Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Miami to West End on Grand Bahama Island

We have an early departure Monday morning for our 82 mile crossing to the Bahamas. The sun is rising up & breaking up the clouds as we pass by the city of Miami on our way out thru Government Cut.

We had been inquiring about fuel before leaving as our marina did not have any and the marina next to us did not look very promising in the depth department. When you draw 6’3’ and they tell you no problem we have 6’ that is not what you want to hear. Don’t worry it’s a mud bottom is not a good answer either. Other boaters kept telling us that they CALL the TRUCK to get diesel. Apparently you call up a diesel tank truck, and it comes out, runs a long hose down the dock (1000 ft!) and you fill up. Minimum 200 gallons though. Well Steve & I thought that was pretty funny & bizarre. We had several laughs about just calling up your own diesel truck to come deliver your fuel. It appeared that we would not be able to top off before leaving BUT on the way out the channel at the end of South Beach was a Marina. So I get on the radio & ask how deep the water is and 14 feet is a great answer. We swing in & even though I got some lines back out they have lines already to hand off to you to tie up with. Top off with 30 gallons, and the attendant verifies the diesel truck story, saying it is even cheaper than his price but they don’t work on holiday weekends. We are back underway by 8:15 after smoothest fuelling we have been through. We pass thru the jetties with a view of Miami Beach as we head out to sea.

By 8:45 the sails are up and the motor OFF it feels & sounds so wonderful to be back on the water sailing.We have a fabulous crossing; put a ½ reef in the jib just to take some weather helm off and keep the heel under 10⁰, making it easier to move around. We are moving right along at 6 to 8+ knots (10-11 with the gulf streams help), depending on the wind and wave swells, but we are close hauled and moving through the deep sapphire blue water, just like the sailing magazine pictures . At about 5 pm we are 7 miles out and can see land, by 6:30 we are tied up at the beautiful Old Bahama Bay Marina & resort.

Following protocol, we raise the yellow Q flag as we enter the harbor, and as soon as we are safely tied up, Steve goes off to Customs and Immigration to clear us in. He makes it just before closing, but there are a lot of forms to fill out, and it takes some time. But the customs officer is very accommodating, and in between watching the evening news, snacking (he’s a big man), and chatting on the phone, it gets done. $300 later, it’s next to the marina office for more paperwork and cash dispersal. Another $200 and we’re good for the night. The marina and resort are beautiful, but definitely not cheap.

link to pictures;

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