Lake Worth to West End, Grand Bahama Island

Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Flag of Bahamas  , Florida,
Saturday, February 14, 2009

We woke at 0 dark thirty and prepared breakfast.  Anchor aweigh at 0523.  We had butterflies in our tummies, this was so exciting.  It was still dark and Ros headed out to the channel while Dave secured the anchor and anchor locker and front end on the jack lines.  As soon as we were in the channel we slowed down to work our way to the ICW, the markers in the channel were not easy to see in the dark and as we worked our way out we found ourselves too far to the port side of the channel and came to a sudden stop.  Oh no!  We quickly shifted gears to astern and we off and back in the channel .  We  headed south on the ICW and then turned west around Peanut Island it seemed quite industrial and as we turned into the channel toward the inlet Dave said "there are some guys going out!"  It would be nice to have some company.  We exited the inlet at 0650 and found the first few miles quite choppy. 

We set course for West End allowing about 25 degrees of set for the Gulf Stream.  The wind was light (6-12 knots) and southerly and seas were 2 feet and swells were 4-5 feet and short.  The sun came up as the moon was still quite high, it was pretty.  It became a beautiful day, the forcast was spot on.  The sailboats that exited the inlet were soon on the VHF and we discovered that they were heading for Memory Rock further north than us and they soon disappeared over the horizon on a deverging course.

We were only making 5 knots under motor crossing the Gulf Stream but soon the wind piped up from the south at about 8 knots so we unfrurled the genoa and did some Canadian sailing (motor sailed.)  It worked well and we touched 8 knots even as the swell got higher. 

We were soon out of sight of everything.  The sea was gin clear and dark blue - the color of Bombay gin, it was mesmorizing!  We saw fish  jumping and many flying fish, some long range ones!  We also saw some large vessels including the cruise liner Monarch of the Seas.  The boat motion was quite vigorous in the short seas and we both felt the effects of being on the ocean - a vague headache and knot in the stomach.  Unusually, Dave was not anxious for lunch but coffee and a light snack seemed to relieve the symptoms and we relaxed and enjoyed the ride.  Dave said that it all seemed rather boring after transiting the ICW!   For Dave the GPS and Chartplotter take some of the magic and satisfaction out of navigating, using a compass and pencil and for those clever asses - we do have the charts ansd and a pencil on board!!

Land ahoy at 1402 as we sighted West End!  As ever it seemed to take a long time from then to get to the inlet!   When we arrived at 1500 the sea was very confused and the inlet looked alarmingly small with reefs to port and large rocky breakwaters either side and rolling cross seas.  Dave said "give it some wellie Gromett" and in we went into the turning basin where we hoisted our yellow flag requesting pratique.  We proceeded to our dock C19 with ease where Jamal helped us tie up and told us where to check in for Customs and Immigration.   We spent a half hour filling in papers and obtained clearance from a very helpful customs fellow.  We then raised our Bahamian courtesey flag and went ashore to explore with a great feeling of satisfaction.

This is a resort community with all the facilities you would expect.  A walk along the beach brought us to a beach bar where we had a beer and complimentary conch fritters overlooking the bright blue ocean framed with palm trees.  Later we dined on "cheesebergers in paradise" and fell into really bed early!!    

Friday was spent installing a new pump for the head.  Oh, Joy in paradise!!   This evening we went to the resort welcome party and had free drinks and hors d'overs and a great Bahamian band.  We met with other cruisers on Sea Mist a Tayana 37 which came in today from Marathon Key and we are planning to head for Great Sale Cay memory Rock with them tomorrow.  
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simonj on

Congrats on your Bahamas arrival!
Well done - gone foreign at last!
Greetings from the Woodleys also now with us!
What's this 'Canadian sailing' - many of them can actually sail with both/all sails. Its their southern neighbors who seem to have locks on their mainsails or have nothing under the sail cover or have not seen the 'use of mainsail' DVD yet!!
Following your progress avidly!!

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