The Great Bahama Bank

Ambler Isle
V and S
Sat 21 May 2011 00:54
We awoke early after a surprisingly good night sleep despite the wave action.  Hoisting the anchor, we set off west toward Bimini, 50 miles away.  As usual, we had fishing lines out.  Over the day we caught 4 fish, 2 ciero mackerals, always tasty, and 2 barracuda.  We rarely keep the barracuda.  All but the last barracuda got away: they broke the line, bit the lure off or what?  Two dolphins swam by, but ran off before we could get their photos.  A big Azimut- type express sport fishing boat approached.  Although we were well off the normal recommended route line, it headed off course, straight for us.  We have seen this amazing behavior in Florida fishermen before.  They see a "big, fat, slow trawler" and just want to have a little fun waking us.  Professor Valt declared it time for yet another class of "Boat Etiquette 101".   These classes are seldom needed except for Florida boaters.  He started the second engine and began to speed up.  A huge wall of water rose from our stern as Amber Isle squatted low into the sea.  I mean a HUGE wall of water.  Immediately the sport fisher made an abrupt turn, changing course to be out of our way.   He wanted nothing to do with this crazy old, fat trawler.  Although we are not a trawler, we like to travel slow.  This conserves fuel, but also improves fishing.  But we can rev it up when necessary. 
It was a hot day, and with less than 10k winds it was hotter.  91 degrees, the hottest here to date.  No breeze.  The light wind waves were off our stern, giving us a fairly smooth ride all day. 
Arrived at Cat Cays at 4pm, and anchored just off the yacht club marina.  Nice island, nice homes.  Bad thing was all the yachts coming in from Florida after work raced thru the cut toward the marina, waking us wildly at times.  Oh well, they can't come all night, can they?
We did a few chores.  Main thing was we switched the 200' anchor chain end to end.  this involved letting out the chain, attaching the new end to the anchor, drawing it back into the anchor locker, unkinking as we went.  This chain goes up and down so often, then turns with the wind while set, everyday.  This twists the chain.  We also readied the boat for the 45 mile trip across the Gulf Stream planned for tomorrow morning.  We secure all loose items, pull out the safety equipment, fuel the dinghy, make some travel snacks.  The trip should take less than 8 hours if we do not catch any fish.  If we do, we have to slow down to land them.  More time.  We will enter Miami at the Government Cut, and anchor off the Venetian Iles.  This is a small chain of manmade islets created when they dredged the channel for the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway)