Saturday, February 6, 2016

Soldier Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas, Thurs, Feb 4, 2016

Lighthouse Point FL - During a quick visit that stretched out almost a week, Linda and Bill Bowers spoiled us with generous hospitality.
We shared the pain (sort of) of the Patriots' loss to the Panthers last Sunday. It rained buckets for a couple days, so at least the boat was clean for a while.
Bill, Linda and their friends helped us in many ways. We so appreciate everything they did for us.

Finally, really, on Saturday, January 30th, we started an easy, uneventful Gulf Stream Crossing from Hillsboro Inlet (Lighthouse Pt, FL)
We managed to nip into Brown's Marina just in time to clear Customs and Immigration before closing that evening. To celebrate, we had dinner at the Big Game Club resort that night.
One of the other patrons in the restaurant was wearing a UW Huskies sweatshirt, so we struck up a conversation. He turned out to be Tim Kenny, brother of our neighbor Shannon back in Seattle.
He was aboard his new sportfishing boat at the same marina with a niece and nephew. He is a fun guy and we had a good time talking on the dock for a couple days until we left.

Bimini's high season is summer, so some businesses were closed and it wasn't very busy and it was easy to stick around another night.
But finally (again) we shoved off for the Berry Islands 90 n miles east across the shallow waters at the north end of the Grand Bahama bank.

Winds were light so we motored for the 10 hour crossing, some of it was in darkness with brilliant stars overhead. Most of the depths are 10-15 feet, which can be nerve wracking. But after many hours, you get used to it and don't run aground, it's OK.

At 2230 (10:30pm), we anchored in the calm waters of Hawks Nest Bay on Great Harbor Cay. The next morning we woke to beautiful sunshine and balmy breezes. The bay is quite open, so we moved a few miles south to Market Fish and Soldier Cays and anchored in 10 ft of turquoise water with an ivory, sandy beach on shore under sunny skies and starry nights. After 2 nights, the only other people we've seen are a couple lobster fishermen who came by to sell us a gigantic lobster tale.

It was a cruiser's dream to have the place to ourselves for 4 days. But, dear friends and family, we wish you could be here to share it with us. That would truly make it perfect.
Except, we'd have to wear swimsuits again. But it would be worth it.

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