Thursday Oct 16, 2014
Yesterday we had an enjoyable crossing of the Gulf Stream and are now savoring our first day in the wonderful country of the Bahamas.
The weather models were showing relatively benign sea conditions for our crossing yesterday with 3-5 ft seas. There was a forecast for a line of squalls to develop over the Gulf Stream late yesterday afternoon with steadily steepening seas but after reviewing the available data, conferring with our weather Guru, Chris Parker, and taking a look at the NexRad radar on our chart plotter, we made the determination that we could make the crossing safely by staying in front of the developing line of inclement weather. Originally, we had planned on crossing at 8 knots (our most economical speed) but given the potential for developing weather we increased our speed to 17 knots to stay at a comfortable speed for the sea conditions and stay in front of the line of weather that showed ominously 3-4 miles astern of us as we worked our way across. In the end, we did have to alter our course slightly to avoid a couple of thunderstorms but other than a few minutes of moderate rain with a few 5 foot waves we had a smooth crossing.
The customs and immigration procedures at the Old Bahamas Bay Marina could not have been more convenient. When we called in by radio (Channel 16, then switched to channel 10 ) we were told that Customs would not require us to tie up at their dock first but rather, sent us to our assigned slip and requested that the Captain report to the Customs and Immigration office after the Pilots’ Discretion had been secured in her slip. The paperwork was routine (helped significantly by the fact that the first mate, my wife Theresa, an immigration attorney who is type A, had converted all the Bahamian Customs and Immigration documents to fillable PDFs and had them completed before our arrival). Our Cocker Spaniel, Patton, was also pleasantly surprised when our concerns about bringing him ashore were completely dismissed by the Customs Officer. A very quick glance at his forms and veterinary health certificates and he was welcomed into the Bahamas.
The boys could not believe how clear the water is here and when we turned on our underwater lights, they thought we had changed them somehow because in Tarpon Springs they illuminate an area about 3 ft astern of the Pilots’ Discretion while here in the Bahamas, the water is illuminated for about 50 ft astern. After a day spent relaxing and home schooling we will head out tomorrow to begin our exploration of the Abacos. First stop, Great Sale Cay then on to Green Turtle Cay.
Take them to see the pigs!
Way to go guys! Tell me about the pigs.
They taste like bacon
That’s wonderful! I hope you have a magnificent time. You’re making memories that will last a lifetime.
Hi you all! We are the Keller family you met on Double Breasted Beach near Grand Cay. We had a VERY interesting crossing back home today. We were being followed by a boat at 45 mph for about 20 minutes. They were in a smaller size boat. We changed our track and we were headed to West End. We called the US Coast Guard and had absolutely NO response. We were about 20 miles off of Grand so I still had cell service so we called family and told them we thought we were being approached by pirates. We were switching channels trying to get through to the Coast Guard and we heard a man saying he was the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to stop our vessel immediately. Long story short they boarded our vessel and searched it. Our little kids were traumatized! Thank God we are home safe and sound. Please be safe!
Hi Ronan,how are you? I am good.10/23/14 Otis my dog smelled like a chemical.I saw the video of those scary waves.Those starfish are cool.That alligator was so close to the boat. Your friend,
Hannah miss you.
Hey, hope you and the crew are good. Do you receive texts or phone?