Friday, April 27 - We decided to leave here at 3 pm and sail non-stop and arrive at the St. Lucie inlet near Stuart at 9 a.m. We asked before we left if anyone had an updated Chris Parker forecast but no one did. One sailor did have a current NOAA marine forecast for the stream, which was SE-5-10 with 2-3' seas through Saturday and then increasing. So we left at 3 pm and motor sailed all afternoon and at 11:30 pm we were off the Bahama Banks and in the Gulf Stream and the weather was not what NOAA indicated it would be
. We had East winds 10-15 and the waves kept building. By the middle of the night there were some that crested even with the stern of the boat. But they never got any larger. It was a gorgeous sunset and we had a bright crescent moon to steer by. We also had lightning all around us but it never came close.We thought dawn would never come. We had the auto pilot on and it did very well. Denny would've been exhausted had it not worked. It was a downwind sleigh ride and we were smoking at 6.5 knots at times. Sure am glad I made sandwiches ahead of time. Our radar detected 8-10 ships and we avoided them all. Finally the sky started to lighten up at 6:20 a.m. and we could make out the shape of the waves. The waters were turbulent at best. Even though the winds were not that strong, it was their direction that made them a menace. It was a very long fetch. Denny had the waypoint for St. Lucie inlet and we motored with the main sail up into the inlet with fishing boats and vacationers slamming into the waves. They recently dredged the inlet and it was definitely better. It takes about 1 hour to get to the Sunset Bay marina where we got a mooring ball close to the marina's facilities. We called Indiantown and made an appointment for Thursday of this week for haul out. Now we're going for showers and then our favorite antipasto salad with garlic knots at the Luna Cafe. It will be a very early to bed night tonight.
Thursday, April 26 - We left the Leeward Yacht Club at 8:30 a.m. on a very hot day . We motor sailed with a SW breeze at around 10 knots and arrived at 6 pm at Great Sale Cay. There were 3 trawlers and one sailboat anchored but soon 5 other sailboats arrived. This is a favorite anchorage for boats traversing the Gulf Stream going east or west. It's the first and last stop in the Bahamas for many vessels as a harbor of refuge and a rest.