Lilli Mae - En Route to Long Island Sound - Bahamian Paradise!

Lilli Mae
Thu 11 May 2023 15:00
Hi Everyone, hope you are all well wherever you are.

We completed the last few jobs in Marina Hemingway in preparation for departure which included going shopping for some onions and peppers (Monday 8th May). Finding places to buy foodstuff was surprisingly difficult in Cuba; it took a 9km morning walk to find a “shop” to buy the vegetables we were looking for. The large supermarket we found sold nothing but tinned foods; no fruit or veg! The small shops had only a few product lines for sale.

The vegetable shopping tactics included following locals who were carrying empty shopping bags and using iMessage emoticons to explain (due to our lack of Spanish language skills) that we were looking for onions and peppers. In the end we were directed into a “shop" in a back yard where we managed to source most of what we needed; onions peppers and fresh tomatoes of reasonable quality were secured.

After packing everything, we paid our bills, checked out with Cuban customs and ate dinner before heading out at about 1800 local time Monday 8th May.

Our route on Monday evening took us NNE almost to Key West. This was the best course we could sail with the N’Easterly wind. We had our main and head sails reefed and it was a bumpy ride for that n’easterly run but we did sail fast; we averaged about 8.5 knots sailing until Tuesday (9th) morning. As we approached the keys the wind eased and so we furled the head sails and turned north east and motored along the coast of the Florida Keys for a few hours until mid-afternoon Tuesday.
On Tuesday at about 1425 local we tacked and headed east-southeast and then tacked again (2000 hrs) north-north east heading directly to Bimini. On this run our speed over the ground hit over 10 knots! At about 0100 hrs on Wednesday morning the wind dropped and so the engine was started until we dropped the anchor in Bimini Sands, South Bimini at 0900 hours Wednesday 10th. We fished most of the way but only caught a small one and so we put it back. Stores are running low so we will need to catch something soon!

Bimini is tiny but beautiful. The water is so clear you can see the sand at the bottom and our chain all the way down to the anchor at the bottom. After we checked in (with Bahamian Customs and Immigration) we moved Lilli Mae to an even nicer anchor spot (more people and activities marked with red spot). 

After a little trouble getting the anchor back down (it got stuck in the bow roller) we spent rest of the day tidying up (ourselves and Lilli Mae) and chillin’. We went for a swim and some of the crew decided it was time for a haircut!

It is now 1100 local time and we are planning to go ashore for brunch and to check out more of the island.

We are heading out tomorrow afternoon from Bimini for the short passage (90 miles) north-north west to West Palm Beach, Florida. The wind looks good; easterly 15-20 knots which means we will have quite a fast run to Florida.

That’s it for now. More updates when we make it to Florida.
Take care wherever you are.

All the best from the crew aboard Lilli Mae.

email: illi_mae {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com