That's right everyone. WE HAVE ARRIVED IN THE BAHAMAS !!
What a crossing. We got up and departed Miamin in the dark at 0500 ... made our way out the cut by No Name Harbor and out into the Florida Staits. The crossing couldn't have been better. Winds East at 15 knots with 2 foot waves. It was a direct motor all the way.
Ted Haight told me that when you arrive in the Gulf Stream you'll certainly know it ... and Ted, you were so right. 30 miles of 3.5 knot current from south to north and the most beautiful colour of deep true blue that you've ever seen. Nothing to do with the fact that the sea averaged over 2,200 feet deep.
LAND HO !! At about 12 noon we sighted the Bimini Islands dead ahead and we were safely tied up to the Big Game Club Marina in Alice Town by 1330.
This little town is so very quaint and there is absolutely nothing modern about it. All the marinas around here are absolutely deserted. We had a 100 berth marina to be split among 7 boats, a four foot barracuda, and a 5-6 foot lemon shark.
The entrance between the North and South islands was very narrow and shallow but we made it inside ok.
The main street of Alice Town is very narrow with a few cars and a lot of golf carts.
That night as we were going up to the restaurant for supper a tremendous fire erupted in a housing complex right across the street. Forty people in seven families lost their homes that evening. There is virtually no fire department here. All they had was a one ton flatbed truck with a couple hoses, barrels of watrter AND NO NOZZLE! Total chaos! The folks in neighbouring homes could be seen on their roofs with garden hoses trying to keep them from catching fire.
Our hearts really went out to all those panicked and crying families and friends. The marina hotel supplied them all with rooms for the night and free food after the catastrophe died down.
The next day Jan & I went for a walk around Alice Town and took in the sights. The water is an amazing colour and the atmosphere is sooooo BAHAMIAN, MON !
This was the entertainment section of town with two sports bars and a restaurant.
After we tried our first KALIK beer we walked over to the beach and stepped into the water. It was wonderful. No sharks at this beach.
Yesterday we decided to move the boat to Bimini South Island and got a berth at the 100 berth Bimini Sands Resort. It was cheaper($1.10 per foot) and better sheltered from the easterly wind. Again, only 6 boats and no sharks or barracudas in sight. The entrance was very narrow with 0.2 feet under the keel. This marina is so American looking.
Personally, I liked the tropical atmosphere of the Big Game Club a lot better (pics below) but the strong currents there and the waves slapping at the stern made it a little uncomfortable. There was Bob Marley music playing continuously in a lush tropical setting. I hadn't seen enough of that place yet.
Today, we'll do a little exploring of the South Island and try once again to fix the new water bladder that's still leaking into the bilge ..... And at 50 per gallon for water you don't want that to continue.
Around the end of the week we're hoping for good weather to make the 60 mile run across the Bahamas Bank to NW Channel light then on to Chub Cay (20 miles) before making the 30 mile run down to Nassau next week.