West End

The Crossing

In Florida, people on boats call a trip to the Bahamas "crossing" in reference to crossing over the gulf stream.  Generally, you don't want to do it with a north wind because that opposes the current and causes ore waves.  On a sailboat, you really only want a south wind.

We woke up at 4am and started getting ready.  By the time we were nearly ready, it was 7am and we realized we didn't fill up with Diesel.  We found an marina open early and stopped by on our way out of the Palm Beach inlet.  The current was strong and the traffic was heavy, so the docking was difficult, but we made it on our second pass.  We also filled up with water because our water maker has been flakey lately.

Wind was mild, so we motor-sailed for the first few hours to boost our speed, but eventually turned the motor off and rode a beam reach of 12-15 knots.  The Gulf Stream is strong, so our heading and are bearing are 50 degrees different.  That reduced our speed by 25% or so.  5 foot waves, but they are slow, so not a hard sail.

A little sparrow-like bird found us about 20 miles from Florida and landed next to Andrea while she was knitting.  I think he wanted directions, but we offered chips instead.  He flew away angry.

We arrived in the dark and anchored in a partially protected bay.  The waves were gently tossing us arround all night long.  It was the right call since we didn't really know the area very well, and they say not to trust the maps in the Bahamas.

Goodbye Florida

The sunset behind us as we cross the gulf stream.

Land Ho!

West End lights ahead.  Nav lights illuminate the foresail

First Breakfast

Grits in paradise