CRUISE - April 2000
It was 7:15 a.m. and we had just pulled up anchor in Nassau Harbor,
having spent the night "on the hook" when my wife cried out "Look over
there, there's a body floating in the water!" ---- But wait, I'm way
ahead of myself - let's go back to last year when planning our Bahamas
trip first took place.
After our cruise last year up the St. John's River in Florida, decided
our next big cruise would be to the Bahamas. There were several boaters
in our local U.S. Sail & Power Squadron who were interested and so we
began meeting in December of 1999 to begin planning -- there was to be a
total of 7 boats represented. Shortly thereafter, 2 of the larger boats
dropped out so that left one 54', one 48', 2 sailboats 36' & 38', and
last, but not least, our 25' Albin (always the smallest in the group).
Our departure date from Angelfish Creek was set for March 21, weather
permitting. By March 1, the two sailboats dropped out of the group --
one because of a wedding they had to attend (they would follow later)
and one due to illness. That left only three boats remaining out of the
And so it was on March 9 we left our dock in St. Petersburg on what was
to be a "cruise of a lifetime". Less that 3/4 hour later, we turned
around and headed back to the dock after discovering our camcorder (less
than 30 days old) was not working. A quick trip to Sears produced a new
camera and 2 hours later we were once more under way - with a lot less
Our trip down Tampa Bay, under the Skyway Bridge and to the anchorage at
Longboat Key was slow but uneventful. It seems we're always going
against tide and current. At 3:15 p.m. we were serenely anchored when 2
sailboats decided to anchor next to us. Both dropped anchor and did not
play out any rode so I felt it best to more lest we hear bumping noises
in the dark.
next morning, we were underway at 7:30 a.m. and aground at 7:35 a.m.
After moving the night before I did not make allowance for sandbar that
extends into south part of anchorage. We were able to power off and by
7:40 were underway again. After passing through Sarasota Bay, we came
upon 2 racing sculls -- sorry to say they won the race. They're fast but
we have staying power. We docked at the City of Venice free dock.
By 6:30 a.m. the next day we were underway leaving the beautiful city of
Venice behind. We normally then proceed to either Boca Grande or Caya
Costa but weather was supposed to turn ugly Sunday so we continued on to
the City of Ft. Myers Municipal Marina. The 73-mile trip was a long
choppy one with 15+ knot winds on the bow. From Sanibel Island to the
city docks is always a challenge as, in my opinion, the Ft. Myers area
has the largest number of rude and crazy boaters who give no thought as
to wake they are putting out, etc.
After 2 days at the City Marina, we headed up the Caloosahatchee River
on March 13 and met a 25' Albin "Casper" from Oregon. They were hoping
to get to the Dry Tortugas although weather did not look favorable.
Florida Bay can get real nasty in any type of blow.
As we cruised along west of LaBelle, a seaplane came up from behind and
landed just in front of us (to one side). He did a couple of "touch &
go's" on the river. Amazing - we've never been "waked" by a plane (not
When we arrived at anchorage just past LaBelle, we were met by e-mail
buddies, Elaine and Don Howland on their Albin 25 "Short & Sweet". Spent
pleasant afternoon checking out each other's boats.
It was cold when we arose at 6:30 but the sun warmed up by 8. Ortona
Lock was a bit rough as they open front gate to raise you in lock.
Arrived at Moore Haven at 1 p.m. River was completely closed until 6 for
bridge construction We docked at city docks and walked downtown, past
courthouse and prison and sat around until 4:45 when construction
ceased. We were second of eleven in the lock. As they tried to raft up,
2 SeaRays (who seem to be owned by world's worst boaters) let loose
their lines from lock sides and began to float loose among other boats.
In the excitement, one man fell overboard and everyone yelled for them
to shut off their engines. Lockmaster hurt his shoulder in haste to
throw them a lifebuoy. Finally, the man got back on his boat all were
more or less secured and they opened gate to let water raise us up. We
got out of lock at 5:30! Whew! It was comical but could have been
disastrous. Young couple in boat in front us in lock had taken first
cruise The locking incident really shook them up --he said all he wants
is to get back and sleep in his own bed. Probably a good chance for
someone to buy his boat cheap! We proceeded on toward a good protected
anchorage past Clewiston, which should be easy to find in the dark as it
is opposite a boat launch, which we thought, would be well lighted.
Unfortunately, we were at the fishing village at Torry Island when we
realized we had passed the anchorage. No good anchorage there so we went
back and tied up to a commercial tie pole and put out a back anchor. In
morning, we found we were only about 100 yards from anchorage and the
boat launch (which doesn't have lights).
Hoisted anchor and set right out. At 8:45 we took off across lake to
Port Mayaca Lock. Another great sun-shiny day - choppy with 10-15 knots
but not bad at all. Stopped at Indiantown to refuel. Owner of a 25'
Albin with sail came over to meet us. They are also headed for Bahamas.
They go each year at this time for a couple of months. Their Albin has
no refrigeration so they eat mainly fish and rice. It appears to be the
basic Albin with no extras. Out of marina it is still very windy.
Arrived at Corps of Engineers marina at St. Lucie Lock at3 p.m. Ahh!!
Shower and walk around lock and campground sure felt good.
Thursday, March 16 we started right through St. Lucie Lock at 8:15 and
out at 8:37. Winds at 20 - 26 knots - rough chop. Much calmer inside ICW
again behind Jupiter Island but still strong head wind. Anchored for the
night at the Lake Worth Anchorage. Winds died down about 11 p.m. and
lake became calm as a millpond.
March 17 dawned calm and sunny and uneventful until we had to go around
a giant cargo ship at Port of Palm Beach, which was backing across
channel into the Tropicale berth. We were called on our cell phone by
Sapient, one of the large power boats in our "flotilla", advising that
it had been too rough at Ft. Myers to go out by Florida Bay so they are
following us. They got stuck 24 hours at Moore Haven so are coming
across Okeechobee today. At this point, they advised the other large
power boat had mechanical problems and our flotilla is now down to only
2 boats. Going up the New River at Fort Lauderdale was so different -
the homes are lovely, quaint and beautiful. River is narrow and winding
with incredibly big yachts tied along side and coming down river right
toward us. Beautiful but a bit scary though it is all "idle speed". The
City of Ft. Lauderdale Marina at Cooley's Landing on New River is so
beautiful with landscaped walkways, bougainvillea, camellias and flowers
lining the walkways under big trees. We walked over bridge to the Ft.
Lauderdale River Walk where a big St. Patrick's celebration was going
on. We had supper and watched the celebrations for a while.
Saturday, I changed the oil and filters on the boat while my wife went
food shopping. Chuck & Carole from "Sapien" arrived last night and said
the river was closed for 24 hours at Moore Haven because a concrete
girder fell onto the barge and killed two workers. Sitting on the dock
today we watched men putting their small fishing boat in at the boat
launch. One man stood in the boat, with no lines attached while other
was in the car reversing quite fast. Well, that boat slid off the
rollers and, it being low tide hit the concrete ramp with a loud bang.
The man in the boat had some choice words to say about the boat, the
ramp, but not his intelligence. Wonder if he cracked his hull or motor?
Rained came down in buckets so we'll stay here till weather improves.
Left Cooley's landing on Tuesday and had an easy 5-hour trip down to
Miami. We stopped at Venetian Isles where we dinghied to city dinghy
dock and walked couple of blocks to Publix. There were about 20
sailboats at anchor in this good anchorage. We prefer the Marine Stadium
anchorage so went on to it. We watched an inflatable dinghy flying
around. It has a hang glider type fixed wing mounted above it and took
right off and flew around at a high altitude (for a dinghy). Watched it
for a while and then went on and anchored at marine amphitheater at
March 22 and the weather is clear and calm but NE winds in ocean with 7
- 10' swells. Looks like we wait until Saturday or Sunday or longer to
cross. We moved boat out toward middle of anchorage to get more wind and
less bugs and to give rowers and wave runners more room. Cold front came
through about midnight and it was choppy and very windy and noisy to
Next morning we docked at Boca Chica National Park. Gorgeous sunny day
but very windy. There are toilets but no drinking water, showers,
garbage cans or electricity and no dogs allowed. But lots of picnic
tables, shelters, coconut palms and white sand beach and clean, clear,
green water. Rained after supper and very windy.
Friday, March 24 - still very windy 15-20 knots. We walked around island
and saw some real nice sandy beaches on south side. Heard from Sapient
who is anchored by Pumpkin Key (by Angel Fish Creek - our jumping off
spot for the Bahamas). It was so windy 4 boats there slipped their
After supper, we heard a loud bang and thought some boys were
dropping a coconut to try to break it open. Then we heard whispers of
"He can't talk - is he breathing?" We rushed over to find a 13 year old
lying on his back - just starting to regain consciousness. His left
wrist was badly broken and he kept asking what happened and didn't
remember anything. Another boater called 911 and eventually the 911
operator was made aware of where Boca Chita Nat'l Park was and called
the park ranger who arrived back at 6:30. His father then took him to
the mainland hospital.
Saturday, March 25
Sunny but still very strong NE winds. We headed south for Key Largo. We
docked at Paradise Marina (Gilbert's) on Key Largo by Jewfish Creek. It
is under new management with a nice cold pool and tiki bar. We're at end
of docks around back on quiet lagoon so should enjoy a good sunset.
Sunday, March 26
About 8 a.m., we heard a boater on VHF relay that the Gulf Stream was
calm as a millpond. Since weather was now going to worsen on Monday, we
contacted Sapien and Gusto (other boats going with us) and it was
decided to go across today. Within 20 minutes we were on our way north
to Angelfish and the Bahamas! It took 2 hours to get to Angelfish but we
knew we could get across to Gun Cay before sunset so away we went.
The ocean was calm and such a beautiful green color that soon changed to
brilliant blue of the Gulf Stream and then to a deeper brilliant blue as
our depth sounder stopped recording at 357' . Out of radio contact with
our other boats until about 4 but sighted Gun Cay at 4:45. Arrived in
anchorage at 5:45 and the sun set within half an hour. It was a
delightful, easy trip. Worth waiting for calm weather. Weather not
sounding good for tomorrow's 12-hour trip to Chubb Cay.
Monday, March 27
Monday, March 27 dawned very windy with small craft warnings and
possible showers this afternoon so we told Sapien to go on without us -
we'll wait for calm day to go 76 nautical miles to Chubb Cay. Other
boat, Gusto left at 3 a.m. The winds really picked up and rains started
so we lifted anchor and went across to Cat Cay Marina to spend quiet
night at dock. We had been anchored well in a small cove and watched the
spray from the breakers crash on other side of Gun Cay - spectacular!
Decided to clear customs here at Cat Cay and wait for weather to
improve. Seems like the Army "hurry up and wait" - wild 12 hour trips
and then days of waiting for weather to calm. Oh well, better safe than
sorry. Marina charged $2.25 per ft ($56.25) plus electricity but we
still are glad to be out of that noisy chop. Going across cut between
Gun and Cat Cay was real interesting as good size waves rolled through
the cut. A few days ago we listened to Coast Guard report a sailboat on
the rocks in that pass with 2 people in the water. Next Coast Guard
report stated 1 person in the water. Wonder if they were rescued and
what happened. Listening to VHF is like watching soap operas once a
Cleared through customs for $100 (which includes a fishing license) and
then customs man said, "that's the tip jar". Amazing. We met a couple
from Ft. Myers (and New Hampshire), Lee and Don Bates on 35' sailboat
"Sail Inn". Their radio failed on them so we lent them our extra - a
handheld VHF until we all get to Nassau where they can buy a new one. We
became great friends with this couple & completed the remainder of the
cruise with them.
Tuesday, March 28
Wind is really blowing. We walked the beaches along to SW point where we
could look out and see the ocean crashing on the rocks. One sailboat "MIMA"
with Tom and Stephanie (from Tampa) aboard recorded one gust at 57 mph
during thunderstorm during the night. Later in the day when wind & seas
calmed a bit, we moved to an anchorage just outside the marina.
Set out across the Great Bahama Banks at 4 a.m. Wednesday after not
getting much sleep, as there was an unpleasant chop in the anchorage. It
was a bumpy ride with 1 to 2 ft chop hitting us broadside but wasn't
bad. Great sunrise about 6:15. At 7 am we've gone 18 miles. The water is
12-15 ft deep and clear turquoise and you can see the bottom. When we
passed NW Channel depth went from 20 to 50 to 280 - 480 ft in seconds
and then infinity. Water went from turquoise to brilliant blue. Anchored
off Chub Cay at 4:45 p.m.
Thursday, March 30
Chub Cay is a private club island with a marina, fuel, store, and
restaurant. We went into the marina for diesel fuel and walk-about.
After lunch, we dinghied to Crab Cay with Lee and Don of Sail Inn and
had nice walk and swim and then they had to tow us back because our
dinghy ran out of gas. (see map)
Another Albin 25, "TERN III" came in and anchored next to us. Ted and
Geri and 2 daughters Kate (16) and Kara from Conneault, Ohio left Ohio
last September and cruised Erie Canal, down Hudson and down the ICW.
They are home schooling and love living aboard the boat.
Wednesday, we left Chubb Cay at 6:50 a.m. Depth recorded 10', 52', 416'
and then infinity in seconds!! It was a real rough cruise. Winds were
supposed to be light SE and were south at 15 knots so we were hit
broadside with 3' waves - occasionally 5'. The Island Woman bobbed along
merrily (not so good for Janet's equilibrium)! At one point, the Island
Woman's engine faded for a second. That's scary in rough seas with no
bottom to anchor to. Don't know if we caught seaweed in propeller or had
a bubble in gas line. We'll listen even closer to weather now. Bahamas
broadcasts weather each morning at 7 am and we'll request additional
weather info from boats that have sideband radios.
You must call the Nassau Harbor Master on the VHF radio and request
permission to enter the harbor. Then maneuver around the big cruise
ships and watch out for seaplanes that land in harbor. First 2 marinas
were full and we got last slip at Nassau Yacht Haven. We pulled into
slip and Janet tossed lines to the 2 deck hands and leaped off boat. The
deck hands howled with laughter at her speed. They said she leaped off
even faster than a cat. (And that is fast).
April 1 - 7
For 8 days we remained in Nassau because of weather. The large cruise
ships make this a regular stop with passengers visiting the Straw Market
and Atlantis on Paradise Island. Besides the large ships, cruising boats
of all sizes and shapes can be found at the several marinas or anchored
out at either end of the harbor. To this, add the absence of no wake
zones (what are they?), commercial seaplanes landing in the harbor and
the myriad of tour boats blaring loud music and you have an interesting
The Straw Market is a must as is the market by the bridge to Potters Cay
where Conch reigns supreme. In the Straw Market you can get straw hats,
straw bags, etc. plus T-shirts, hats and other souvenirs. Having good
bargaining skills is a plus because everything is negotiable. Conch
salad - conch fritters, conch burgers - you name it and they can make it
out of conch and all are simply delicious. It's a treat just watching
the vendors make your salad to order from shell to plate!
Sidewalks are almost non-existent and with the roads make walking a
hazard to your health. Very few cars can be found that don't have dents.
Public transportation on little private busses can be as enjoyable as
any thrill ride at Disney World. Throughout it all, the native Bahamian
is friendly, jovial and fun to talk with.
Atlantis on Paradise Island is beyond description - fantastic -
beautiful - unbelievable - words just don't do it justice. There is
gambling, of course, but the grounds, lobbies, dining areas (surrounded
by walls of the aquarium make the gambling pall by comparison.
Twice we tried to leave Nassau to continue our cruise and twice we were
turned back by 4-5' seas and a recorded 47 knot wind gust. Finally we
April 8 for Allan's Cay. By the way, there must be several hundred
boats in Nassau at any time and there are no pumpouts. In fact, there
were none at any of the cays we visited.
Saturday, April 8
After 8 days in Nassau, we awoke to calm harbor so lifted anchors at
7:35 am. Entered anchorage at Allan's Cay 40 miles later at 1:30. Whew!
Not as bad as yesterday but quite a trip. Island Woman takes 5-ft waves
on nose better than we do. Greeted by Sail Inn, Voyager and Solo (from
Clearwater). Dinghied over to beach and saw lots of iguanas which are
supposedly largest in the world. The water is so clear with sand bottom.
We anchored in boomerang-shaped pond at SE Allan's. Protected from all
but North wind. Secluded and beautiful - what we dreamed the Bahamas
would be like. Lovely sunset.
Sunday dawned clear and sunny but about 10 am the predicted cold front
blew in. We had already put out 3rd anchor so we're set good. The north
winds (only direction with no protection) howled and seas were
tremendous outside the Cay - not too bad in here. Next day we decided to
lift anchor and re-anchor up near Sail Inn, Solo and Voyager. At least
we'll be in closer contact even if it is bouncier. Winds 20 knots all
day. Went to explore ruins. Got close to lots of iguanas. Still cold and
windy. It is now 15 days out of 33 or almost half of trip we spent at
anchor or in marina because of weather!
Tuesday, April 11
Still over 20 knot winds but we're going to try to head south with our
sailing companions Solo, Voyager and Sail Inn. Left at 9:21 and arrived
at Shroud Cay anchorage at 12:15 after another rough passage. Cold and
windy. Rainsqualls came in afternoon. Winds now from East. Re-anchored
closer to North and East shoreline and it is calmer. Sun out
intermittently. Good calm anchorage until about 8 p.m. then winds a beam
for another bouncy night. Island has nice sand beach and many creeks to
explore but weather did not permit beach combing or use of dinghy.
Headed south for Staniel Cay on Wednesday. The Banks had a light chop
and trip was pleasant. We arrived at marina around 2 p.m. where we
re-fueled, replenished our water supply ($.50 a gallon & real good
water) and dropped off trash ($2.50 per bag). Water, electricity and
trash removal are 3 items that are at a premium in the islands. All
water is R.O. (reverse osmosis); electricity must be generated
individually on each island and trash? Well that's a real problem all
over - even in the States.
We then cruised over to join Sail Inn, Tern III and a dozen or more
boats in the anchorage. The water was smooth and clear with sand bottom
for good holding and white sand beaches. Suddenly saw a large Grey pig
on the beach (see picture above ) and she was swimming out to meet a
dinghy. She is a wild pig looking for handouts and greets all boaters
who come ashore.
The next day the sun shone brightly but was still windy. With another
couple, we dinghied over to snorkel Thunderball Cave. This is where they
filmed the James Bond movie of the same name. Cave was beautiful. Once
inside you are able to see due to 3 large openings in the roof of cove
letting in sunlight. There are actually 2 entrances on either side of
cave. Lots of brilliantly colored fish. This was a delightful
experience. Later we visited the settlement on Staniel Cay and ordered
some of their famous Bahamian bread, which you need to order a day
ahead. Later we snorkeled in anchorage - all in all a great day.
About 3 a.m. tide changed and brought light beam rollers. 'The day
dawned clear and sunny but again gusty winds. We dinghied over to
Stanley Cay to have lunch with friends. The heavy chop and winds when
out of lee made for a rough wet ride and we arrived soaking wet with
6-8" of water in dinghy. Had a great lunch (though no fish was available
because seas were too rough for fishing). Served by a cheerful native
waitress who declared she would live no where else except on this
island. Picked up our Bahamian bread (which was delicious) and a can of
butter (yes, a can!). Because the weather had one front following
another, we decided to forget going on to Georgetown and the Eleuthera
Islands and return home.
On the 15th, we began to head north when we were advised by VHF from
another boat that a large band of severe squalls were moving our way. We
took their advice and returned to the anchorage. Around 1 p.m. all heck
broke loose - rain in buckets and strong winds that had boats in
anchorage start their engines in case of dragging anchors. We all
breathed easier when it ended and things settled down.
Left Staniel Cay for Norman's Cay at 7:25 a.m. on Sunday with light
10-15 knot winds from SE so trip north is quite good with rollers on
port and rear. About 10:30 a rainsquall arrived and winds shifted to NE
so rest of ride was bouncy with 3 to 4 ft waves. I watched through front
window as one broke over us - solid green water! Anchored in Norman's
Cay, which is an old drug runner base (Colombian drug runner Carlos
Leder). Wrecked double engine plane still lies in shallows at NE end of
anchorage. We explored abandoned buildings (some with old bullet holes
still visible) and walked on up road to airport and MacDuffs, which is a
famous hamburger, spot. Their blender is powered by a weed eater!
Honest! They also have cabins to rent. Back at anchorage we took swim
and enjoyed a very quiet evening. Best night's sleep since we left Key
Monday, we left Norman's Cay at 7:20 a.m. for Nassau. First day in
Bahamas that we had no small craft advisory. Calm voyage all the way.
Refueled and then anchored in Nassau. A commercial boat called out to us
and said we were in their path so we lifted anchor and it took us quite
a few tries before we got anchors set again at 3:20. Still sunny with
light breeze. Quiet calm night except for fireworks display at Atlantis.
(We heard them but didn't get up to watch.)
Now, to continue the story about the body….
Tuesday, April 18
We left anchorage at 7:02 and within 10 minutes Janet spied a body in
the water. Thought at first it was a large dog in a life vest but it
wasn't. We circled back and I could see it was a black man, fully
clothed in a life vest, he appeared to have a gash on the side of his
head & was wearing the clothes of a seaman. We tried to interrupt the
weather report by BASRA and when they didn't answer, we called Nassau
Harbor Control who, in turn, called Bahama Defense Force. They said a
Bahama Defense Force boat would be right out and requested we stay at
site. We were in middle of channel just east of big cruise ships. While
we circled the body, a big freighter came toward us and Janet waved him
down so he wouldn't come near us. Then a pilot boat came over and we
asked him if he would stay with body. Reply was "I'm a pilot boat -
don't have nothin' to do with bodies". Then he called to Bahama Defense
Boat that they should come east to where we were. We told pilot boat to
stay there and we asked Bahama Harbor Control if we could leave and were
granted permission so we waved to Defense Force boat as it arrived at
site and we left. Immediately thereafter, in narrowest part of channel
by lighthouse, we had to pass the Disney Cruise ship. Whew! A little
later, Bahama Defense radioed us to thank us and get more info. He'd
have liked us to stay in Nassau and file written report but agreed to
get info on the radio - our name, address, phone number and details of
"the incident". Needless to say, both us were terribly upset by having
found the dead seaman but maybe God guided us there just so the man
could be found quickly and returned to his family.
Next, we heard the tanker "Titas" calling the "yellow hulled sailboat
heading NW and realized he was calling Sail Inn and was just behind
them. With their sail up, they didn't see him. After clearing them and
us, he radioed his thanks for our cooperation. Calm day turned about an
hour later with 20 to 25 knot winds hitting front port quarter with 5'
waves. Another nasty crossing. Good to anchor in small creek between
Chub and Crab Cay. Real low tide but we got anchored in 4' and went
ashore to call home. Who did we meet on the docks? Amazing Grace - the
sailboat we were to meet in Eleuthera for Easter Sunday!! They were
delayed coming over due to bad weather and we sat and talked for couple
of hours. We feel bad leaving just when they are arriving but it is
definitely time for us to go home. They will continue on with sailboat
"Decadence" from Madeira Beach. We all went to dinner together and it
was a great ending to our Bahamas Cruise.
Wednesday, April 19
Awoke to a clear calm day and weather report relayed from a boat with
sideband radio predicts light winds today. Sail Inn and Island Woman
left anchorage at 7:35 for long trip to Cat Cay. It is 87.4 miles and we
won't get to anchorage until about 8 but we should have no problem
anchoring by full moon. We can now receive NOA weather and they predict
south wind (light) so we should be able to head across the Gulf Stream
tomorrow. We never dreamed our dream cruise would be like this but we
are so glad we went to the Bahamas and our memories will be of all the
good people we met and the lovely islands we shared. Anchored of Cat
Left anchorage at 7:25 a.m. April 20 to top off fuel tanks at Marina.
They were out of diesel and didn't expect any for next few days. Thank
goodness Albins are fuel misers and so we started our crossing at 8:20.
Seas were smooth but had 3-5 ft rollers. Ride was long but comfortable.
Anchored in Miami at 5:10 p.m. Good to be back in the U.S.A.
Spent next two days at Hollywood Marina where we cleared customs by
phone. We anchored the next night in another old favorite anchorage -
Monday, April 24
Left anchorage in sunshine and smooth seas but by early afternoon winds
picked up and we had 30 to 40 mph gusts in St. Lucie River. One gust was
so hard it just about stopped our forward motion. Tied up at C.O.E.
Marina by St. Lucie Lock. Some time later, a sailboat trying to dock
alongside us hit us a terrific blow. Man on docks said our boat got 6"
narrower and a foot longer but I could find no damage. We have one tough
Tuesday, April 25
Took Rim Route around Lake Okochobbee because of high winds. Finally got
into lee of the land and from here on in its all intercoastal and while
we will have to put up with wakes from Sea Rays, sports fishermen and
other go-fast boats, weather should not be a problem.
Uneventful trip up inter-coastal and we arrived home on afternoon of
Friday, April 28.
Epilog: Both locals and long-time cruisers said they could not remember
a Spring with so many fronts and heavy winds. Restaurants ran out of
fish, as boats could not get out. Best time to go seems to be late
April, May and June (before hurricane season).
Most anchorages provide little or no protection from other than the
prevailing winds (south to southeast). Any other direction and you are
out in the open.
Because of the Albin's speed, the many long passages seem to be even
A good dinghy (with large tubes) and a fairly good size motor are a
Weather is most important. Bahama weather is given once a day (between 7
and 8 a.m. depending on location) and only for that day - there are no
long-range forecasts. A single side band (only need a short wave radio)
is almost a must so you can get long range forecasts (tomorrow, next
day, etc.) from "Herb" up in Canada.
Never arrange to meet other cruisers at a specific date or place. Trying
to get there on time could cause you to go out in weather you ordinarily
The Bahama waters are spectacular in color and clarity. The people are
great. Now if I only had a bigger and faster boat……