Thursday, January 24, 2008

Next up :crossing the gulf steam and checking in with customs in Bimini

Well I guess the gods and powers that be had had a good laugh and were still busy rolling around on the floor in hysterics because when we crossed the gulf stream the next day it went wonderfully. No man overboard drills or significant events that I can recall.

We anchored just out of the channel in Bimini on a beautiful morning and captain Rob went to shore and cleared us in without any fuss. I often wonder how many boats don't check in and out and pay the fees. Both trips we have made so far I never saw one Bahamian official on the water. Ever! No one ever asked us about whether we had checked in or out. It's not really in me to temp fate to much. I'm already married to a man who does it often enough for all of us. Anyone for a swim?

We spent a great day in Bimini. This little city is really growing on me. My favorite place is a little beach bar called Sherry's on the Beach. It is a little hut down on the beach, Gulf side. The owner, Sherry Pinder, carries everything she needs down to her little shack everyday and home every night. She makes frozen concoctions that make it difficult to remember where you anchored and the best fresh conch salad I have ever eaten. But my little guy likes to say "so far". We will always be looking for better and should probably check in with Sherry on a regular basis to compare.

After eating my share of conch and picking up our Bimini bread, another must try when there, we straightened up the boat, did some laundry and took out the trash. It must have been the cabin boys day off. We were headed to Chub Key next and then to Spanish Wells/ Port Royal.

We headed out after lunch and made it out all the way to North Rock on the Far North end of Bimini when we made the decision not to try going across that night the wind was blowing straight at us and it didn't look good. So we turned around and went back to Sherry's. We dropped anchor right off the beach instead of going around and going all the way to the anchorage. The way the wind was blowing out of the east it was a very pleasant night. Robbie played on the beach until it was so dark we couldn't see and I hung out at Sherry's.

On the way down the beach to go back to the boat I tripped on something and hurt my little toe. I would have swore I broke it. It turned black and purple and hurt like hell. That will teach me not to leave my shoes in the dingy. Or maybe it will teach me not to drink to much and then stumble around on the beach. Naaa. Well in hind sight I don't guess it was broke it did hurt for a couple of weeks. But it's better now.

Here's some pics!!
This is Bimini Beach.
The Dolphin House, Bimini.
Wahine and Pooty the Pickle pirate.
Hotel ruins, Bimini
Wreck on Bimini beach locals say it's been there for ever.
Baptist Church

Wahine and Downtown Bimini

Whats left of the Complete angler where Hemingway hung out.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Well I haven't been very diligent in keeping up with this blog. Sorry! Thanks to all of you who continue to check back anyway. I would like to here a few more comments. Good ones anyway.

It is almost back to normal around here. Little man is back at school and the grown up people are back to work. Kinda. The boat is tucked in to her cozy slip at the marina. Linens washed and stored , decks cleaned and tons of things we just can't live without all moved back to the house. What a lot of work it all is. Sometimes I wonder why we do it. Why?

I know that most of my friends and family see these trips of ours as vacations. "Oh Terrie and the boys are off on vacation again" I can here them saying this. Well let me tell you these trips are not ARE NOT a vacation. However, definitely an adventure! Cruising and sailing should be on the list for extreme sports or lifestyles or something. It is definitely not for the faint of heart or week minded. You just can't take your toys and go home when you don't want to play anymore. Your in your home, your off shore and if your not careful your toys can get blown overboard. Doesn't this all sound like a vacation. NOT. But you know I'm making it sound like I don't enjoy sailing. Well that's not the case. Maybe not as much as my guys do. There are parts I could do without. But overall it's growing on me. I'm always excited about seeing a new place and meeting new people.

As you know we made a trip to the Bahamas for Christmas. For all the bad weather and mishaps I relaxed more this trip than all the others. I read a great deal, watched movies and played games with the kid.

The trip started a few days before Christmas. 2 days later than planned. We made it to the keys by Christmas Eve to make the jump to Bimini. Well lets just say we all know what they say about the best laid plans. They Suck!

Just shy of half way across the gulf steam, in the middle of the night. The sea is was what my husband called a washing machine. The waves were all mixed up. We were getting our buts kicked. Full moon so we could at least see the confused waves. YEH The dingy that we were towing decides we need to do a man over board drill. NOW. The line broke. We tried and tried to catch her but we just couldn't get close enough. So my totally insane husband jumps off the boat in to the gulf stream and swims to the dingy. He did take a line with him. At least he didn't expect me to be able to come back and get him. I really don't know. Oh wait it gets better. I smell something burning. But there is nothing I can do about it right now. He swam to the dingy tied a line on and pulled it back to the boat. It had ripped the eye clean out of the bow of the dink. Honey I smell smoke. He got back on board. "I don't know what you were worried about I am at trained professional" Yah 17 years ago he was a Navy diver. Before having a broke back. Before he gained weight. BEFORE. Honey I smell smoke. He turned on the lights in the galley and it was full of smoke. No fire up front. The engine room was full of smoke. No flames. It all the Chaos a battery had come loose and grounded out on the throttle cable. And smoked A lot. Oh yah we had no throttle control at this point either. Doesn't this all sound like a Vacation. He managed to rig the throttle in one spot. We decided to turn around and go back. It was closer. He set in a new course. Changed his wet clothes and literally passed out from exhaustion. I fought the boat for 2 hours in what I was hoping was the best direction it really didn't feel like we were making any head way. The GPS wasn't showing any we were fighting the wind and the gulf stream I needed to increase the speed but couldn't and didn't have the heart to try to wake him. When he woke up he tried to explain to me that we were making headway that it just wasn't the course that was laid in. But that we were moving forward. He took over and headed to the nearest land which turned out to be Rock Harbor, Key Largo Fl. He dropped anchor just at dawn and we all slept like the dead. Merry Christmas. Of course these things don't slow down kids at all . My little guy was up and at it. Where are we? Did Santa come? Can I go swimming? Of course Santa came. I'm Super Mommy!! He was little bummed that we weren't in Bimini where we had told him we would be when he woke up but he got over it. We had an awesome Christmas dinner and me and the little pirate went exploring and let the Captain sleep. He deserved it. We'll try again tomorrow.

I will add more about our "vacation" next time. Enjoy some pics from me and Waddy.
We did make it to the Bahamas!

Christmas dinner.Yum

captain Rob

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More to Come