Providence. We have no plans to go to Nassau. Then on Wed it is flat calm, so we will run the last day for a 50 nm leg to reach the Exumas which are 200 nm East of Miami. Once we reach there, the courses are now south and with NE and E winds, we can actually sail as we push south. On Saturday, Feb 11, a major front is predicted to arrive with winds at 30 to 35 knots from the North. We will need to figure out a place to be safe with that front. That is why we have a 55 lb ROCNA anchor and all chain. It has always held our boat securely on anchor.

Here is a map of the plan...
Our plan to go: Miami to Bimini to West Bay to Exumas ASAP

One more rigging piece:
"The Freddie", a stay sail Barber Hauler! Works Great!
We have worked entirely too hard on Island Spirit this year. It has been nearly 3 months of refit and work, far more than we expected. We got ourselves into an endless void of thinking that we will be out of the USA for 4-5 years, and that set off a panic as to refitting nearly everything on Island Spirit. Maybe we went overboard, maybe we did not do enough. The bottom line is, we did what we did and now we are leaving. Whatever breaks or does not work, we will fix or deal with along the way.

Reviewing how to get there on our new B & G
Our plan now is to push to the Exumas and return to exploring the most beautiful place on earth. Next, we will move beyond the Bahamas and get this boat into the Caribbean Sea. There we will rediscover many of the places we have visited on friends' boats and on charter boats. This time it should be even better on our own boat and on our own schedule. We plan to base the boat there for the next 4-5 years! Let cruising year #6 finally begin on Super Bowl Sunday....go ATLANTA, we have had enough of New England!  :-)

Here are some photos of the week

Of course, a rental car to Costco, load up!

Chaos of driving I-95....NUTS

Coco Walk Starbucks, we love this place

Testing new B&G NAV gear and Autopilot

4 diesel jugs, two to port, two to starboard
Radeen making great meals on Island Spirit, This is Mediterranean Chicken.



We met new I 32 Wingward owner, Alex, with his captain Allen for lunch at Lokal.
Thank you, Alex, for a great lunch and a fun visit! Good luck with your boat!
L to R: Hayden, Radeen, Capt Allen and IP owner, Alex 
We always tune the standing rigging before we hit the ocean



Radeen had to buy a new mixing elbow to have on board for change out in the Caribbean.
Ours is 2.5 years old.

Sailing Biscayne Bay, about 20 Melges racers on a practice leg

NOW, FOR THE WEATHER JUNKIES....

The situation is this. The Exumas are 200 nm EAST of Miami. The Gulf Stream, 5-8 miles off Miami, flows north at 3 knots. Any wind from the NORTH kicks up the stream into 6-10 foot waves. So sailors wait until the winds die down or until go any direction without a northerly component. We have that coming Super Bowl Sunday so we will take it. Sadly the wind is from the EAST and we need to push east 50 NM to reach Bimini. Then Wed it goes flat calm, so we may wait a day and leave Tuesday running overnight into Wed to reach the next island of New Providence. There we anchor at West Bay. Then it is one more 50 nm day to Exumas. At that point, we can run south. So here are the winds and waves for a few of these days....Study up.

WAVES....
This shows 1-2 meter waves off Miami

Wed we will be on the banks, it shows 0-0.5 meter waves


Sat, the winds are driving wave of 1-2 meters from the north


WINDS.....
Sunday, winds are to be 5-10 from the east


Wed it shows 10 knot winds from the S


OH NO!!!! As soon as we reach Exumas, it looks like we need to deal with this 20-25-30 knot north winds. Oh well, so it is....Get a BIG, BIG anchor!
Sat this is showing 20-30 knot North Winds!!!

These GRIB files from from the web site
www.PassageWeather.com

Sunset off Virginia Key looking back at the Coconut Grove skyline

Tomorrow, Saturday, we will go to South Beach and take in one last WALLCAST concert along with IP 380 Plan Sea, Jim and Loretta, and IP380 Tamarak, Bill and Cynthia and Jim of Crealock 34 NEVERLAND. This will be our send off night!

2 comments:

Reuben said...

I really like the chart display on your new ZEUS MFD. What Nav program are you using?

Its really exciting to know that after all the work (and I think it was smart to do) that you are finally casting off to do something the rest of us only dream about. I look forward to traveling with you vicariously as I read your blogs and look at your pictures.

Bon Voyage!!

T Knox said...

To sum up : you have prepared your boat in a seamanlike fashion and you sail into the unknown.That is THE definition of "prudent mariner".Tracy and I look forward to seeing Island Spirit at a Caribbean anchorage in the near future .The chicken dinner looks so good I could almost smell it.You won't like this.Go Patriots.Tommy and Tracy Knox