Bahamas - Ragged Islands, Hog Cay to USA to Florida, Miami

SV Meshugga
Nicholas & Deidre Mace
Sat 13 Jun 2020 19:47
25:41.87N 80:10.32W

A last trip to shore to plant Papaya and Tomato seedlings which I had grown from fresh plant seeds. I planted both inside the Coconut Sapling cages to protect them from being eaten by the Goats
3 Papaya Seedlings planted in the middle cage

A whole bunch of Tomato Seedlings in the north cage

Our Boat sign in Hog Cay Yacht Club

Deserted beach, we’re the last yacht here.

Goodbye Hog Cay

We left Hog Cay at 11.30am on Friday 5 June, enabling us to sail through the reefs and cutting past shallow banks with dangerous rocks during daylight. Whilst this can be done at night, we felt more comfortable sailing this section in good light, especially as we were carrying full sail and traveling above 10 knots continuously, with Depths between 3.5 and 6 meters

We put two fishing rods out, but with our speed all we caught was Baracuda - juk, so it was catch and release.

Late afternoon we sailed off the Great Bahama Bank, and into the Atlantic Ocean.  Even though our course to Miami was in a NW direction, we had to travel in a SW direction in a great arc to sail around the Great Bahama Bank. The bank would dictate our course for the entire trip. 

We estimated our trip to be a 36 hour sail, but wanting to leave and arrive in daylight, and sail the initial section in good light, left us in a predicament, and any which way we looked at our numbers we ended up arriving at night at the channel to the Biscayne Bay. So after the initial 6 hours sail, we dropped our main, reducing our speed from 10.5kt to 6 knots. With the reduced speed, within a half hour, we had a Dorado/Mahi Mahi on the line so dinner was sorted.

Sailing with only a Genoa we kept our speed down for 24 hours, then hoisted the main again. We were now well into the 7 mile wide Old Bahama Channel with Cuba on our left and the Great Bahama Bank on our right, with Cay Sel Bank, a large area of small islands and isolated rocks and looming as the northern/western gateway to the Gulf.

As we exited the Cay Sel shadow we noticed the uptake of current as we slowly eased NW across and into the Gulf Stream Current which flows west between Key West and Cuba and then NW up along the USA eastern seaboard. Unfortunately the weather prediction of a good 20kn wind, which would be awesome for downwind sailing, did not materialize, however the current increased and added an extra 2 knots to our miserable 4 knots of Boat Speed.

Light wind sailing with a full main and genoa, we made slow progress at 6 knots, and even though we’d tried to plan our trip to arrive during daylight, we arrived at Key Biscayne, Miami at 10pm on Sunday 7 June. The channel was lit sufficiently, and with a full moon, we had no problem entering the Bay. We dropped anchor behind a number of powerboats off the Nixon bank, who were well lit up and blaring music.

Next day we motored a mile to Crandon Marina to filling up with diesel. Happier to pay $2,49/G than the $5.50/G in Bahamas

Back at anchor, this time abeam the Key Biscayne Yacht Club, we were welcomed with Dolphins around Meshugga Chasing Fish

Key Biscayne Yacht Club, who unfortunately cannot give us Reciprocity due to Covid-19

Mansions around our Spot

We cleared into USA using the CBP Roam App without any problems.

Take Care

Deidre Mace
SV Meshugga
E:  Deidre {CHANGE TO AT} Mace {DOT} co {DOT} za
C:  +1 754 213 7663
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