I write these as we go, but don’t put them out until have internet access, so I date them back to when written.
After all the time spent away and in boatyards we finally made it to the Bahamas. The Tuesday (12th) weather window held, so we left Cable Marine at 6:45 and went through Everglades Cruise Port around 7. Just a couple of cruise ships including a large Princess ship. We were out of the channel and into the open Atlantic by 7:15. With the wind and waves coming from the east, we were immediately into 2 foot waves. A bit of fore and aft pitching, but due to the new stabilizers no rocking side to side.
In about an hour we entered the Gulf Stream and picked up northward speed, going from about 9 mph to 11.7 on our east northeast route to West End, Grand Bahama Island. Here the waves got to 3 feet, as predicted. There was enough pitching (but still no rocking) to require planning and continuous use of handholds to walk anywhere on the boat. We never did get spray over the rails or have our ship’s bell ring like it did when we were with Paul and Sharon crossing Albemarle Sound, however.
We got a good boost in speed for a few hours, after which it slowly tapered off, finally to nothing when we neared West End. The waves also tapered off, so the last half of our trip was essentially no waves at all as we neared the protected waters all around the Bahamas. No need to touch the autopilot the entire way. It automatically headed the boat more to the east as we entered the north flowing Gulf Stream. The only thing we noticed was the speed boost.
We entered the West End harbor at 3 PM and backed into our slip in dead calm waters. We checked in with customs in about 10 minutes, paid our $300 and raised a Bahamian flag on the bow. We had planned to leave the next morning, but remained an extra day to sort out our phone/internet at the local BTC office.
Weather was great. Some sun but not too much, breeze just right. Not many people at West End, so the only noise is when a boat comes in or out. This is looking good.
Sue’s addition: Weather is beautiful. We set up our chairs at the beach a five minute walk from the marina. We sat, relaxed and watched the ocean. No on else on the beach that we saw. The Bahamian marina crew are so cheerful and their accent pleasant. There are beautiful rental condos for those who take the short flight from Miami or Ft Lauderdale. Quiet here. No jet skis, parasails, etc. There are kayaks for rent. You can hire a boat and go sport fishing too.