Bye Bye Ft Lauderdale, Hello Bahamas N26 05.827 W080 07.091

Mon 12 Nov 2018 19:25

Bye Bye Ft Lauderdale, Hello Bahamas    N26 05.827  W080 07.091

5th, 6th, 7th November 2018


Our proposed crossing of the Gulf Stream to West End in the Bahamas was always going to be very weather dependent as it is unsafe to cross the Gulf Stream in a Northerly wind.  The Gulf Stream flows roughly north (010 degrees) so a strong northerly will result in wind over tide and extremely uncomfortable if not dangerous conditions for a vessel.  Unfortunately, the safer prevailing winds are Easterly just the direction that we wanted to go.  Ideally a boat would wait for nightfall to take advantage of lighter winds and night sail to the Bahamas but we were anxious to get going so opted for a day sail.



A couple of the superyachts we had to give way to


On Monday the 5th November, Bonfire Night, we felt that the forecast was good enough for us to leave so we again upped anchor at 0630hrs to give us sufficient time to make the opening for the Las Olas Blvd Bridge.  So far so good.  Unfortunately, we inadvertently picked the time when pretty much every superyacht also wanted to leave and hence we were stuck in a superyacht gridlock!!!  Anyway we had very little option but to wait while they all manoeuvred out of their docks and queued down the waterway.  We patiently followed and eventually managed to leave Ft Lauderdale inlet and sail out towards the Gulf Stream and the Bahamas.


The superyacht gridlock!


Although we had to motorsail pretty much all the way, our Gulf Stream crossing was uneventful and we arrived at West End, Grand Bahama Island at midnight.  We had been in the Old Bahama Bay Marina before and the entrance is deep water with few hazards except for being rather poorly lit.  After a long sail we were all tired so rather than chance bumping into hazards we anchored and waited to enter the marina in the morning.


Haigri docked and awaiting customs clearance




Chris enjoying Bahamian delicacies


The next two days we spent enjoying the Old Bahama Bay Marina and hotel facilities.  This was really great except for an awful lot of bugs and sandflies.


Young coconuts



The docks at Old Bahama Bay Marina


Chris relaxing after the exertions of motoring across the Gulf Stream


Next our journey will take us to Nassau on New Providence Island.