Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Florida to the Bahamas

I had a VERY salty sail crossing the gulf stream.
The brown line shows my float plan and the green line my 190 nautical mile journey. I left at 11am on Monday and arrived here at Port Lucaya at 5pm Tuesday giving me an average of 6 knots mainly courtesy of the gulf stream. I used my engine 3 times: once to help pull up the anchor, second for 3 hours to head more into the wind at Tennessee Reef (to stay in 100 feet depth to be clear of crab/lobster pots) and finally the last 4 hours to get into Harbor before dark after the wind died.
Saying farewell to my crew.
Customary dolphin escort out of the harbor.
Entering Port Lucaya showing my quarantine flag.
Tied up at Flamingo Marina and Resort at Taino Beach.
I did catch a couple of crab pot lines on my windvane paddle, south east of Long Key, but fortunately they fell off after a minute or so. Winds were 25 knots SE and seas were 10' with a 9 second interval so every 10 minutes I would get several buckets of green water in the cockpit to keep me awake during the night. Everything got wet both outside and inside the boat despite the boat being shut up tight so today I am drying cushions, bedding, shoes and even electronics! Yikes! I sailed the entire way with just my staysail and one reef in the main fortunately, so i didnt have to move around the boat very much. I got one very bad squall on Tuesday morning for about an hour of 40 knots and torrential rain where I just let my mainsail flog. Fortunately my monitor windvane handled the situation with ease. Phew! Needless to say I had 14 hours of sleep last night.
Last year I saw most of the Bahamas, but this year I hope to stay put for a month to just chill and enjoy this place.

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