I’ve made my jump out of the country and into the Islands! The engine got its new exhaust elbow on Thursday in Ft Lauderdale, then I sailed out at 8:30 that night. We had a NW wind of 10-15 knots that really shot us down to the Bahamas quickly. My friend Clint was set to arrive on Saturday night in Nassau, New Providence Island, so I decided we would take a direct route to Nassau. We arrived Saturday at 2:30 PM, much quicker than I thought we would!
Our first night we averaged 7 knots, which is really booking it for my boat, which usually averages 4 or 5 knots. The sun rose and we were being escorted to the Bahamas by a pod of small dolphins and endless schools of flying fish. The self-steering gear wasn’t working properly so we hand steered the entire way in 2 hour shifts, it was quiet taxing work in the high winds and seas. As we approached Nassau the water became the most amazing aqua blue I have ever seen, it is truly like sailing into paradise! If the wind and weather are in our favor, Clint and I plan to sail for Allen’s Cay, stay the night, and continue on to Conception and San Salvador Islands, where he will fly out of on Sunday. He is intent on catching some big fish and has brought the gear to do it; with my Bahaman fishing permit in hand, I’m also hoping we catch fish for dinner each night.
We are at anchor in Nassau harbor and have enjoyed a little snorkeling here to check the anchor and the snorkeling gear. Clint and I trekked around town and up to the Fort Charlotte. It is interesting to note that I never saw another sailboat in the ocean during my entire trip from Charleston until we were 10 miles from Nassau. I guess everyone else made the trip before winter really set in. Upon requesting permission to enter the harbor from harbor control, I had to mention my port of departure over the radio. Another sailboat then called me, amazed that we had sailed all the way from Ft Lauderdale in such great time. He asked me about the sail, the weather, asked me my advice. I found it funny, perhaps a bit flattering, that advice was being asked of me. Regardless, it is beautiful, sunny, and WARM here, FINALLY!