Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

We are in the Bahamas!

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12th to WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14th — DAY 83 to 85 (Waiting in West Palm  Beach, FL)

We spend our time waiting in West Palm preparing for the trip, including taking Leo for his final vet appointment to complete his immigration paperwork, buying groceries and doing laundry.  After nearly a week, we were getting tired of being here. On Wednesday morning, the decision is made to do the crossing on Thursday. The winds aren’t going the direction we’d like, but they will be light enough that it should be okay. Final preparations are made and we move to a marina closer to the inlet so that we are close to the ocean to start the crossing first thing in the morning.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15th— DAY 86 (The Crossing)

We we get up in the morning at 4 AM and are on the water shortly after 5 AM. It is dark when we start, but the sun comes out just as we head out of the inlet into the ocean. We are with two other sailboats doing the crossing. One, Randy connected with the day before on the VHF radio and we agreed to meet up in the morning.

Dark morning when we head out of Palm Beach shortly after 5 AM

By the time we leave the inlet and head out in to the ocean, the sun is rising

Out on the ocean, it is nice seeing the other boats along side. Somehow it is comforting.  And, although crossing the Gulf Stream is rough, we are okay. No serious sea-sickness. Silver Maple handles it beautifully.

The boat, Valerie Arden, crossing to the Bahamas with us

Captain is holding on in the rough Gulf Stream waters

Leo is holding on too

As we approach the Bahamas, the seas level-off enough to sail and later become very calm as we arrive at the harbour at West End on Grand Bahama Island. When we get in shortly after 3 PM, the other boats travelling with us, who have done the crossing many times, say it is the best conditions they have ever had. Hard to believe.  Not sure we would have been up for it being any more raucous than it was.

Waves calm and winds shift so that we can sail for a few hours

Randy on deck as we approach the Bahamas

Calm waters as we enter the harbour at West End on Grand Bahama Island

The sun sets in Old Bahama Bay Marina in West End, Bahamas, and we are settled in for the night

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16th— DAY 87 (First day in the Bahamas!)

Hard to believe after the months of travel that we are in the Bahamas!  Today we spend relaxing at the beach near the marina and at the pool. Very nice.  It is lovely here.

This fellow watched us as we had morning coffee on the deck today

Silver Maple on a sunny Bahama morning

Beautiful beach at the marina

Randy and Leo enjoying the beach

Silver Maple as our first day ends in the Bahamas

Plan tomorrow is to move on, probably to Great Sale Cay about 45 miles away, if the weather is good — but we hear storms may be moving in, so we will make the call in the morning.

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