There is a lot of conflicting information about how to check out of the Bahamas.  After an online chat, we concluded that we didn't need to check out in person, so waiting in West End wasn't even necessary.

Once we realized we could leave at any time, Duane looked at the weather window and saw that the Sunday storm in Jacksonville was now predicted to arrive late Saturday.  Without much discussion, we pulled anchor and left mid-day Friday, a few hours earlier than the original plan.  We SHOULD have left Friday morning because we didn't think we would have enough time to make it all the way to Jacksonville.

The prediction was for not enough wind to sail all trip until Saturday at 2am, and then too much wind to sail.  In reality, we had no wind for the first 10%, then good wind about 40% and perfect wind for about 40%.  That put us on schedule to make it into Jacksonville with only a little discomfort.  But yes, that last 10% of the journey was too much wind to sail, but not quite scary levels and reasonable waves, too.

Still, we arrived exhausted.  We anchored at 5am and slept until 11am and then pulled into a dock.  And here we will sit for a couple weeks while we fix up the boat and fly to Texas for a wedding.

The Crossing

Leg 1

Mostly calm winds, so we motored at 5-6 knots.  Sails up, but they didn't help much.  Still, we needed every speed boost we could get to beat the Noreaster.

Leg 2

Motor on , but winds picked up to the point that the motor wasn't giving us any boost.  We turned the motor off for 7-8 hours at still hit 11 knots.  Eventually we slowed to 8 knots and the motor got us up to 9 knots.

Leg 3

The Gulf Stream was no longer helping and was eventually working against us (counter currents).  Perhaps we should have waited a bit longer to make the turn?  Midway through this leg, it started raining and the wind picked up to 25 knots so we reefed briefly and then took the sails in completely and dropped from 8 knots to 4 knots.  The waves were 6 feet and not particularly scary, but it was no longer a pleasant sail.

Leg 4

After getting to the mouth of the St. John's river, we had 3 more hours of navagating the river to get to the dock space we reserved.  Fortunately, calm waters and good visibility and easy anchoring even if the cold wind and rain was making us wish we were back in the Bahamas.