OK. Enough of the project lists and “bummed out” reports…
With the major projects resolved or completed, we jumped through a decent weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to the northern most island group in the Bahamas called the Abacos.
We left the inlet near Lake Worth, Florida Saturday afternoon about 4 PM and were in the Gulf Stream by 5. It wasn’t the smoothest ride we have ever had, but we made it across OK. With the strong flow from south to north, whenever there’s any wind with a northerly component (NW, N, NE) the swells build in the Gulf Stream to 10, 12, sometimes 15-18 ft, so we have to wait until the winds clock to the East or South. The NE winds died but the seas hadn’t quite lain down so we saw some significant northerly swells.
Once we passed through the Stream after about 10 miles the seas lay down again. We reached the Little Bahamas Bank about midnight, where the water depth suddenly jumps from several hundred feet to 25 feet at around midnight. As we crossed on to the Bank the water smoothed out to a ripple, and because of the lack of wind we motored on through the next day to Spanish Cay (pronounced “Key”), where we docked in a small marina at about 4:30 Sunday afternoon. The Customs agent had gone home for the day but the marina said we could stay the night and clear in the following morning.
The next morning we completed the Customs paperwork, produced Spike’s health certificate for inspection, paid our fees for cruising and fishing permits, and checked out of the marina. Then we headed further into the Abacos islands to Green Turtle Cay (you’re following along with your maps, aren’t you?) and took a mooring for a day or two to explore the island and settle into the Bahamas mindset.
The weather isn’t exactly what you would call tropical. The Abacos are the same latitude as central Florida, which has been experiencing a colder winter (by Florida standards) than they’ve seen in years. Regardless, the northern Bahamas are notorious for cool winters until almost April.
But we’re here, and after enjoying the azure blue waters, the coral reefs and the local attractions for a while we will begin heading south through the islands on our way back to the Caribbean.
There are some significant weather fronts coming off of the US East Coast that we are watching while we look for a place to hide out from the winds.