Traveling east of Nassau toward the Exumas, one once again finds a vast expanse of open ocean with depths no greater than 15-20 feet. It makes for quite a sight to see the shadow of one’s boat skimming over the top of the sand for hours on end. Continue reading Cruising Destinations In the Exumas
Easterly winds prevailed during our Bahamas cruise, and they were often stout. Cruisers headed east will want to be prepared to wait for a calm day or potentially face spirited, upwind conditions when making the passage to Nassau. Continue reading Cruising Destination: Nassau, Bahamas
The road from Bimini to Nassau is best broken up into manageable chunks if one is to limit travel to daylight hours only. For our first passage east of Bimini, we chose this method. On subsequent return trips we felt we knew the waters well enough to travel overnight directly from Nassau all the way to Fort Lauderdale without stopping. Continue reading Cruising Destinations: The Route to Nassau
Those crossing from Florida to Bimini will want to choose a weather window to avoid northerly or northeast winds. The Gulf Stream runs from southwest to northeast in this part of the ocean, so southeast or southerly winds make for a much smoother ride. We only partially succeeded in scoring such a window when we crossed last December, which resulted in a bit of a lumpy motor sail at the start of our trip. Continue reading Cruising Destination: Bimini
Editor’s note: the Drivin’ South category of blog posts details our trip from Annapolis, MD to Fort Lauderdale, FL along the Intracoastal Waterway. Because many of the themes covered in earlier Drivin’ South posts repeated during the second half of our trip, we’ve decided to create a single post to cover the journey from Charleston to Fort Lauderdale with the highlights and lowlights summarized.
Highlight: Hidden Harbor Marina in Brunswick, Georgia.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Highlights Between Charleston, SC and Fort Lauderdale, FL
Taking a quick cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Miami is a great way to spend a long weekend in Florida. Here are some of our tips and reflections from our trip there last weekend: Continue reading Miami Weekend Cruise!
If my posts have been sparse over the last couple of months, it’s because we’ve only been using our beloved Sabre as a Florida condo this spring. To be fair, this has been exactly the plan for some time, and we’re having a ridiculously good time on our bi-monthly visits to her. Continue reading Our Downeast Florida Condo
The trip from Cat Island to Charleston is a relatively easy single day run. I encountered plenty of shoaling as I left Cat Island but enjoyed extremely scenic views while navigating between them. Continue reading Drivin’ South: Cat Island, SC to Charleston, SC
We’ve just wrapped up an awesome cruise of the Bahamas! We’ve been living aboard since late December with very limited bandwidth, so we haven’t had a chance to keep the blog up to date but we wanted to drop in a quick out-of-sequence post to celebrate a very successful cruise. Here were the superlatives for the trip:
Cruise Calendar Period: December 22, 2016 to January 31, 2017
Cruise Duration: 41 days
Passage Days: 22
Days in Port / At Anchor: 19
Miles Covered: 634
Furthest Point South Reached: Georgetown, Great Exuma Island
Sailing Milestones Achieved for Rich: First single-handed overnight passage (Fort Lauderdale to Bimini); exceeded 1,000 miles in total single handed experience (1,122)
Breakdowns / Carnage / Drama: One sail comprehensively exploded by a squall while sailing to Big Major; otherwise none
Key Take-Aways About Bahamas Cruising: Locals tell us that the weather during our trip was very unusual, but we experienced either (i) long periods of strong winds that trapped us in port for many days in a row or (ii) flat calms. Very few days fell in between these two wind extremes. Those cruising to the Bahamas may want to plan for delays in their cruise plan as a result. Also, marine services in the Bahamas are quite limited (apart from Nassau). As such, cruisers should plan to be very self sufficient from a maintenance and repair standpoint.
Editor’s Note: In general we try to keep this blog’s posts in narrative sequence. We will therefore complete our Drivin’ South post series for those who are interested in learning about travel down the Intracoastal Waterway before we begin posts highlighting our visit to the Bahamas. We try to limit interruptions to the narrative sequence to posts like this one, which we make when we’ve fallen significantly behind due to extended cruises.
There were three legs to this trip which are best consolidated into a single entry in the interest of brevity. My first stop was the Southport marina in Southport, North Carolina where I spent a day and a half getting an oil change, a cooling system service and doing laundry while hiding out from a bit of spirited weather. Southport Marina was a very good place to stop – I’d highly recommend it.
Continue reading Drivin’ South: Wrightsville Beach, NC to Cat Island, SC Single Handed