I wanted to write up a quick post before I lose connection. We have a T-Mobile hotspot that should work in the Bahamas but I’ll try to get this post out while we are crossing.
I believe I last posted Friday as we were pulling into Dinner Key in Miami. We spent one night there. Coconut Grove was a beautiful area out of the chaos of Miami. But Saturday we headed north to Ft. Lauderdale. After Ben called about 30 marinas in the area and north he finally called the New River city marina back and they had a spot. So we docked at the New River Downtown Docks for the past four nights. Pulling out of Miami and into Ft. Lauderdale left us with incredible views of many enormous cruise ships and mega yachts. The money oozing out on the water here is just unreal.
Once we got into Ft. Lauderdale the New River is fascinating. It’s a plenty deep, very narrow river. Houses on the banks are beautiful, the yachts people have parked outside of them also beautiful. The mega yachts can’t do the river under their own power because it is too narrow with tight turns so they have to be towed front and back. We watched more than we can count go past. New River was a fabulous location, right in the heart of the river, right by Las Olas Blvd, every store we can imagine around for provisions etc. The one downside was that the river is very narrow, big boats docked on both sides and the boat traffic is busier than the Chicago River. And no one slows sown. Water taxis, tour boats, tons of personal watercraft. We got rocked and bumped into the wall nonstop. By day two or three we just got used to it. By midnight it quiets down for the night.
We had such a great weekend. Saturday when we pulled in my childhood friend Samantha and her husband Yaniv came to see the boat and then took us to their house for dinner. We met their three kids (Ben and I hadn’t seen them since they were little and the girls don’t remember meeting them b/c they were so little). She has a 14, 12 and almost 4 year old. My girls loved having different toys to play with, a little kid to play with and big kids to talk to. And we enjoyed a home cooked feast! We cook a lot on the boat, but is different to go chill out at someone’s house and just relax. Thank you Samantha and Yaniv! Somehow I didn’t take any pictures.
Sunday the Grammatkes came to see us. They drove over from Marco and got to us around 10 AM. It was like we saw them last weekend. The kids squealed and hugged and disappeared to play immediately. It was so good to catch up and seems impossible it’s been so long since they moved to Denver. We had lunch on the riverfront and then took them out on the boat to see Ft. Lauderdale, the houses, boats and cruise ships. After a great visit they had to head back. We stayed on the boat, put the girls to bed, watched the super bowl alone (missed our Super Bowl party this year!) and went to bed.
Monday started two days of chaos. Ben picked up a car bright and early and hit four boat stores and Home Depot to start provisions and supply shopping. I did school with the girls and took them to the park.
After he was back and unloaded we all headed to Costco for a 2 hour marathon trip. You’d think we’d never been shopping before. We’ve been warned so many times about how expensive food is in the Bahamas. Well we have made darn sure we won’t ever need to buy cereal, goldfish, popcorn, granola bars, oatmeal squares, oatmeal, yogurt, of course Vodka and Rum, or anything else you can imagine…we probably bought it. After Costco I was exhausted. But I trekked out Monday night and spent another 3 1/2 hours shopping. Much to my delight I passed a Nordstrom Rack and picked up some new running shoes! But then went to Trader Joes and stocked up on our favorites there and a monster Target trip….cleaning supplies, vitamins, dish soap, hand soap, body wash, shampoo/conditioner, lot of shelf stable juices, big watertight containers for Ben and some of the many things I listed above. By 11:30 PM when I got home the boat looked like it did in August when we left. Molly and I spent ages on Tuesday carefully storing things under beds and in cabinets and lining the guest room. We LOVE having guests and would love to have you visit in the Bahamas, but be warned, you will be sharing a room with lots of food. While we were doing that Tuesday Ben ran to do some more boat errands. He needed to stock up on oil to do an oil change there and went to dreaded Walmart for that. But Walmart sells Parmalot which is decent shelf stable milk so we’ve added 8 boxes of that to our stores. We also both managed hair cuts and I fit in a quick pedicure.
Last night the Wilsons flew back to Ft. Lauderdale. Before driving back to Marathon and their boat they came to see us and joined us for dinner. We met Ozzie and Cathy from our Chicago dock at Burnham at the 15th Street Fisheries and had a really great dinner. Cathy is too sweet…she came armed with big goodie bags for the girls. All sorts of fun stuff for them to play with. Currently they are making Blizzard Wizard snow…instant snow in a jar. She also outfitted me with an adorable nautical style purse which I love. It was so fun to see people from home and catch up. It was equally hard to say goodbye to the Wilsons AGAIN. But we will say See You Later because we are both committed to seeing each other again somehow!
After we got back to the boat Ben met the people dropping off our Water Maker. We decided to rent one for the trip rather than relying on Bahamas water and having to pay for it. We had to pay for the water maker but means we can use as much as we need for laundry and showers and dishes and not worry about getting somewhere to get water. With the testing kit Ben has showed me that the water that comes through the water maker, out of the river last night is more pure than the water in the boat that has gone through two filters. I’m working on being convinced. We do have some bottled water but this should apparently be perfectly good to drink.
Molly has commented a couple of times that she’s kind of nervous. Nervous about being in a different country mostly. We realize we’ve probably fed some of that since we’ve been running around like crazy people for two days. We’ve been to Mexico many times with the girls but she commented that she’s gone there since before she remembers so it doesn’t seem different. We’ve explained that the reason we’ve done so much provisioning is so that we can have the comforts of home on board and so that we don’t have to spend a fortune on everything. We will spend our money on fresh fruits and veggies and the amazing fresh bread we’ve read and heard about. Although we did bring plenty of ingredients to bake our own bread once we run out of the stash we brought with us.
We set out this morning, got fuel, and headed out. As I type we are in amazing blue flat water and Ben says he can confirm we are currently crossing the Gulf Stream. He can feel the boat getting pushed north as it carries us.
We should arrive by 3:30 or so this afternoon. We’re cruising along slowly to save fuel. Ben thinks he saw a whale breach. There are four other boats making this trip today as well although they left much earlier than we did and left from further north. Despite my best efforts I lost signal before being able to post so I’ll post when we arrive and I have time to upload pictures.
Back online. After we lost signal we enjoyed 50 miles of beautiful water. The last 20 miles were big waves, rolling and pitching the boat up and down. The Seakeeper worked overtime today as did the engines. It wasn’t dangerous, but Ben could tell the water was changing a bit and picked up speed and we opted for getting there rather than saving fuel. Three of the other boats were already here and six more were clearing customs when Ben walked up to do so. The color of the water is indeed incredible. Molly had felt not great much of the day today and was itching to get off the boat. But no one is allowed off til Ben was done with customs. Once done we went and flew the girls’ new kites from Cathy Factor in a big open field and then walked over to the pool and beach.
And now I’m trying again to post Thursday morning. We’re staying put for a few days as the winds have kicked up. We’re at the Old Bahama Bay resort and other than not having power restored to the slips post hurricane the resort has a nice pool, beach, restaurant, bikes and paths and a workout room. So back to school this morning and then off to explore.
Bahamas has long tracks in shallow water, but don’t worry. Travel with sun high and you can see the bottom and infrequent shallower spots.
Your statement about big yachts and money reminded me of the time I arrived on a friends 90′ boat from Texas where the boat was one of the largest. We were put in a slip at Bahia Mar instead of a face dock. I told him he thought he was rich and old back in Texas, but in Florida he’s clearly neither.