Island Time

Hello from the Bahamas!!!

We made it! After 15 years of dreaming, 5 years of planning and 6 months of traveling, we are finally in the Bahamas. We left Miami at midnight on Wednesday in calm wind conditions, and made a run for the islands. There were about 14 boats that left at the same time. Everyone had been waiting for an opening.

After the moon rose, visibility was quite good. But as is always the case, the weather reports were not quite accurate. We meet several line squalls and even thunderstorms. But we had it good. Other boats really got beaten up. With the radar, we could see exactly how large the storm was and get an idea of how long it may last.

As we got closer to the islands, the winds increased and, of course, so did the waves. To make the entrance into Cat Cay, it is necessary to come very close to Gun Cay and then hug the shore to clear around the sandbar. It was very disconcerting to come that close to the island, especially with the wave and wind conditions. The water out in the Gulf Stream was a navy blue with lots of white foam crests. But close to the islands, it became a gorgeous blue-green and very clear. And the sand is soooo white!

We entered the marina at Cat Cay ( pronounced key ) and cleared customs. We were the first boat of the convoy to make it in! By 11 am, it was time to slip our lines again and move out to an anchorage and get some much needed sleep. We had a short nap and then jumped into the salty water to cool off. That actually is hard to do in water that is close to 78 F! It sure felt good to me. The sun was shining and very intense on our pale skin. We must remember to use lots of sunscreen.

Tomorrow, we will cross the Bahama Bank heading towards Chub Cay. As it is quite a distance, we may anchor on the banks tomorrow night. That will be quite disconcerting – open ocean as far as you can see from your anchored boat. Hopefully, at Chubb, we will be able to send e-mail.

Well, we are anchored on the banks with 7 other boats. There is not a light to be seen in any direction except for the anchor lights. The boat is tossing a bit from the waves but it is supposed to calm down soon. On the barbeque is our first fish dinner. We caught a mackerel on a hand line today. I have stuffed it with lime and onions and wrapped it in foil to bake on the grill. We may learn to live off of the sea yet.

A storm is forecast for late Friday,so we will be up early and under way for Chub Cay. We sure didn’t sleep much. Our bed was rising 4 or 5 feet into the air with the waves. And, just to add to the fun, the waves smacked hard and loudly against our stern.

We crossed the rest of the banks and found our way into the deep water again. The entrance to Chub is a little tricky, with a reef and shoal that must be threaded between. We will stay here until the storms pass – perhaps two or three days. There are a large number of the boats that crossed from Florida here as well. I’m sure we will think up some mischief to entertain ourselves.

Now if I can just send my e-mail!!

Love to all

Heather & Murray Rand
aboard Windswept IV
Ham Radio VE3 ZUA