Leaving the dock might be the hardest part of sailing. It’s 5 am and I’ve been awake for 2 hours, for no good reason. Our boat, Selah, has been comfortably tied up at a marina for 6 months and that ends in a few hours.
Allison and I have spent the last several nights beside the marina’s new fire pit making new friends, drinking from the fire hose of their experiences. Just when marina life is starting to get fun, it’s time for us to unplug and continue east across the Gulf Stream.
The Gulf Stream is essentially a river within the ocean that carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico up the east coast of the US, then across the northern Atlantic where it plays a large role in keeping Europe’s weather more mild than it should be.
Much is made of sailing across the Gulf Stream between Florida and the Bahamas. It can flow north as fast as 2.5-3 knots, and if it happens to meet a stiff breeze headed south, waves kick up that we’ve more than once heard defined as “square elephants”.
It’s out of respect for these square waves that we’ve stayed in Stuart for an extra week (or two?) waiting for a better weather window. The waves, the fire pit, and the daily arrival of Amazon boxes, anyway.
But today is the day to release the dock lines, wave goodbye to new friends, and continue this journey. If all goes as planned, we’ll make the 6 hour trip south to Lake Worth today, then hang out for a day or two before crossing to the Bahamas on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Our current thoughts are to leave at 3am in hopes of a midafternoon arrival north of Grand Bahama Island and Memory Rock, then continue across the Little Bahama Banks towards Green Turtle Cay, where we’ll check into customs. From there we’re again dependent on weather…we might stay through Christmas or continue to Hopetown.
We’ve heard so much about the Abacos–the northern region of the Bahamas–it almost feels like we’ve already been there. On the other hand, it’s hard to know what to expect.
One of the things I’m most excited about is the lobster…the way people talk, you’d think they’re hundreds of them just hanging out under your boat in crystal clear water ready for the taking. I’ve watched a few youtube videos on how to hunt for lobster, so I think I’m pretty much an expert, but I’ll have to keep you posted on that front.
The adventure continues!