It was hard for me to describe the experience arriving in the Bahamas. I felt like there was no way of making a reader understand how memorable this 24 hour time frame was. I write in a personal journal, send emails to family, and also write for the blog. That is a lot of writing. After sitting and not knowing how to write my “blog version” of crossing to the Bahamas, I concluded that the email I sent to my family the day after arriving, sums it up the best. So now I will share it with you.crossing over-9

“Yesterday could not have been more of an incredible day. We left at 5:30am in the dark out of No Name Harbor. Several boats left before us, and several after. We took off alone at a time we were comfortable with, knowing there would be others out there.

Thirty minutes later we ran aground exiting biscayne bay. It was still dark, I went below to use the facilities. By the time I came back up Katie informed me we were on the bottom. At least she ran us aground gracefully, I didn’t even feel it while on the pot. Wiggled our way off in no time, and by 6:30 the sun was rising, and our depth sounder no longer gave us a reading. We got to the deep stuff.
Motoring just about the whole way… put up the sails for a while… but it wasn’t helping us out. We had the perfect course set for Bimini to make good time, and didn’t care to deal with tacking knowing the wind would be on the nose the entire day.
OUR AUTOPILOT ROCKS. Pressed one button, and didn’t touch the tiller all day. Wind was light, and seas were relatively calm. katie and I both on the edge of queasiness for a long time, but it didn’t matter because we were so excited. The queasiness came from nerves, not the motion of the ocean – at least for me. With the auto-pilot, we could both attempt to throw up at the same time instead of taking turns. Also did not see a boat or speak to anyone on the radio the whole trip. Alll allllone on the atlannnttttic. It was great, and I am happy we chose not to tag right along with other sailors.
Ten miles out of Bimini, WE CAUGHT A FREAKING 15 to 20 POUND TUNA. Took us a while to reel in, and we were cracking up because we knew we didn’t now what the hell to do with it. When it was close enough to the boat, Katie caught it in a net and put it in the cockpit. It’s tail was ripped off, so something way bigger got hungry as we were reeling it in. We ran a rope through its mouth and out its gill and tied it off the stern to keep it fresh until we got to Bimini. It was a perfect first catch. Not to big for us to handle, and fed 6 of us plus an extra tuna steak for today. Best damn fish I have ever tasted. We later learned how lucky we were to catch a black fin tuna, for it is not common.
When we pulled into the marina, we met up with our colorado friends who got there shortly before us. Me and Tom (the dad) hitched a ride to the airport to do customs. When we returned, we chopped up and prepared the tuna, drank beers and rum, and fed the scraps to a family of nurse sharks. The water surrounding us was the most spectacular wildlife aquarium my eyes had ever seen. Sharks, sting rays, barracuda, eels, etc. Not to mention a fresh Tuna dinner in the making…. all without spending a dime.
I played guitar with deb (the mom who is a music therapist) from the other boat the rest of the evening, sang too loud and laughed too much. Today I feel like shit. But I don’t care.
Yesterday went better than I ever could have imagined. Now our trip has begun. The feeling of arriving here after a year and half of preparing, confirmed every moment I have questioned why I started this in the first place…  why I left everyone and everything behind, and why I let this completely rob me of my bank account.  I possibly had a tear in my eye when we pulled through the first channel markers entering the marina in South Bimini – as the water turned to that surreal aqua that dad was so excited for me to see
We will stay here one more night. Go explore Alicetown with our boat buddies, and snorkle some sunken ships! I will press the spot everyday, and do everything I can to keep you posted. Just please don’t worry about me, I am in a magical place, and am so overwhelmed with happiness I can no longer function. Okay, talk later. I love you guys very much.”

16 thoughts on “Bahamas y’all

  1. Very cool girls! Someday I hope to see the same blue waters Jimmy Z speaks of. Your trip is an inspiration to those of us living vicariously through your journey! 🙂

  2. Certainly enjoy reading about your adventure…put my EMAIL on your spot locator <<…sailed a lot with your Uncle John Z… going with him to Sturgeon Bay this month to pick up his new 20 foot Tiara and deliver to NP

  3. How sweet it is! Nice to hear that you had a good crossing. A TUNA?!!!! all that fishing paid off. Enjoy the Bahamas.

  4. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you when you were at Dinner Key but congratulations on your crossing. Crossing the Gulf Stream is a rite of passage for tropical sailors. Get ready for a different world. Prepare for the inexplicable magic of the Bahamas. Be careful what you ask for; you’ll get it. Need something? Someone will come along at just the right time. And though Bimini is beautiful, the out-islands are transcendent. Consider a trip north to the Abacos. It’s not crowded during the summers and it’s one of the world’s finest cruising grounds. That said, anywhere you go that’s away from the major tourist destinations will only amaze and delight you.

    Wind in your sails,

    Dave Bricker

  5. Congratulations! Your first crossing is always special. Don’t feel bad about the grounding everybody runs aground in Biscayne Bay. Have a wonderful time and have a Kalik for me. Ken Lahey

  6. Congrats on reaching the Bahamas! Just found your blog today thanks to someone posting it on cruisersforum.com. We are planning a similar trip leaving from Massachusetts in 2015. Can’t wait to be able to make a post like this.

    In the meantime I will be following you guys for inspiration.

    Fair winds,

    Jesse

  7. As you catch more fish, easy way to subdue them once they are aboard is pour a bit of rum through their gills…………….suggest having a bottle of the cheap stuff at hand for this purpose!
    Cheers,
    Doug

  8. So glad to hear you girls made it!! I can only imagine how excited and thrilled you were to finally get there. And I’m so happy you caught a tuna I quarenteed to Katie that you would! Nothing but love from the fmb to you girls. Enjoy your time, miss you girls!

  9. Just discovered your blog. Awesome. Had to comment, as this post perfectly captured memories of that completely indescribable feeling of approaching the first Bimini channel marker when I did it myself six years ago as a young solo cruiser (not as young as you guys! good on you). Years of saving, spending, fixing, and spending some more…but F it, I could have sank at Weech’s docks after 1 night and it would have been worth it! Wish I’d had your luck at fishing, though.
    Keep at it and have fun.

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