It's Better in the Bahamas

I have been waiting a long time for this. It sounds a little silly, but here it is- I just want to be in water clear enough to see my boat's shadow on the bottom. And here we are. After years of living aboard in New England, Lyra is finally in the Bahamas - and this morning, I took a photo of her shadow.

We had a short stay in Fort Lauderdale in a great anchorage. It's located just south of the Sunrise Boulevard bridge -- it's free, well protected, and close to pretty much anything you could want.

On Monday morning, we weighed anchor early enough to catch the 0815 Las Olas Bridge opening and then fueled up at Bahia Mar, caught the 0930 opening of the 17th Street Causeway bridge, and then headed out Port Everglades. It was a phenomenally gorgeous day with the forecasted winds to be 8-14 knots out of the west to southwest. Perfect Gulf Stream crossing weather.

Since we try to spend as little time in the Gulf Stream as possible, we motorsailed to keep our speed up and had a lovely day. I baked cookies (which is kind of a big deal since I never bake cookies) and the kids stayed mostly occupied (Juliana: "Are we in the Bee-hamas yet??") We approached Bimini before sunset, passed to the north and headed on to the Bahama Banks.

Due to a cold front scheduled to sweep through Tuesday night, we wanted to be anchored somewhere protected and decided on Rose Island, east of Nassau. We were very fortunate with our weather and had a great night sail across the banks. Since this expansive area is only about 20 feet deep or less, in the wrong conditions, it can be a choppy, sloppy mess. I've been there, and it's not fun.

But this was by far my best banks crossing. We sailed jib and jigger the whole way, and had a bright moon and clear skies. Since the Northwest Channel, where the shallow banks meets the super deep Tongue of the Ocean, is best done in daylight, we had to slow down a touch to get the timing right. Once through that, it was a nice sail then motorsail all the way to Nassau/Rose Island. Anchor down around 1630. Phew!

The kids have already been in the water - Caitlin saw her first coral head and tropical fish. She's psyched.

And I saw my boat's shadow :)

The dinghy has one too!_