Captain's Log: Wave Date 435,867,294

The Crossing, Day 1: “You’ll fly her apart Captain!"

4:00 AM: The alarm goes off.
5:00 AM: Teach class.
5:30 AM: Done with work. Four sailboats have already beaten us out of the very busy Lake Worth anchorage! Drat! We’ll catch up!
An amazing looking forecast for a Crossing. Go, Go, Go!
5:45 AM: Main engine start!
5:47 AM: Abort! Discover that the nav lights don't work.
5:48 AM: Shut down engines.
5:50-6:50 AM: Curse at nav lights. Splice wires, re-do connectors, solder in the dark wind, curse the boat, curse the weather, our chances of crossing today are receding. All hope is lost. Resigned to living in Lake Worth. 
7:00 AM: Realize it's dawn, we don’t need no stinkin’ lights and we can leave anyway!
7:05 AM: Out the inlet with 10 other boats!
Busy morning in the inlet!
7:06 AM: It's going to get better, right? This is just the inlet that shaking my dentures out?
7:30 AM: It's still horrible. I hate the ocean!
9:00 AM: Praying for death.
9:15 AM: Hit head on a paddleboard we have owned for 3 years. Pray for death. 
11:00 AM: Making excellent speed. 7.5 knots on a close reach into a rough, short 3-5 foot chop. Very uncomfortable and extremely wet. The boat may never dry out from this trip. 
11:15 AM: Overtaken by a smug trimaran doing at least 12 knots.
Smug trimaran passed us like we were standing still. We were doing 8.5 knots at the time!
12:00 PM: Pray for death. Why is it so oceany? It was supposed to be 5-10 knots out of the south!
1:00 PM: Wind speed indicator working again, inexplicably. The anemometer has been on the fritz since last summer and no amount of tinkering or new parts has revived it. But bashing violently into Gulfstream? Just what the doctor ordered.
1:30 PM: Catch up with a familiar boat we met in Deltaville, VA last year. We have a pleasant exchange on the radio. 
2:00 PM: Cell signal from West End. Salvation is nigh! Our new BTC SIM card registers, and we are online from the Bahamas!
2:30 PM: On the Little Bahama Bank; the water is dead calm, the seas are 10 ft deep. Life is amazing! Let's never leave the Abacos.  Why on earth do people bother with the Pacific when heaven is right here, only 7 hours from the US? 
Beautiful evening on the Little Bahama Bank.
05:00 PM: No wind. Sails down.
6:00 PM: Getting dark. Install colored glow sticks as an emergency backup for the night. 
6:30 PM: All nav lights working again, inexplicably. 
8:00 PM: While it is pitch black and we are motoring through interstellar space, there’s lots of company. Two boats overtake us. They switch to another radio channel to talk about us. Of course, we listen in. While listening in, we discover that they listened in to our earlier conversation. 
12:30 AM: Anchor in the dark off Little Sale Cay. I wonder what it looks like? 
12:31 AM: Yes, we are in the Bahamas! You can tell from the wrap around swell and the noise the waves make on the jagged limestone rock.

Crossing the Banks, Day 2: Onward to Green Turtle
5:00 AM: On the road again! Gotta get to Green Turtle before Customs closes at 5 and the forecast windstorm starts. Fog envelopes us. It won’t last long though.
Foggy morning.
8:00 AM: Carefully tracking a random boat that keeps appearing and disappearing at close intervals on the radar. Opposite direction, closing fast! It disappears. Now it’s dead astern, headed right for us! Everyone look out! Get the horn! Might be pirates.
8:01 AM: A bird overflies us. He looks surprised and slightly put out that we are in his way.
8:30 AM: Startled a cormorant out of the water and into flight right in front of the boat. Watch him fly away on the radar for a half mile. 
There's something out there (cue creepy music...)
9:00 AM: Maneuvers to escape a fishing boat running at 20 knots in 50 ft visibility.
9:15 AM: The fog is clearing! Yay!
9:30 AM: The fog is back, thicker than ever! Yay!
9:45 AM: Overhear other cruisers discussing the thick fog on the radio. We hadn’t noticed!
10:00 AM: Emergency maneuvers to escape a go-fast boat running at 30 knots in 25 ft visibility who is unfamiliar with right-of-way rules and radar usage.
10:30 AM: The fog clears! We can see land!
Fog lifting.
11:00 AM: There’s wind! Sails up!
12:00 PM: Donny has fanagled a mooring for us! We don't have to survive 30-knot winds outside of Green Turtle, praying for death. 
2:45 PM: Secured in Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay.
Landfall in Green Turtle Cay!
3:00 PM: Fast trimaran anchors in the mooring field next to us.
3:05 PM: Find out that the Customs Office is open until 5 every day, but the Customs Officer has to get on the 3 pm ferry to get home every day.

Day 3: Can We Stay?
9:00 AM: Off to the Customs Office! There’s quite a long line!
9:15 AM: 20 more boaters show up at Customs! The Officer looks frazzled.
9:30 AM: Random mulling about while queued up with other cruisers. Owner of the fast trimaran suggests we all chip in for a special order of the bakery’s whole wheat bread because they only have coconut bread on hand. He has to get an order of 10 before they’ll make him the whole wheat bread. Why, we ask, would we not want the coconut bread? Blank staring ensues. Someone points out that coconut bread makes excellent French toast. Mmm, French toast!
10:00 AM: The Customs printer/copier is jammed!
10:10 AM: Helpful cruisers who just want to be checked in have cleared the jammed paper. 
10:20 AM: The Customs printer is low on toner.
11:00 AM: Customs has run out of Immigration forms! They'll be on the next ferry!
11:15 AM: The Customs printer is out of toner.
11:30 AM: Helpful cruisers try to jury-rig the standby printer/copier while the Custom’s Officer shakes the toner cartridge in the primary printer/copier.
11:45 AM: Most other cruisers disappear in despair, likely to be found at the bar (that’s an educated guess, some claimed to have gone back to the States to make copies and bring them back).
11:50 AM: Kind Post Office worker provides copies to get us cleared in.
12:00 PM: Leave Customs with stamped passports and appropriately copied forms.
12:15 PM: Rioting at BTC as they run out of SIM cards. Good job Matt ordered us a SIM card online. 
12:30 PM: Stop at the bakery for delicious coconut bread. Welcome to the Bahamas!
3:00 PM: Walk to Gillium Bay, one of our favorite spots!
Road to Gillium Bay.
6:00 PM: Crazy windstorm starts. Blowing 25 knots, gusting over 35. This is forecast for at least three days. We watch the trimaran crew fiddle nervously with their anchor while we eating amazing coconut bread.

Would you prefer whole wheat or coconut while visiting the islands? And, did you know birds show up on radar?!?

You Might Also Like


  1. I miss Bahamas! I miss you guys and I miss coconut bread too... However we found an amazing coconut pudding here (sadly was the last one forever it seems).
    I knew about pirates showing on the radar but not birds! Good to know. Wouldn't want to confuse one with the other.

    1. We are sitting on "your" ball at Donny's, batting away flies in your honor! Imagine how many flies we'd have if we had coconut pudding?

  2. Coconut bread, of course. What kind of silly person would want whole wheat when there was a coconut option? Glad you made it safe and sound.

    1. I'm not sure! Last time I checked, coconut was a health food!

  3. Me, I'm afraid. I don't like coconut (it's a textural thing), so I'd have to opt for the wheat bread (actually, I'd skip the bread and go for anything chocolate!).

    1. Chocolate sounds like a plan! It is hard to find chocolate and sweets in the Bahamas. I was thrilled to find an early Easter candy section in Palm Beach so we could stock up before entering bizarro land!

  4. What is this whole wheat that you speak of? I cannot understand why anyone would want that when delicious coconut is available.


Flickr Images