Monthly Archives: June 2011

Crossing the Gulf to Bimini

 

It was just before daybreak when we woke to the rolling ocean. I went on deck and had the strangest feeling….We had anchored for the night at Cary’s Fort lighthouse. It was comforting to fall asleep below the watch light that scanned the blackness of the night with the only other illumination being a million plus stars. It was close to 6:30am and as I hoisted the main sail I looked away from the lighthouse and saw the exact silhouette of it to the NE (similar to what you see after a bright flash) I untied us from the mooring ball and headed NE on a course across the Atlantic ocean. The first hour was filled with short chop waves 1 to 2 feet with a 8 to 10 kt winds, but by the time we reached the gulf stream the waters settled down and was beautifully calm. Behind us we could see huge thunderstorms building and the weather on our VHF said 6 water spouts had been spotted off Biscayne Bay. The color of the Atlantic ocean is incredible. It was a mesmerizing vibrant crisp deep blue and sometimes I would forget that we were sailing across an ocean with depths greater than 800 feet….just a little intimidating. During the entire 9 hour trip we only saw 4 freighters and two fishing boats off in the distance. We had all that space to ourselves to soak in and enjoy! It was exhilarating to have both sails up moving across the ocean with ease. We still have so much to learn, but we are so very thankful to God for the excellent weather.

Tim was first to see North Bimini in the distance. The water went from the deep rich blue to crystal clear aqua (my favorite color). It was truly breathtaking. You can see straight down 20 feet. I could see big beautiful sea stars as we passed over them. We anchored in the bay, checked in and went to explore! The people are just lovely. Everyone is so nice and they all speak English. Tim thought that it was appropriate that we anchored in front of a laundry (since I am a bit of a clean freak). It turns out that they will wash, dry & fold your laundry for a charge of $3 dollar per load….to good to be true. On Sunday we went looking for a church to attend. I saw a beautifully dressed woman and asked “by chance are you going to church?” and she said, “get in my car and I will take you with me.” It turns out that Grace was that pastors wife of the Baptist church here. I don’t know why I am still amazed how God works out all the details .

On this tiny island there is so much to see. We took the ferry yesterday ($2) to south Bimini. It was so peaceful and relaxing to ride our bikes through the island. We met many more nice people who gave us a good flavor of the land. We even stopped by the “fountain of youth” let us know if you notice anything different about us : ) We also picked up our Bahamian phone (242) 473 4505 for emergencies. We don’t have internet, but an angel named Linda invited us into her home last night and let us use hers. Oh, and our favorite meal so far was spiced brown rice, green salad, barbeque chicken, crab, potato salad & macaroni & cheese. It was only $7 dollars, more than enough for the both of us and was served out of the back of someones car. All the locals were lined up to buy their lunch and I am so glad we followed suite!

We have one other sailboat anchored next to us. They have 3 children (3,4 & 5) and they arrived the day after us. They had sailed through the night from Miami in 12 foot seas, gust to 60kts with lighting all round them. I am so grateful that we came when we did and so glad that Jenny, Gunner & their 3 babies made it across!!!! I really think that the lighthouse we saw in the beginning of our trip was a sign that God would be with us and guide us…..as he has all along.

Much love & blessings to you all and thank you for all your prayers! 

 

The Florida Keys

 

 

We finally made it to the Keys (my first time) and it only took us 5 months! We came into the harbor with two other boats. Bob & Mary and Ed & Sally who became our sweet friends. We are staying in Marathon which is located just about in the middle of the chain. Exploring, fishing, bike riding, snorkeling takes up most of our days. The reefs here are beautiful and Tim has become an expert at supplying us with fresh fish. We did a “buddy boat” trip with Clause & Rosie and they showed us all the best places to anchor and see the true beauty that the Keys are known for. One of the best part about this trip was sharing these experiences with our good friends Al & Jennifer. Jennifer & I went on a guided snorkeling tour and were blown away by the beauty of the ocean. We also took the bus into Key West and did some shopping and dining. We found a great little church and a tiny little theater within walking distance. The marina had a workshop and we were able to bottom paint our dingy. All in all….our month in the Keys was full of fun & friends!