It was now clear that the winter weather patterns were already hampering our plans to cross over to the Bahamas, but in the meantime it was great to have old friend, David Green and Lindsey visit the boat. I had worked with David in Brazil in the early nineties and had been 24 years since we last met. After Brazil I moved back to the UK and David had moved to the USA. Then we took a taxi down to Ocean Drive at Miami Beach which is a nice way to start our 2020 travel plans.
Eventually we motored down through Miami to Key Biscayne where we found a space to anchor in No Name Harbor which was a great place for early morning runs and to get my new paddle board out to go manatee hunting and to hire bikes to cycle into downtown Miami. The timescales for crossing the Gulf Stream to Bimini were forever extending and Caroline decided to return to the UK.
I cleared out of the USA six months after sailing into New York and crossed the Florida Straits to Bimini in the Bahamas. It was a great crossing but the entry into Bimini wasn’t helped by the position of a rogue buoy that hadn’t been moved to cover shifting shallows! A fellow sailor called on the radio to explain the best entry through the shallows and I found my way to Browns Marina in Alice Town, Bimini, BAHAMAS!
I loved the laid-back island style in Bimini and soon made good friends using Bimini as the shortest crossing point to & from Miami….one of whom was Louis on Yacht Sono who I had met in No Name Harbor. I had developed a slow water leak from the raw water pump and ordered a replacement seal which arrived the following week on the twice-weekly mail boat from Nassau….island style! Water leak resolved and more waiting for the right weather I left Bimini and headed east across the Great Bahama Bank where I was able to anchor overnight with nothing in sight except the sunset and my anchor in the shallow water! The following day I arrived in Chub Cay in the Berry Islands to anchor overnight in front of the beach in the “anchorage from hell” so I booked into the marina for two nights while the wind and swell calmed down….and Louis was in the marina too! I had my best sail of 2020 as we both made the passage to Nassau, where there were SIX cruise ships in dock!
The headline photograph is Atlantis marina on Paradise Island, Nassau where I would probably have to sell my house to pay for a mooring!
I’m staying longer in Nassau to do some errands and especially update my website which is now with a new web host and complete up to 9 December 2019…which is why I’m now sat in Starbucks Nassau using their WiFi and drinking their coffee!
I decided to have a pirate day!….I’m reading The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, I visited the Pirate Museum in Nassau and I went to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Paradise Island in the evening…my favourite song of his is “Pirate at Forty”.