|Leaving Georgetown in our wake|
|Craggy rock and coral bluffs|
|Hansel and Quinn at the Staniel Cay YC|
|Swimming inside the Grotto|
|Window looking out the Grotto|
|Swimming outside the Grotto|
|World famous Pig|
With the boat fixed, we could now leave and continue our trip, this time with an additional crew, Hansel. We sailed a short way over to Big Majors which is one of the must see anchorages. When we got there and anchored, we could hear a rooster crowing on the peopleless island. We took our dinghy over to discover the Island and were able to see the "famous" swimming pigs that live there, and swim out to your dinghy to get fed. The only problem with that is that a 500 pound pig could do severe damage to a rubber dinghy if he got too excited about whatever food you might or might not have for him.
|Anchorage at Big Major|
|Anchored at Waderick Wells Cay|
|Ashore at Waderick Cay. Whale found on the beach.|
|Hansel Posing for Hollywood, Waderick Cay|
|Checking the anchor with a view-bucket in 15 feet.|
|Tied up at Highborne YC|
|Highborne Key Street|
|Our neighbors from Florence, AL|
It was here that I got the news from Susie that her sister, Ann, had passed away. She had been sick for a long time with Parkinson's so it was not a total surprise, but it was a very sad occasion. Susie was home by herself and here I was out at sea. We looked at several options for ways for me to get home in time for the funeral, but in the end we just ran out of time with too many miles to cross. We left Highborne the next morning and sailed to West Bay on the far western edge of New Providence island. We went ashore that evening and were able to fanagle our way to the Yacht Club at Lyford Cay and had dinner at the Captain's Table Restaurant. What we didn't realize at first was that this was an exclusive and private part of the island with homes owned by billionaires from all over the world. We met a guy, Richard Simms, in a dinghy that had just come from one of the big homes, and he suggested that we might try to go ashore at a vacant lot and walk over to the Clubhouse and hail a cab there. By doing that, we might not be noticed. When we got to the Clubhouse, there was a wedding going on, so we were noticably shabby and when we got to the concierge he was beginning to ask questions. Just then a car pulled up and it was Richard and his girlfriend who yelled at us and said, hey neighbor, hop in. We then set it up with the cabbie to pick us up at the restaurant about 10:00. We were verified. Hansel arranged to have the cab pick him up at 0630 the next morning to take him to the airport. I had to get the boat home.
|Green water on the Bahama Bank|
Marathon. There is no port between here and Florida, only rocks and reefs...and water. We are on a mission to get back to the states as soon as possible. So we sail straight through. Fortunately the winds are in our favor and we are making good time and burning no fuel.
4/18/13 0015 hrs. We have sailed straight across the tongue of the ocean and the bahama bank and we have just come up on the passage into the Gulf at South Riding Rocks. It is now 15 minutes after midnight and we have decided to go on. What good would it do us to anchor here till daylight. We would really just lose a day, though this is the last spot shallow enough to drop an anchor. Once we get into the Gulf it is all sailing until we get to the Florida Keys. We will sail all night, and all the next day and plan to arrive at Molasses Light just above Key Largo early afternoon. The key to making this work is to watch the weather, which at the time is in our favor, and to get some sleep when you are not on watch. A rested sailor is a safer sailor.
1430 hrs. We arrive at Molasses light right on time, although it felt as though we would never get here. The Gulf Stream is passing very close to Florida, and is only about 2 miles off of the Molassas light which means that for us to make any Southern way, we must buck the stream. Our speed has dropped from 6.6 knots to 4.6. The engine quit again just as we were trying to make a tight passage by Molasses reef. We sail throgh the passage and about 5 miles up Drake Channel and drop anchor on the lee of Rodriquez Key. We are back in the states and only thirty miles North of Marathon. We can make that tomorrow. At about 9:00 that night I called the special number we were given for US Customs, and was able to clear customs by phone. This was only possible because we had pre registered with the Coast Guard and US Customs and had filed a float plan that they knew about. Oh, and the $27 fee.
|Sunset at Marathon|