My last blog about the Bahamas…until next time that is. We all loved it so much that I’m fairly confident there will be a next time. After our horrendous night in the wind, the water calmed with sunrise. As often happens, at least for me, everything is better in the morning. We set out for West End and had a beautiful ride. It was about 50ish miles I believe. Trawler Life and Last Call headed out ahead of us knowing we would catch up. It took some serious work to get our anchor up. It was good and buried – we weren’t dragging! But more than that, the snubber chain that yanked all night long was not coming off. Ben had to hammer and wail on the shackle to break it loose because it was so bent from all the wind yanking us around. Happy to be on our way and put that night behind us.
We caught up to our friends and all traveled safely through Indian Rock Channel together. That is just a narrow passage that we had to time with high tide. It can have currents that could pull you into the shallow water, however we had no issues. We pulled into West End and tied up at our dock next to our friends on Corkscrew. It was so good to see them. Sonny and Phyllis are the sweetest people and the girls adore their dog Marena. They were so happy to have more time with her before crossing back to FL and parting ways, at least for now.
West End was badly damaged in the hurricane and the resort at Old Bahama Bay is still rebuilding. When we first crossed to the Bahamas we stayed there for 4 nights. They let guests use the kayaks and paddleboards for free which is awesome. The girls got to kayak for the first time. This time around they were so excited to paddleboard (and we are of course now in the market for an inflatable one!). They took turns staying in the shallow water and chasing each other up and down the beach.
They had a lot fun in the water, the beach, shuffleboard and the pool. They also flew kites again on the beach. We had a fun last two Bahamas days with Sonny and Phyllis (Corkscrew), Michael and Cathy (Trawler Life) and Karen and Scott (Last Call). The day before we left a slew of other boats pulled in to get ready to cross including Rod and Susie on Beehaven.
We left just before sunrise Wednesday morning to head back to FL. Hearts a little heavy to leave. The Bahamas were a very special part of this trip. I think at this point in time we all agree that it has been our favorite part. And there is SO much more to explore there. Six weeks felt like a luxury and yet we could have spent months exploring further south. There is never enough time! And, as is always the case on the loop, we traveled with some amazing people in the Bahamas. Some we are still in touch with back in FL and others have moved further north and we’re not sure if or when we’ll catch them again. So, the goodbyes are hard.
Our crossing was so-so. We set out in what we knew to be about 2 ft. waves. They were quickly 3-4 ft. with many 5 ft. mixed in. Madelyn got to see her first sunrise. She was in awe of how beautiful it was. I actually thought to give Molly Bonine before we left. She usually just wears wristbands and keeps ginger handy for the ocean rolling. But this was a long day AND I actually remembered….so why not. And her stomach didn’t hurt at all! Now….on further review I should have given her 1/2 a Bonine…she conked out cold up on the flybridge bench for like 3 hours we think. Oops. The waves were off our bow and not violent, but still not fun. The Seakeeper was worth EVERY penny that day. It worked overtime all day long. No school work was possible at all. Maddy sat in my lap for hours b/c she was a little uneasy (and Molly was asleep!). We were in the Gulf Stream for like 6 hours. It was never ending and pulling us all the wrong ways. When we got into FL waters we told the girls that Netflix and YouTube coverage had returned and all of a sudden they scrambled down to the salon and were silent the rest of the trip. Out of the Gulf Stream the water also calmed a ton. It was like a giant bathtub on the FL side. All in all, nothing bad to report about the crossing, but about 6 hours of it were no fun at all. Not scary. Not violent. Not even rocking. Just too many big waves and we were so sick of it. The flat FL water was beautiful.
We knew there was weather moving in Wednesday night so we made a long day even longer and came all the way back down to the New River in Ft. Lauderdale. We wanted to be here for a few days to visit friends and look at boats so we figured better to just push through and get the boat in the right place. Just before 5 PM we finally tied up lines and called customs to check in. We then scrapped our dinner plan of grilling the fresh lobster tails we bought in West End and got off the boat to take a walk and grab some dinner out. We all needed the breather! We walked across the huge draw bridge during rush hour traffic and all looked around and commented on the noise and the busy schedule of everything here in a big city. Molly has commented over and over how much she doesn’t like the noise and will miss the quiet. I thought it was interesting since she’s a city girl. She’s never had it any other way until this trip. I’m somewhere in the middle. I love big cities and the hustle and bustle. I didn’t have any re-entry problems because I fall back into city life very easily. But like I said above, the Bahamas were special. It was an amazing experience for our family. One that we will never forget. So, until next time Bahamas….