Saturday, November 30

USA here we come

It was time to go.  The wind was going to continue to die over the next several days, so we needed to get out of dodge so we didn't have to motor across the Gulf Stream.  We swam for the very last time, prepared our meals, battened down the hatches and made a run for it at two in the afternoon.  As we got under way, the wind was light, lighter than we would have liked.  In fact, we had to motor sail until we reached the top of the Berry Islands.  When we turned west, the engines were turned off and it was quiet once again as we sailed for the last time in the Bahamas.

 Watching a movie as we get underway

 Reeling 'em in

Wouldn't you know it, just as the sun was making it's last appearance and we were ready to bring in our gear for the night, we heard that sweet sound of Zzzzzzzzzzz and then again, Zzzzzzzzzz and then the hand line pulled tight (sorry it doesn't make that Zzzzzzzz sound)!!  Holy tuna batman, we just went through a school of fish.  Craig was already reeling his in, I started reeling in the other pole and we left the hand line alone for the moment.  It was utter chaos with kids running around doing their 'jobs', not knowing if they should help mom or dad.  Craig pulled his in - it was a tuna!  Woo Hoo.  Then I pulled mine in, another tuna!  Oops, mine got away.  I think I pulled him in too close and too fast.  He shook the hook.  Darn it!  The hand line was next, we landed another tuna.  Three fish on the hook and two in the bucket.  Not too shabby.  

Yummy sushi tonight!

Night night

Moon on the rise

We had a nice sail that first night.  I took the first part of the watch until 1am.  During my watch I witnessed a growing number of ships as I approached the intersection near Freeport, Grand Bahama and the main channel.  At first, I could make out a few lights and confirmed their position and intended direction using our trusty AIS.  Then slowly but surely, the number began to grow.  I remember at each marked hour when I wrote in the log book, the number was steadily increasing.  I counted a maximum of 15 ships (cargo and cruise) at one time in my immediate vicinity.  I was on the southern edge of the water way, close to the shallow banks of the Berry Islands while the ships while passing to the north.  But they were not all on the move, that was the puzzling part.  A growing number of them, I surmise at least half, were not moving at all.  They were just sitting there like birds bobbing in the water.  I don't know what they were waiting for.  Perhaps they were waiting for the sun to come up before entering Freeport.  However you want to explain it, it was a little freaky and definitely kept me alert all night.

As soon as the sun came up, the wind died down.  The engines were woken up from their slumber and we motored down towards Bimini, our jumping off point to the US.  With no wind to speak of, the sea state of the Gulf was pleasant, so I guess we can't complain too much.  However, It would have been better, and more fun, to sail.

The next morning as I came up on watch to relieve Maggie while Craig was fast asleep, I felt no need to change out of the pj's.  I was excited to do some last minute fishing, so I dropped in a line.  A little while later the girls and I heard music to our ears....Zzzzzzzz.  I quickly reeled it in but it ended up being a dumb ole barracuda.  I swear they are going to haunt me for the rest of my life.  I didn't want to wake Craig for a stupid barracuda, so Maggie and I managed to get the hook out of it's mouth and set it free.

 One last effort to send a message in a bottle in the gulf stream


Helllooooo Miami





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