Winter 2014-15 Bahamas Trip 10 Dec 14 to ___



Bahamas Trip Winter 2015 -- 1 to 31 January 2015

1 Jan 2015 -- Jekyll Island Harbor Marina to Fernandina Harbor Marina, Fernandina Beach, FL

Tides dictated the travel today. We relaxed on board and Carey fixed a super breakfast as we waited for low tide to pass an hour or so before we traveled St Andrew Sound that has a very shallow passage through shoals out in the Ocean side of the sound. It was very interesting being in the Ocean following the only path to get to the south side of St Andrew Sound watching out for shallow water while experiencing Ocean swells. After that it was easy travel for 30 miles to Fernandina Beach. The wind started to blow after we arrived and it is now down right cold. We still walked into town to enjoy a great Mexican meal for our New Year's Dinner. We hope NOAA's prediction for 65 degrees tomorrow is correct. We're off early in the morning to pass through another batch of shallow water before low tide occurs in that area.

Yep ... talk to the dog
Fernandina Beach City Street
One of many watering holes
Carey walking the streets
City Marina not very busy
Maddy welcoming Carey

2 Jan 2015 -- Fernandina Harbor Marina, Fernandina Beach, FL to Comanchee Cove Marina, St Augustine, FL.

Up at 7 AM to get through some shoaling areas in the AM. Good plan and an easy ride as we had 7 feet of tide help through the shoaling areas. With this tide we could have been driving over marsh grass. It was an easy trip of 60 miles to St. Augustine and we were tied up by 2:30 PM. We relaxed, read a bit and enjoyed a delivered pizza from a close local pizza house. Just a good day. We are off tomorrow morning for Marineland Marina where we plan on staying for 2 to 3 days to work on cleaning the boat; just taking a break from the everyday underway routine. Views were beautiful along the route today.

Water front buildings
Probably more than a million!
Restaurant along the way
Some unique homes
In water entertainment places
Comanchee Cove Marina

3 Jan 2015 -- Comanchee Cove Marina, St Augustine, FL to Marineland Marina, Marineland FL.

Underway at 8 am to give us tidal help through Fort Matanzas Inlet. Just an hour before arriving at the inlet, a boater on VHF Channel 16 said fog had reduced visibility ahead to zero. There were several boaters in the area suffering the same problem as we found out listening to the radio. Thirty minutes later we experienced the zero visibility fog. Combined with that, a narrow channel and a 4 knot current I did what I haven't done in 5 years --- touched the bottom. Luckily I saw it coming and props were stopped and we carefully made our way off the shoal with the prop that was not touching bottom. It just hurts to touch the bottom at any time with one of the props. When checked underway on plane later in the morning we found out there was no damage. We were lucky! We made it safely through Matanzas inlet and tied up at Marineland by 11:30 am. We'll stay here three days doing cleaning and relaxing. It is the cheapest marina in this portion of Florida and a well run place. I made a trip in the courtesy car to a marine store and Publix for needed supplies. Back aboard now and Carey is serving up a pork loin roast that has been cooking in the crook pot all day. I'm ready.

Water Views
Beautiful Old Ship Replica
Pigeons on a Roof
68 Foot Hatteras -- pretty boat
Apolonia at MarineLand
Marineland Views
Kayaks moving in the marina
The Sunset and 70 degrees
Maddy just simply enjoying

4 Jan 2015 -- Marineland Marina, Marineland FL.

Second day at Marineland. We woke, enjoyed the Sunday morning news shows, walked to the local farmers market at the marina, then started cleaning the boat. A nice change and we need the exercise and the boat needs the cleaning. We have met two nice couples. Jim and Pam who are live aboards on a 49' Defever they had custom built in 2005. They move around the waterway moving their car to their major stops and are enjoying life. Bruce and his wife just bought a Grand Banks trawler and are fixing it up to travel the waterway after selling a home at Lubbers Quarters Cay in the Bahamas. They still maintain their main home in western North Carolina south of Ashville. Both couples are spending some quality time at Marineland Marina. We're enjoying swapping stories.

Marina Farmers Market
More of the market
Another View of the Marina

5 Jan 2015 -- Marineland Marina, Marineland FL.

Third day at Marineland. It was a bit chilly and windy but the sun was shinning and we were still in shorts and short sleve shirts. However, we did mostly in door chores and got ready to work outdoors tomorrow when the temperatures will be 70 degrees with light winds. No pictures as we were mostly working,

6 and 7 Jan 2015 -- Marineland Marina on 6 Jan and travel to Titusville, FL on 7 Jan 2015

Fourth day at Marineland on 6 Jan was a warm 70 degree and sunny day. Carey and I worked hard cleaning the boat and doing some touch up painting. I also got the dinghy in the water and proved it was up and running, ready for the rest of the trip. It was a nice relaxing day, our fourth at Marineland. We met another boating family. Dan, his wife and two children that they are home schooling stopped in the Marina on their 40 foot sail boat. On their 4th year traveling the Carribean they did a trip up the ICW to St Augustine to see what it was like. They are now on their way to Jamaica. Wednesday morning the 7th it was time to continue traveling south. We left at 8:30 am heading for Titusville, an 80 mile trip. We arrived at 5 pm after a pleasant and uneventful day.

Carey at lunch truck at Marineland
Research Facility
A nice small trawler
Pretty Views
Sailboat Freedom -- beautiful
Bow Sprint of Freedom
University Crew Team Practicing
Dolphins Jumping
An old tug boat
Must be a Trumphy
More Pretty Views
Carey's favorite home
Lonely Single Handing Sailor
Dolphin Jumping
Dolphin Jumping
More Views
Maddy watching it all go by

8 Jan 2015 -- Second day at Titusville, FL Marina

We woke this morning at 4 AM -- The boat was bouncing against the pilings at the Titusville Marina. I dressed and went outside. The 35-40 knot Nor 'easter was in full force and one of three fenders had popped out between a piling and the hull, even after serious preparation. Much pushing and pulling (reminiscent of Jack Southard and I pushing fenders in place at Georgetown Execumas Bahamas) Carey and I got the fender back in place and we slept well the rest of the night. At 8 AM we looked outside and the white caps and swells on the waterway made us decide to stay put for the day, even though the picture below doesn't show how rough the water was.  A good decision. We relaxed, did a few chores and just enjoyed the day; something us retirees are apt to do. We'll move to Eau Gallie Yacht Basin tomorrow (Melborne, Fl. area) and leave the boat there for our drive back to Virginia. We are going back to Virginia for the PRYCA COW 17 Jan and to visit our daughter, her wife and the two grandkids for a late Christmas and birtday celebration. Then we'll return to the boat on 24 January and move to the Bahamas. Three cheers to Carey for finding a very inexpensive but safe marina called Eau Gallie Yacht Basin to leave the boat for the time away.

View from the boat yesterday
ICW rough but hard to tell here
Big Bridge We'll Go Thru

9 Jan 2015 -- Titusville Marina to Eau Gallie, FL (Melborne)

Up normally at 7:30 AM we got the boat ready and headed out at 9:00 AM to our next stop, Eau Gallie Yacht Basin that is in the Melbourne Fl area, We tied up by 12:30 PM.  Carey found the stop, one we stayed at several years ago. A small marina with friendly people where we can safely leave the boat for a couple weeks. We have to travel back to Virginia for several events next weekend. Our trip was uneventful and covered 37 miles. Rob and Kathy with boater frends Steve and Val stopped by to visit. Rob and Kathy are boaters we met two years ago in the Bahamas and they are on their boat Scott Free in Vero Beach, heading to the Bahamas. They are traveling with Steve and Val. We enjoyed cathcing up and will see them in the Bahamas in February.

Traveling in the channel to Eau Gallie
Beautiful homes on shore
Final route to Eau Gallie Marina

10 Jan 2015 -- Second day at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL

Up to sunshine and predicted 60 degree temperatures, we worked on the chore list we made for ourselves. We stopped at noon and walked into town for some Italian pasta and red wine. After lunch we stopped by a wine store ... are we out of wine already? We then husseled back to the boat to finish necessary chores before sitting down to watch the Ravens and Patriots game. This is really a beautiful area. We have only stopped once before -- a mistake -- this is now a favorite with especially friendly staff. Wifi not good but we've got our hotspot from Verizon that works fine and the $1.00 per foot including electric makes this place a steal! We'll rent a car Monday or Tuesday and drive to cold cold Virginia for a week.

Small but nice homes in area
Meeting area for marina folks
Sailboat needing work
Pretty park across the bay

11 Jan 2015 -- Third day at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL

Up to light rain and perking coffee. We enjoyed the coffee and let the rain move away and the sun pop out. With sunshine in the afternoon we finished work on the boat and watched two great football games. Glad Green Bay won and sorry Peyton Manning and the Broncons lost.

Views of the Bay at Eau Gallie
Eau Gallie Yacht Basin Views
Maddy is a boat dog now

12 - 13 Jan 2015 -- Fourth day at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL

The 12th was a lazy relaxing day. We picked up the rental car and staged all the items we are taking from the boat back to our home in Virginia in the conning station. Then we found a great place to have lunch. After lunch a passing rain storm pushed through the area so we relaxed on board and then went out to dinner. We got up early on the 13th and packed the car then started the drive to Virginia. Please let it be warm or at least in the 30s. We'll continue the trip on 23 January and that is when we'll resume updates to this blog.

22 Jan 2015 -- Back at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL

Finishing a trip to Virginia to attend the PRYCA Change of Watch and hold a family Christmas Celebration with our daughter Lauren, wife Cynthia and grandkids Oliver and Benjamin we are now back at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin. We provisioned and brought goods back to the boat. Checking the weather shows 25 knots of wind and rain for the next two days so we'll stay here -- a great marina at an inexpensive price. We'll leave Sunday morning for Jenson Beach then plan to arrive at Lake Worth on Monday. Hopefully we'll be able to cross to the Bahamas sometime next week. We are wishful that the old wooden sailboat behind us continues to float  ... it has two bilge pumps that work 12 minutes every hour now. That's a lot of water intake!

Reprovision the boat
Carey controls Repovisioning
Junk rigged sailboat in the harbor
Surf boarding around the bay
Old Sailboat Sinking!!

23 Jan 2015 --Another day at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL

The coming east coast storm will effect the Gulf Stream crossing to the Bahamas for the next days so we are staying until Sunday morning at Eau Gallie ... it's a nice and also inexpensive place to hold up. Early next week the seas in the Atlantic are 4-5 feet between Florida and the Bahamas and this stay will allow us to move down to Lake Worth by mid week when the weather should be better. We awoke to warm weather and sunshine today but a strong wind. We returned the rental car and stored the goods we bought for the Bahamas crossing and relaxed. We also enjoyed meeting several of the new arrivals at the marina and watched the Melbourne High School Crew team practice on the creek where the marina is located. Tomorrow, we'll continue to enjoy Eau Gallie Yacht Basin before leaving on Sunday.

View of man fishing in the park
A dog's life
Crew Team Practicing
Two women crew team
8 man crew team
A rental unit at the Marina

24 Jan 2015 -- Another day at Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL

A very quiet day as the wind really blew -- 25 + knots.  No picutres but we did enjoy the day as the sun came out after lunch and it really was pleasant since we were tied to a dock. Carey directed the work load for the day but I got to finish my one last task for work -- now all done and fully retired. Yahoo!!!! We'll leave tomorrow for an anchorage at Jensen Beach, then the Lake Worth area (North Palm Beach) on Monday. We'll bi-pass Fort Pierce as we are expecting 25 knot winds on Monday afternoon and want to get down to the Lake Worth area and plan for the crossing.

25 Jan 2015 --Eau Gallie Yacht Basin, Eau Gallie Melbourne, FL to Fort Pierce City Marina, Fort Pierce, FL

We started the day walking to the local Walgrens so Carey could buy her Sunday newspapers -- she likes her big paper day (Sunday). Maddy really enjoyed the time to run around. Once back at the boat we planned a trip to a Jensen Beach anchorage, 20 miles south of Fort Pierce to make an easy day to get to Lake Worth. Friends were joining us there and Carey was a carzy women cleaning the boat. However, half way there NOAA came out with a small craft warning predicting 35 knot winds starting late afternoon. Looking at marinas to get a secure place to wait out the strong cold front, we found that Fort Pierce Marina had the cheapest fuel in the area, at $2.67. We pulled in late in the day after a 50 miles transit from Eau Gallie and I watched Carey clean clean and clean. We therefore did not call several friends who we know are in the area. We'll visit Bonnie and Diane on the way back on in Virginia in the Spring. It was a pretty trip from Eau Gallie to Fort Pierce, very pleasant.

An old replica -- nice!
Pretty Views
Home in the Woods
Carey and Maddy on the bow
A few million don't you think?
Just a pretty waterway
Fort Pierce Marina
Walking to the Tiki Bar for Food
Food and a Goom Bay Smash

26 Jan 2015 --Fort Pierce Municipal Marina, Fort Pierce, FL

Had planned to move to North Palm Beach Marina near Lake Worth today, but early morning showed signs of a major storm ... rain and high winds. NOAA forecast agreed. And it happened. So we stayed put. Gary and Nancy Vineyard were planning on meeting us at Palm Beach. We called them and they came here. Tomorrow Gary and I will take the boat to North Palm Beach Marina while Nancy and Carey drive the Vineyard's pickup to Palm Beach. We started our adventure together just in a different place. We loaded them on board, had lunch and then dinner out at a New York style pizza place. Tough getting to the pizza place as we had to cross some railroad tracks and a train stood on the tracks for over 30 minutes. Gary finally drove the 4 wheel drive truck he was driving over the median strip to get us to the pizza place. We're now back on board relaxing and ready to move the boat south tomorrow; the wind is expected to be down. Gary and Nancy will leave their vehicle at North Palm Beach Marina and join us for a couple weeks in the Bahamas.

Lunch with Gary and Nancy
A Manatee on the surface
Ft Pierce Marina expansion
Nordic Tug
Gary on the docks
Gary getting settled in

27 Jan 2015 -- Fort Pierce Marina to North Palm Beach Marina, North Palm Beach, FL.

Up at 7 AM Carey and Nancy left in the pickup for North Palm Beach. Gary and Phil got the boat underway and headed for the same destination. Gary and I got the boat to North Palm Beach at 1 pm and the ladies were there. We settled on board and started working where we were going to dinner, to celebrate Nancy's birthday. We will let her tell you her age. We finally settled on Carmine's Seafood Grill and we all had 1 1/2 pound lobsters. The meals were fantastic! After dinner and a rich dessert we headed back to the boat. We will stay here tomorrow then on Thursday go anchor in Lake Worth waiting for the weather to settle down for a crossing to the Bahamas. There is a small chance we'll get over on Friday afternoon. If not, it will be next week.

Cheap Homes ???
Almost to Lake Worth Area
Nancy, the birthday girl!
Carey enjoying lobster
Gary enjoying lobster
Phil enjoying lobster

28 Jan 2015 -- Second day at North Palm Beach Marina, North Palm Beach, FL.

No hurry to get up. We are staying today. Wind on the Ocean at 15+ knots and waves in the 5-7 foot range. We are not going to the Bahamas today. We will get underway tomorrow and go anchor in Lake Worth. We will stick our nose out on Friday about noon to see if the potential window at noon Friday is working for us. It will take a reduced wind on Thursday to get the waves down on Friday, but we are hopeful. Otherwise, we'll be waiting until Wednesday next week. Ouch. No pictures today. Carey and Nancy ate lunch out and bought the last of the provisions for the Bahamas. Gary and I fixed a bad door hinge, checked and cleaned bilges, and made a last look at boat systems for the crossing, hoping we'd make it on Friday.

29 Jan 2015 -- North Palm Beach Marina, North Palm Beach, FL. to Lake Worth Anchorage, North Palm Beach, FL

Easy relaxing morning today as we planned to get underway at noon and move to the Lake Worth anchorage, just 1.5 miles away from the marina. We are hoping that the weather will allow us a window to cross to the Bahamas tomorrow morning. We know the wind is forecast to be less than 10 knots. The issue is whether the seas will quiet down enough after the high winds of the last week. We did get to the anchorage about 1 PM, anchored, and got the dinghy in the water. Gary and I took a ride around the Lake talking to many of the boaters anchored, and later took Maddy for her evening walk ashore. The anchor system, the davit to lower the dinghy and the dinghy all worked as designed. That puts a smile on my face! We saw some pretty homes and boats on the Lake. For dinner Nancy fixed her famous Chili ... the best I've had!!! Amazing. Early to bed tonight so we can get up and HOPEFULLY head out for the Bahamas.

Homes on shore of Lake Worth
Big Boat looking from the dinghy
Apolonia from our dinghy
Maddy's first dinghy ride
Maddy's trip ashore
And she's back on board

30 Jan 2015 -- Lake Worth Anchorage, North Palm Beach, FL to West End Grand Bahama Island

We made it. Only 2 or 3 boats decided to try the 3-5 foot seas window today. Not taking it will make those that waited spend at least a week more in Florida. Even though there was a north wind component that can raise the waves in the Gulf Stream we headed out at 8:30 am. We rolled the entire way but it was not unsafe nor totally uncomfortable. However, we had to tack like a sailboat to get to West End, a 52 NM trip. With our course modifications to keep us comfortable we ended up traveling a bit over 60 miles. We are glad we are here though and ready to enjoy the Bahamas. With the weekend storm coming we'll probably stay here enjoying this resort for several days. Just couldn't be better. As we sipped wine on the back deck after arriving at 3 PM we saw many sport fish arrive. On the trip over an engine alarm sounded, but there was no problem with the engine. We think it is probably a shorted battery in the inverter house bank that tripped an alarm. We are tied up now and have plenty of power and had no problem after the alarm sounded. We'll work and fix the problem tomorrow when the engine room is nice and cool. Carey and Nancy cooked a great bar-be-que rib dinner that was

Maddy in her traveling spot
Phil driving to the Bahamas
Carey and Nancy as we crossed
West End -- Old Bahama Bay
Pretty Fishing Boat
And another boat docking
A beautiful POST Sail Fish
Maddy "attacking" a conch shell

31 Jan 2015 -- Second Day at West End ... Old Bahama Bay ... Grand Bahama Island

Up to high winds. We decided to stay another day or two. We really are looking forward to watching the Superbowl Sunday. We took the complementary bicyles from the resort and went into the West End Settlement for lunch. Excellent Bahamian food of mac and cheese, rice and peas and fried Snapper, among other entrees. After lunch I investigated the problem we had crossing to West End yesterday. I cleaned all connectors on the batteries and inverter and it restarted just fine, so we really don't know what caused the alram and issue on the way over yesterday ... but no matter all is well and working fine. Nancy and Carey went to the pool and enjoyed all the amenities before coming back for evening cocktails. We then went to the resort restaurant for dinner and had a fine meal at a reasonable price. Just doing fine.

Carey and Nancy on bicycles
Stopping at local eatery
Inside the local cafe
First beer empty ... 2nd one full
Local scenery
Evening Dinner at Restaurant