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Crossings, and We Bid Bon Voyage to Afterglow

We bid Bon Voyage to Afterglow as she waits to be lifted aboard M.V. Chipolbrok.

The last time we posted, we were still in the Exuma islands preparing to make the crossings to Nassau, then to Chubb Cay, Bimini and Fort Lauderdale. The wind was blowing 17 to 23 knots from the East, and the seas were 5 to 7 feet. The stage was set for our 4 consecutive days of crossing under sail with following seas.

We were looking through our photos and realized that we did not take any pictures between August 7th and 11th. Sometimes when it is just the two of us busy with sailing and life at sea, we just don't think of getting any shots. So apologies.

We left Allan's Cay at about 6 am headed for West Bay of New Providence Island, a trip of about 45 nautical miles. We managed to average about 6 knots under jib alone, and the auto-helm performed like a champion, which is really amazing with the following seas. We arrived mid-afternoon and tucked into some nice protection from the wind. The next day's transit was to be about 33 NM to Chub Cay so we rested.

The wind shifted a little to the south so trip to the Northeast was also under jib alone, crossing in deep water (over 8000 feet at one point). Again, it was a comfortable ride with not much to worry about. With somewhat lighter winds, we motor sailed and arrived in the mid-afternoon and again found excellent protection from the wind and waves. The next day was to be our long day from Chubb Cay to Bimini, about 80 NM, so we did our best to rest and sleep with the alarm set for 11:30 PM and a planned midnight departure.

At midnight, it was quite dark, with no moon, and it took a while with the spotlight to find the two unlighted navigation aids at Chubb Cay. We pulled up the anchor and set out with Allen on the helm and Norma spotting the nav aids. Soon we were in deep water, the depth gauge reading "---". We took turns at the helm and resting. The boat speed was again averaging 6 knots, following seas again under jib alone. By noon, we were motor sailing. We came around the North point of Bimini, past the Cruise ship docks and nosed in close to the beach, not perfect protection from the wind and waves but still a relatively comfortable night, especially given how tired we were. The next day from Bimini to Fort Lauderdale was about 50 NM under about the same conditions, so we got underway at about 6 am, again, under jib alone and at an average of about 6 knots.

Too bad we don't have a photo here because we arrived just ahead of a really huge container ship. Ahead of the ship was the pilot boat, and they passed us, giving us a hand sign to move over to the right a little more. We did, but also increased speed (by now we were inside the breakwater and the sails were furled) so we got moving quick enough to make the turn on the inside and get away from the big ship before it passed us.. (It was really big!)

We got lucky because the 17th Street Bridge was about to open just as we arrived, and so we motored on through and up to Lake Silvia to see if there was room to anchor. Lake Sylvia is actually one of our least favorite anchorages as it is always crowded, and there is this one trawler which was there 3 months ago on 100 feet or more of rode and a ridiculous swing in the changing current. We made two loops around the lake and decided there was no where we could drop hook that didn't risk swinging into him or the other boats on their more reasonable 25 to 50 feet of rode. so we left. The problem with Fort Lauderdale is, unless you are very wealthy, there are not many places for transient boaters to stay. The current on the New River was against us, so we crossed our fingers and went to look at the Las Olas mooring field. There had never been an available mooring ball when we looked in the past, but our options at this point were narrow so we went to have a look. Amazingly, there were not one but two balls available! We thanked our good karma and maneuvered to snag one of them, a bit of a challenge in the fast current but we got tied up and finally relaxed!

When we called to register and pay on the ball, we asked about the public marina up the New River, and they did have a slip for us the next day. We went with the current and were able to plug into shore power for the first time in over two months. At this point I need to say our batteries, solar panels and generator have been doing a champion job, and it was nice to give our AGM batteries the equalization charge they deserved. The next night we went to see Mrs. Doubtfire the Musical with my cousin Richard and finally got a couple of photographs!

After two nights at the Cooley Marina, we headed south to Jay Ramos and Robin's place down in North Miami. Before we left for the Bahamas, we had stayed a week tied to the seawall behind their condo, and this time, for a small contribution to the Seawall Maintenance fund, they let us stay there again for a couple weeks while we prepared the boat for shipping. It was hot, hot, hot these weeks, but we had enough time to clean and wax the topsides, varnish the brightwork, and get the canvas down. Norma even took Allen out on a couple of dates: dinner and dancing one night at Duffy's and a visit to the Erotic Art Museum! Sorry no photos as this is a family blog.

And that brings us to today. We are writing this from Cousin Richard's the day after bidding Bon Voyage to Afterglow. We fly out to Seattle this afternoon and will be reunited with Afterglow next month in Victoria Canada.

This adventure comes to a close as we bid adieu to the Eastern Seaboard, but more sailing adventures await aboard S.V. Afterglow in the Salish Sea! We hope you have enjoyed our blog so far and will continue with us in the future.

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2 commenti

Looking forward to welcoming you both home❤️

Mi piace

Dearest Norma and Allen. We will miss the reports of your wonderful adventures AND we are so excited that you will be returning to Seattle and that we will have the opportunity to visit with you when you have recovered. Best Wishes, Irene & Tony!

Mi piace
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