Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!
The long-awaited Bahama crossing finally took place. The crew made three moves on their way to the Bahamas: 1- Left Lake Worth and proceeded to Boca Raton Lake where they anchored for the night. 2- Then repositioned to Ft Lauderdale where they finished provisioning for the six weeks in the Bahamas. 3 – An early morning start that ended with the crew safely thru customs at the West End on the Grand Bahama Island.
Click on the link to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, and a summary of the day’s experience.
This week’s video shows Still Waters II making the cross to the Bahamas. The skipper shot short clips hourly, so folks could see the difference in the ride and the water. Enjoy!
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
The plan was to leave for Boca Raton Lake, but Still Waters II was not ready to leave the fine marina at Old Port Cove. When the skipper went to start the starboard engine by turning the key, and then pushing the start button……. not a sound from the engine. This was not good.
The skipper tried a few tricks to start the engine, but each time there was total silence, well except for the engine oil low pressure alarm because the engine would not crank.
The skipper spent two hours troubleshooting and finally had to call for reinforcements. A marine electrician showed up after lunch and found a loose wire connected to the starter. The electrician showed the wire to the skipper and gave him instructions on how to clean the terminals and re-land the wire.
Seemed simple enough. So how long does it take to re-land one wire? Well, once you realize the wire is connected on the bottom side of the starter which is mounted outboard side of the engine, you quickly realize this will be no quick and easy fix. About five hours later the skipper finally found a way to reach the screw, use a mirror to ‘see’ the screw, and finally have success in tightening the little bugger.
Another day of boat yoga. I am pretty sure I heard the skipper mumble something about the next boat will have a stand-up engine room.
With the repair complete and the weather window appearing to hold for a Thursday crossing, the crew headed further south for Boca Raton Lake.
This was a short 34 mile run that consists of much time spent at idle speed due to the number of bridges and homes with enough money to influence the Coast Guard for posted No Wake Zones.
The run took five hours, but this five was much better than the five spent yesterday afternoon. At least the Iguana watching was fun. They seemed to be on every bridge fender the boat went under.
The Ft Lauderdale Marina asked that Still Waters II not show up until after 1400. With that in mind, the crew did not weigh anchor until 1130. It is only a short 18 miles to Ft Lauderdale. But again, much of the 18 miles is at idle speed because of bridges and No Wake Zones.
However, one delivery captain did make the afternoon entertaining. In one section, there are three bridges that have their openings synchronized so that if you travel at a set slow speed, you will arrive just in time for the bridge to open. However, if you miss one of the bridge openings it will cost you a thirty-minute wait for the next opening.
The delivery captain arrived at the first bridge on time, but the bridge was 3.5 minutes late to open. The bridge tender was in the process of training a new employee. By the time the bridge opened, and the delivery captain passed thru, there was not enough time to make the next bridge.
He complained to the bridge tender, and even went as far to radio the next bridge and ask the bridge to delay the next opening until he arrived. The crew could hear the delivery captain for the next hour complaining to each bridge tender about the first fiasco.
The skipper could not take the belly aching anymore, so he picked up the radio and said: “Hey delivery captain, why don’t you build a bridge and get over it.”
I’m pretty sure the delivery captain did not like to hear that, but I am also equally sure that all the bridge tenders got a good laugh. Oh, and there was no more belly aching on the radio by the delivery captain.
The crew shoved off the dock bright and early this morning at 0451, in the dark. When they arrived at the Port Everglades inlet there was a large container ship being pushed by a few tugs in the turning basin. Still Waters II barely squeezed by them but did manage to pass.
Then once in the inlet, they meet another container ship coming in. Meeting these big ships in the night is not much fun. Also, the swells were 3-4 feet coming smack dab on the bow as the crew was trying to leave. Makes for a rough ride, especially since you cannot see the waves and anticipate the roll of the boat.
At 0530, Still Waters II was in the Big Pond and the skipper set a heading of 79* magnetic on the autopilot. At 0702, the crew witnessed a blazing sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.
The further the crew travelled the smoother the ride became. The swells decreased down under two feet for most of the day.
At 1217 the crew spotted the water tower at the West End. They were about 11.7 miles offshore when the skipper yelled: “Land Ho!”
At 1333, Still Waters II entered the basin leading into the Marina at the West End. By 1341, the crew had landed at slip C-16 and was greeted by a nice young man who handed over a packet of papers, requested the crew to fill them out, and pointed the way to the Customs House.
The Check-in process went smoothly, and the crew is off to explore their new surroundings.
As the crew was getting settled, they noticed parachutes falling from the sky. There were about a dozen people who had jumped out of a perfectly good airplane to test to see if their parachute would open.
If the parachute does not open, you can count on gravity. It is the only thing known to work 100% of the time.
The crew has gone beach coming twice. The first time they found several nice conch shells.
Then the neighbor in the slip next door told the crew about a beach down by the airport runway that has a long stretch of ‘sea glass.’ The crew headed that way and found a wide range of ‘treasures’ washed up on the beach.
A days spoils after a few hours on the beach.
On Saturday afternoon, a couple of folks went out in their dinghies to try their hand at spear fishing. When they returned, they had harvested seven lobsters and one conch. The crew went over to watch them field dress the conch.
Once they had the conch out of the shell, they ‘skinned’ the muscle so that only white flesh was exposed. Then they beat it with a tenderizer mallet and put lemon juice on it to help soften it up some more. That seems to be much effort for less than a handful of meat.
Our crew prefers to lay out by the pool and enjoy the view.
At this point the goal is to head towards Green Turtle Cay. The crew will Island hop, stop, and anchor a few nights on the way to the Cay. Also, the Admiral has her heart set on seeing some swimming pigs, so the skipper will be searching for a few talented pigs. Rumor has it that some pigs can be found at No Name Cay.
Loop On – Where the road ends, the water begins. The water goes on forever, and the adventure never ends.