Thursday, October 29th to Wednesday, November 4th — Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas to Palm Beach, FL
We take our last couple of days to wrap things up in New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas in preparation for Friday’s early departure. We do some final errands. Unfortunately, when we get up in the morning on Friday it is thunder storming and raining, so our 7AM departure moves to 11AM. We don’t get as far towards West End, our launching point for the Gulf Stream crossing, but we do end up in a beautiful anchorage at Allans Pensacola Cay the first night. Silver Maple is the only boat there and it is a calm and lovely stay.
The next morning, we are off to Great Sale Cay. It’s a shorter trip so we have some relax time in the morning. When we arrive at Great Sale Cay there are two other boats and a third arrives after us. Everyone else stopping at this anchorage is going the other way, of course, towards the Bahamas rather than towards Florida. On the way from Great Sale Cay to West End, we pass two sailboats heading towards the Bahamian Abaco Islands. One of them, ‘Miss Informed’ we met last year in Marsh Harbour. They radio us on the way by to say hello and ask why we are going the wrong way.
We arrive mid afternoon at West End and the Old Bahama Bay Resort. Its hot. Over 90 degrees F and very humid so we take a trip to the pool and relax. The weather report for the next day (Monday) is still looking good for doing the Gulf Stream crossing to Florida. Although the resort is lovely, we decide to go while the going is good.
On Monday morning we are up at 4AM and on the water while it is still dark. The waves always feel worse when you can’t see them in the dark, but as the sun comes up the trip is much more pleasant. Just before we reach half way, we see a large boat on the horizon. It looks official and is approaching quickly. Yep, US Coast Guard! They pull in behind us and radio us with a few questions on our nationality, destination, registration, yada, yada. They then ask us to hold on the radio as they confirm the information. We wait and wait. Finally they come back and tell us they are having some communication problems, so we should maintain our course and they will get back to us as soon as they can. So, Randy responds with “So you mean we will have an escort?” The Coast Guard ship replies with “Yes, Sir. This will be your safest passage ever.” Too funny. They follow us for about an hour or so. Eventually, they wish us a good trip and pull away.
About 15 minutes later, we get a call on the radio from Will and Muffin on Antares. We have seen them every year in Hope Town while we’ve been in the Bahamas. They were listening to our Coast Guard encounter. They are crossing from Florida to the Bahamas. The first thing they say is “Hey, you’re going the wrong way!”
The crossing is good. It’s a great day. Seas are relatively light and there is enough wind to put a sail up. When we arrive in Florida we are exhausted. It’s hot! We have a quick dinner at the Old Port Cove Marina where we are staying in Palm Beach and hit the sack before 8PM.
Now we are in Florida, it is good to be back on the mainland. Brutally hot and humid, but it’s still good. Randy is getting some maintenance and repairs done on Silver Maple while Lee shops for provisions in preparation for the trip back to the Bahamas. Looks like tomorrow we will hit the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show which is on here, and then wrap up preparations by Friday for a crossing sometime this weekend…weather permitting of course. Stay warm, everyone!