It has been while since I posted. Over the past few months we made it down to Florida from the Chesapeake Bay area. We had a stop for Thanksgiving with our family in Georgia and then went south. It was time as the temperature hit the 33F while we were docked in Brunswick, Georgia.
One of our first stops was St. Augustine in the middle of December. We stayed on a mooring ball outside the city walls with a view of Castillo de San Marcos. The kids were enjoyed the tour of the fort. The best part was St. Augustine didn’t spare any money on decorating for Christmas. We had a wonderful view of the city christmas lights from our boat. The kids could even hear the Santa riding in his horse carriage and saying his ” Ho Ho Ho”. We loved the pre-Christmas atmosphere.
Our boat ‘Walden’ in the bay:
We also got hit by another boat while in the marina. Luckily the damage was only gel coat and some buffing, but it had to be taken care of. We put this on our list of to-do items while in Fort Lauderdale.
West Palm Beach
Our next stop was West Palm Beach, FL. A few important things had happened in the below order:
- Brent got the watermaker working! For those of you that don’t know what watermakers are (aside a big pain, Brent would tell you in details) let me explain. A watermaker is a device that takes the salt and other particles out of ocean water and makes it into drinkable water using reverse osmosis. We really didn’t need it much on the East Coast of the U.S. as the water is free at fuel docks and marinas, but the Bahamas is a complete opposite. In Bahamas water costs anywhere from 25 – 50 cents per gallon. IF you think about how much water your family uses in a week this can add up. Plus, you have to go get it in marina or fuel dock. Our plan is to mostly anchor in the Bahamas so a watermaker is important. This fix was big win for Brent.
- We celebrated Christmas here. It was a very different Christmas for us. We had a two foot tall tree with only a few decorations, but it was twinkling its lights proudly in our boat. Kids all got gifts that barely fit in their rooms, but we were all happy.
- We met up with our friends Heather and Mikah and their kids Parker and Cage. They are family sailing on trimaran that we met in Harrington Harbour this past summer. We had a great time hanging out with them on Peanut Island and eating dinner. All was great until….
- Mei broke her arm and that is kind of bad for a sailing family. That said we worked it out. Mei’s biggest problem was that she wont be able to play rough like she is used to. She was so upset and didn’t want to get a cast. She was telling the paramedics and us she is fine and doesn’t need to go to the doctors. She was such a brave girl through all this ordeal. We ended up cutting off the cast on our own while in the Bahamas a few weeks later. Yes, we did consult a doctor first.
Next stop Fort Lauderdale (repairs of repairs) and we were ready to head to Bahamas.
Makai turned 7 while we were in Fort Lauderdale.
We had to wait for a weather window to cross to Bimini. As we are a sailing catamaran we do try to use our sails as much as possible. It is also important to not run in bad weather and try not to beat into the wind or waves. These conditions generally cause big discomfort and heavy usage of our engines, therefore more diesel money to spend.
We spent our time waiting in the Coconut Grove anchorage which is located just south of Miami. It is a very nice area attractive to cruisers with access to restaurants, stores and public transportation.
Once the wind started blowing hard from the East we moved to No Name Harbour which is a part of Bill Bags State Park on Cay Biscayne. It is a completely weather protected lagoon close to the tip of Cay Biscayne that was once a hideout out for pirates. Bill Bags State Park has a neat lighthouse, playground, beautiful beach and awesome trails. I wish we could stay longer, but the weather window opened and we went across the gulf stream to Bimini.
Here we are at the top of the lighthouse on Cay Biscayne studying our bay exit as we will be doing it while it is still dark. Our plan was to leave at 4am until Brent decided to pick up the anchor at 2 am because he could not sleep. Too excited to go!
Enjoying the sunset views from the stern of our boat in No Name Harbour.
Brent’s excitement kept him up, so we left at 2 am on the 18th of January from No Name Harbour. It was pitch black except for the moon. We saw amazing stars on the way.One positive to an early departure is that we didn’t miss the sunrise.
Here we are arriving at Bimini Sands, which is marina located on South Bimini, Bahamas. We made it there around 9:30 am.