|Sunrise over the Gulf Stream|
We saw very few boats – a few out fishing and the occasional freighter but there was very little traffic. We had radio contact with three other boats making the crossing. We chatted with them and listened in on their conversations. One boat was crossing for the 42nd time so we thought we might learn a few things from them. The sun rose out of the clouds and we could see the changing blue colours of the Gulf Stream. We saw dolphins, flying fish but no Portuguese Man 'o Wars this year. Towards the end of the trip, when the wind was coming out of the west it was slightly uncomfortable coming off the quarter with sloppy seas. Luckily no one had to go below to prepare food as Maria had made a batch of delicious sandwiches the night before. We arrived at 1:30 pm and within one hour the wind was coming from the north and was howling. So, the forecasts were dead on. We were glad to be in the shelter of a little harbour and tied to a dock.
|Hard at work!|
Boaters had been reporting immigration difficulties, especially for Canadians but we had absolutely no problem checking in. No 1 or 3 month restrictions like some people are reporting. No problem getting a 6 month permit. Turns out we didn’t need to have made the run to Miami in a rental car to get a travel visa for the Bahamas but at least we had all the bases covered.
We tied up at the Old Bahama Bay Marina at West End and took a walk along a beautiful sandy beach near the marina. It was windy and the seas looked pretty rough.
|Windy West End, Grand Bahamas|
Al bought take-out conch salad for us at the marina restaurant ($$$) and we retired back to the boat for salad appetizer and steaks for dinner. Champagne and an early night to bed!
|Up the Bell Channel to the Grand Bahama Yacht Club|
We are slightly embarrassed to admit that we are going to indulge ourselves. We have about 2 weeks before we want to be in Nassau to pick up Brad. With our Royal Marsh Harbour Yacht Club membership we get a smokin’ deal at a posh resort here in Freeport – only about $200 to tie up with all the amenities for a week. It will be great to have a week to visit with good friends who live here in Freeport, putter on the boat and read a few books.
|Up the mast...|
|Docked at Grand Bahama Yacht Club|
|... to retrieve a broken radar reflector|
Maria and Al left early Saturday morning on a flight to Nassau. They fly from Nassau to Toronto in the afternoon. It was great to be able to share the Bahamas and our sailing adventures with them. Now Al is looking to buy a sailboat down here. Sorry, Maria!
Our plan is to stay here til Thursday and then, weather permitting, sail to the Berry Islands.