Gulf Stream Passage
We left Key West on 12-9-18 at 0730 heading for Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Florida. After a 49 nautical mile, sail, we arrived and found that they had no mooring balls available for a vessel our size and ended up anchoring next to the "bridge to nowhere".
Ella and I had to make a trip to Arkansas that week, for work and to take Ella to the Nutcracker ballet performance in Fort Smith. Ella and I returned on 12-16 and we all began to make preparations to head to the Bahamas. The weather was less than cooperative, and we were under gale conditions from 12-19 to 12-21. After a derelict boat broke free from its anchor and came down on our boat in the harbor during 40 knot winds, we'd had all we could take in Boot Key Harbor. Emily, Wes and Murrell Craiglow joined us the evening of 12-21-18 and we picked up anchor the morning of 12-22 and departed Marathon. Two other "buddy boats" joined us to make the passage, S/V Twin and S/V Country Dancer. We sailed up to Rodriguez Key that day, arriving just after sunset and anchored for the night. on 12-23 at 0630, we picked up anchor to make our passage to the Bahamas. The weather conditions were less than ideal but we knew that we would be stuck in the keys for a few more weeks if we did not take this narrow weather window. With North to Northeast winds at 17 knots, we headed into the Gulf Stream.
Seas began to slowly build throughout the morning.
We arrived on the Grand Bahama Bank around 1800 and the winds had settled and we motored across the Bank through the night. We arrived to the Northwest Passage in the Tongue of the Ocean at 0300 on 12-24. The conditions were beautiful and we set full sails for our final stretch south to Nassau.
We arrived at 1100, fueled up and checked in (no easy feat with 9 passports!) at the Bayside Marina in Nassau.
280 nautical miles covered since Marathon, we were ready to relax and enjoy Christmas in the Bahamas!