Ahoy! I’m writing this post from Cherokee Point which is on the Eastern side of the Abacos. We arrived just after dark last night after a great day of motoring, fishing, and sailing up from the southern tip of the Abacos called Sandy Point. I wanted to check in as we’re a bit behind on the blog and catch everybody up on where we’ve been these past two weeks.
Crossing the Gulf Stream
Let’s wind the clock back to Monday, Jan 12th where after a few days of some of the most intense erranding that I’ve done in my life, Travis and I were finally ready to set sail back across the Gulf Stream and (officially) start our year-long adventure. With mom and pops Lindstrom and Jacob gone, we took on some new crew to help swab the decks, and pull or winch anything we pointed at, and pour us tasty drinks. These unfortunate souls consisted of my buddy from Nashville, Rob Andrews (aka Goof), and our friend Peter Flores that Trav and I both know from our days back in Austin. They both bought return flights from Marsh Harbor in the Abacos two weeks later so we planned our route with that destination and timeline in mind.
In order to avoid dealing with the currents from the Gulf Stream and get us a better angle for the crossing, we decided to fuel up and head south through the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). A peaceful three hours of motoring and seven draw bridges later our horizon opened up into Biscayne Bay just south of Miami. After resting on a mooring ball for the night we woke up to a crazy lightning storm hovering over the Gulf Stream. Since it seemed silly to sail a lightning rod into a storm, we waited a few hours before starting our ~60 mile sail over to Bimini.
The crossing itself was about the easiest I’ve done in the almost 10 times I’ve made the trek. We had 15kts of wind, a measly ~3ft of chop, and perfect wind angle for the first 5 or so hours. About halfway through the wind died off and so we did a bit of motorsailing through the calm waters and arrived in Bimini around 7pm. A ten hour crossing may sound like a lot to some but this is the status quo for a sailor. =]
A few days in Bimini
After checking in with customs, we decided to move Bueller into one of the protected anchorages on the other side of the island. The wind was hard out of the east and the swells were making cooking a bit of a balancing act. On our way into the channel we noticed a tiny little island surrounded by beautiful shallow water that was juuuust large enough to pump up a kite on =]. Here’s a little quadcopter video I took of our tiny island:
We set the anchor in the only spot available in the small anchorage and Peter and I packed up our gear and started getting set up for some kiteboarding on the flats. Since Pete and Trav are still picking up the sport, we had the dinghy ready to pick anybody up if they got caught downwind and needed a ride.
After some solid riding for an hour or two (keeping a side eye on Bueller all the while), we looked up and noticed that she was way off from where we left her. Travis and I locked eyes and realized that the winds must have drug the anchor and we were drifting across the channel. We immediately jumped in the dinghy and hauled ass over to the boat. Two thoughtful sailing neighbors were already in their dinghies and were about to jump aboard when we arrived on the scene. The boat had stopped drifting as we had run aground on the on the other side of the channel. We fired up the engine, raised the anchor, crossed our fingers, and put her hard into forward. Lucky for us, the bottom there was sandy and with a little throttle it was obvious that we were moving! Hearts still pounding, we dropped anchor near the same spot and this time we let out a bunch more chain and snorkeled over the anchor until we were confident that it was solid.
Editors note: Later on we would discover that we had been misreading the zip-ties that the previous owner had put on the chain to mark how much length had been let out. We thought he had marked the chain at 30 ft intervals but there was actually another zip tie at 15ft which misled us into thinking we had 60 feet out when we actually had 30 feet =/ In general you want a 6:1 or 7:1 ratio of your chain out to the depth of the anchorage. It was approx 8 feet deep in this anchorage which left us with way too little chain for our beastly anchor to set correctly.
I've got to run but expect another update soon (where we'll hopefully catch up to present day... =])