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We left the USA.  Finally.  We’d been watching for a possible weather window on Saturday or Sunday, March 8 or 9.  Meanwhile, we flew back to Annapolis for a minor health issue.  And it was fun to be in our house and to visit friends.  Our return flight, from BWI on Saturday afternoon, was delayed an hour.  We landed in West Palm at 5 pm and our driver Roy was there to meet us.  A quick stop at the Publix and we were at the boat a bit after 6pm.  Quick – get the power cord, undo the lines, push the bow out and off we go.   An hour later we were selecting our spot to anchor south of Peanut Island.  Just as the sun set – thank you Eastern Daylight Time for the late sunset.

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The alarm woke us at 4:30 am.  We hauled the anchor and motored out the channel in the dark.  Up ahead??  What are all those lights?  A boat in front of us was calling on the radio – a dredge at the entrance responded; he was stationary.  We were out in the Ocean by 6am.  A bit lumpy with left over waves, but no wind.  No sailing.

I love the sunrises on an eastbound crossing.

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Just us and the ocean.

Until there are other boats.  Some are really big.  There was a cruise ship hanging around the entrance, waiting for morning, I think.  Also this tug and barge northbound right in the middle of the Gulf Stream, for maximum speed.

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We steered a course aimed a bit south of our intended destination.  That put us south of our real course as we approached the Gulf Stream, which carried us north of our course.  As we left the Stream behind, our slightly southern course, if we calculated properly, would bring us right to our intended destination.  Which was West End, Grand Bahama Island.  Its the westernmost piece of land in the northern Bahamas – about 55 miles from West Palm, not counting the extra southing and northing.   Eleven hours after leaving, we were at the Old Bahama Bay marina.

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We immediately got Motu Iti all tucked into her slip.

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Up went the yellow quarantine flag; last trip we didn’t have a yellow flag and had to use a t-shirt.

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After we checked into Customs, we replaced the yellow flag with a Bahamian courtesy flag.

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Next up – fruity rum drinks and Kalik beer.

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Monday was a day of rest.  We walked into the Settlement – about a mile or so each way, part of it on a beach.

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Not much going on in the Settlement of West End – it’s seen better days.   But they say that West End has the best conch salad in the Bahamas.  That when you order it, they go out and get the conch.  Very fresh.

Crossing the Gulf Stream was, for us, the hard part of the trip.  But done now.  Whew!

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8 thoughts on “Crossing to the Bahamas

  1. I hope everything is okay with the health issue . . . I am thinking it is since you’re back on the boat and enjoying your journey! Love the blog! (Just got back from nice trip to Albuquerque/Santa Fe. Beautiful place.) anyway, have safe travels and good times!

  2. Hi, and congratulations. I stumbled across your blog while looking for information on Camper & Nicholson 31’s. My plan is to do exactly what you are doing in two years, so your blog is a great reference for me. I’m looking at a Nicholson 31 in FL in two weeks, and if all is well from a survey standpoint, I hope to soon be the proud owner.

    All the best,
    John K

    • I hope the survey/purchase works out for you. We LOVE our boat. We are often the smallest boat in the harbor but we are happy, happy with our choice. It’s well built, well thought out and a super cruising boat. We wish you many fun adventures.

      • Thank you for your response. As it turns out, there is a very well (I mean VERY WELL) equipped Pearson 36 cutter available for purchase within two days’ sail of home, so I will probably go with the Pearson. But my son and I will nonetheless be crossing the Gulfstream in 2017 or so en route to the Abacos…..

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