Bohicket to Cape Canaveral
We have planned this trip for months. It is the end of May and we are ready. The float plan is for us to go from Bohicket to Cape Canaveral, the hug the coast and cut over south of Ft. Pierce to West End. Then from there we will hit Great Sale, and on to Allens Pensacola. From there we will play it by ear. We have a month to cruise the area and make it back home.
The boat is provisioned and we are ready and anxious. After good byes from our marina mates and we are leaving with the tide. It is 1630; the weather forecast calls for light winds out of the SW with 2-3 foot seas.
We clear the banks and head for open water. A beautiful sunset and we are headed for the islands. Unfortunately around midnight the weather turns to crap. It is raining pretty hard and the seas have built to 5-9 foot seas and are confused and on the nose. Then I lose the Port engine. I struggle all night with one engine to keep headway. I decide to head towards the coast, maybe the seas will flatten a bit.
I get within 20 miles of the coast and am considering pulling in somewhere and wait till first light to work on the engine. But I decide to continue south and will work on it under way.
First light and the conditions are better and the seas a bit calmer. Diane is at the helm while I am working on the engine. I replace the Racor filters and the engines starts back up. I head for the rack with Diane at the helm, both engines running and full sails.
I wake up to the sound of the port engine dying again. I ask Diane our speed and we are still making 8-9 knots with one engine. So I decide to lie back down and get a little more sleep. I wake up to the sound of the sea racing by the porthole; startled, I again ask her what our speed is. Her reply is 13 knts, amazed, I check the winds and they are 15-20kts, she has trimmed the sails a bit and really is hauling ass. I commend her and delightfully lay back down.
Naturally when I take the helm, the wind dies and we are still beating into the seas hard. We are now making a whopping3 knts and no wind in sight. I decide to work on the engine again while it is cool. It starts for a while then sputters and stops. It seems to be starving for fuel. I have tried everything I know to no avail. Beaten and smelling of diesel I just figure we will get it looked at Canaveral. Diane stays up till around midnight then lies down. It is going to be a Lonnnnng slow night!
The seas finally shift when we are off of Jacksonville, we are making terrible time but it was a beautiful night. I hand it over to Diane around 0900 and lay down for a bit. When I wake up Shorty, aka, Diane, has Otto tuned in her feet over the side, and is playing with some dolphins. She has a huge smile on her face! I just laugh and think how kewl is this.
We make it into Cape marina with no real problems. I call a mechanic and he is due in the morning. So after walking the girls (Isa and Matillda), we eat a little bit and hit the racks.Trip totals are 346.7 miles, 68 hours, an average of 5.1 mph, on 41 gallons of fuel.
Cape Canaveral to Lily Banks
We are awakened to the sound of the mechanic knocking on the boat. We make a little coffee, and before we can finish our coffee, the mechanic lets us know our fuel line is blocked. He takes a fuel bulb in the fuel line, a couple of pumps and $75.00 later we are running. I call a fuel polishing service and he will be here early this afternoon.
At about 1400 the fuel polisher calls and cancels on us. So we decide to push on, I purchase a primer bulb and we get out of the inlet by 1430.
A beautiful Florida sunset as we head south. All the condominiums with all there lights are actually pretty from out here.
A good friend, Buddy aka Mudbug, once said “ you are island in the radious of your radar range” and that’s how it had been for the first two days. Now until we make our turn east we will have the coast to watch.
I am watching some thunder heads coming off shore of West Palm. So I decide to make the turn early and try to either let them get out past me and come and follow them to the Gulfstream. Or get out in front and let them go behind us. Around midnight the plan goes to crap as the storms and us greet. I quickly drop the sails and get the weather gear out. The seas pipe up to 5-7 and we see 35 knts of wind and a ton of lightning. At one point the only time we can see the waves is during the lightning.
The storm blows through and no hrm done. I leave the sails down and we motor out into the stream. The seas are on the nose with 8-10 footers, so we are getting an occasional wave over the bows. While cruising along about 0300, I hit a wave and a flying fish comes through the observation flap in the bimini, and hits me in the head. A true wake up call. Otto is now at the helm and I lay down for a nap in the cockpit. I miss the sunrise completely. I jump up and check every thing out, and find that with making our turn east earlier than we intended, we had more set than plotted. Bummer!!!!! I damn near have missed the Bahamas. But luckily we can still make the banks at Matanilla Shoals, and clear at Walkers Cay. We make the bank around 1200 and decide to drop the hook on the Lily Banks. We catch a Barracuda and a nice snapper as we come over the edge, so fresh fish tonight. At around 1900 we are anchored in twelve feet of beautiful clear water. We have made it to the Bahamas.
Lily to Walkers
We wake to flat cal seas and a light breeze, we drink a little coffee and pull the hook. Walker’s cay is busy as we pull in; they direct us into a slip. Unfortunately the slip is not as wide as it needs to be. So we tie up abeam to another boat’s stern. I jump to the dock and clear us all in. We get an ice cream and a dog walk in and we are cruising south. Our anchorage tonight would be Double Breasted Cay. A beautiful motor sail over, we anchor off the southern tip and a quiet night is had by all
Destination today is Moraine for some snorkeling, and will over night there. We sail around the point and ease into the small harbor between the reef and cay. I immediately “sand us”, a little reverse and we are free. I little snorkeling, a dink to the beach for Shorty and the dogs, we are finally on “island time”
We have made it to the beautiful Abacos. Our next destinations were Powell Cay, for an overnight, then stop in New Plymouth for provisions, and then across the Loggerhead Channel and anchor in Baker's Bay. We are planning on attending an Abaco Board Meeting. Which is going to be at Guana Seaside. A beautiful little motel and bar at the north end of Guana Cay.
Guana Seaside is owned and operated by Gerry, Bob, and first mate/bartender/manager, Glen. Bob and Gerri sailed down here from NH, fell in love with the island and bought the motel. Great food and REALLY cruiser friendly people.
Esteemed Board Members
The board meeting was attended by Abaco Skippy, Doctor Ralph, Jerry, Abaco Peach, and Debbie. All would be here for a week or so so we would see them again soon.
We have to pick up Susie in Marsh Harbor soon so we will spend a few nights in Baker's Bay then pick her up and head south. ,Our friends Hillary and Shawn (friends from the marina) were also sailing over. So we had friends coming in from all directions.
Us At Baker's Bay Hillary and Shawn
We pick up our friend Susie at the airport then back to Baker's Bay for the night. We enjoy another beautiful night. the conditions warrant a trolling trip down to Lower Pelican Cay. We don't catch any fish, but we have a great motorsail down and through the North Bar Pass. I tuck us in close to the cay, drop the hook. Another fantastic day!!!!
Lower Pelican Cay
We sailback north after some snorkeling and stopping at Hope Town and Tiloo Banks for overnighters. Then we drop Susie off, really enjoyed having her aboard for a week, and meet up with Hillary and Shawn, who had finally made it to Baker's.
While we are with them we do a lot of fishing and snorkeling at Fowl Cay Reef and on the reef off of the north end of Guana. It is fantastic! They have become very close friends. And we will miss them as the time has come for us to head back.
Baker's Bay to Bohicket
On about or around the end of the month I checked Internet weather and it agreed with Barometer Bob (Abacos cruiser’s net), that the next four or five days the passage back looked real good. So we said all our good byes and headed north.
We left Baker’s Bay and headed for Green Turtle for some fuel and provisioning first. Then headed for Allan’s Pensacola for the first day headed back. Allan’s had more people than I like so we anchored just north at the next Cay (Umbrella Cay). The second day was to Great Sale Cay for our next anchorage. Other than slaying Barracuda and seeing a blue hole, pretty uneventful. The next morning we head for West End to top off the fuel and get a night 's sleep before turning to 358’.
We shoved off about 0800 and were in the Gulf Stream quickly with 5-10 knts of wind out of the Southeast and a following sea of maybe 2’and 3.5 knots of current. Motor sailing making 10-11 was all right. We saw maybe three ships and other than losing all the water AGAIN, and running out of smokes it had been pretty smooth so far
We had lost the autohelm, so some one had to be at the helm constantly. The second night about 40 hrs into the trip a real storm finally nailed us. We were between St. Simon’s and Savanna and I had been watching the wall of storms building all day. We were about 85 to 100 miles off, so basically had nowhere to go. After catching a Wahoo (45 lbs) just as the sun set . We hit the storms at around 0430.gusts50 knt and rain so hard I could not see to the bow and 5-7 footers over the bows. Three hours later we were still floating and I had found a pack of smokes in my foulies so life was good!!
Dock to dock 51 hours we were back safely in our slip and sleeping FINALLY.
Total days 5/28- 6/30=34 days
Total miles: 1200
We had a BLAST, learned more about our boat and ourselves than we ever imagined!