Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Return from the Bahamas

After our kids flew home from Staniel Cay we bounced around the central Exumas for a few days till our friends on Stargazer and Casa Blanca and Tis Good returned from the Turks and we had a reunion at Big Major! We all messed about around Big Major and then spent a few days at Cambridge Cay on the moorings! It was early May now and we all were ready to head North and point our bows to the good old USA! We jumped off from Normans Cay and sailed to Nassaus' west bay? We spent one night anchored there and then off across the New Providence channel to Frazier Hog.

Again one night at anchor and then head east for the over niter to Bimini, we anchored up on the west side just off the beach hoping for a good nite sleep and then the jump across the Gulf Stream to Miami. Unfortunately the wind and surge prevented much sleep, so at first light we were off, it blew 25 knots from the south east and we sailed with 5-6 ft waves on our stern quarter, our most exciting crossing so far and our least comfortable. All went well though and we hit Biscayne channel at about 3 pm that afternoon and were anchored up on the west side of Key Biscayne and enjoyed a calm nights sleep finally!

Next morning it was off to the Dinner Key mooring field and the delights of a Coconut a Grove, one of our most fav stops on the east coast.

After a week at Dinner Key we were ready to continue south to Marathon, our plan was to hang out on a ball at the mooring field and then continue or journey back up to Tampa where we planned to leave the boat for the summer while it waited out hurricane season and we visited friends and family in the SUV we left at Twin Dolphins Marina. While in Marathon I was able to arrange to have all 4 of our house batteries exchanged for new ones at West Marine. It worked out well since the boatyard was right next to the west marine. It's great to have 4 fresh batteries to start our next journey!

Eventually we got a window to head north. Like last January we made the overnite trip from Marathon to Venice and spent a night on the face dock at Crows Nest.

We were Refreshed after a good night sleep and the first day hooked up to shore power in 5 months! (It was hard to believe we had managed to spend only 2 nights in a marina since we left twin dolphins Jan 7th!) And the two nights we spent in Nassau we didn't hook up to the shore power!

We got up the next morning to a strong wind so we decided to use the ICW and head for Sarasota and their mooring field. It was only a 3 hr trip and we got the ball with no issues and put the dink down and off for lunch and shopping in Sarasota.

Next morn we set out for the last leg of our adventure, the trip back to Twin Dolphins! It was non eventful and by lunchtime we were safely back tied up at twin dolphins in a slip just one boat away where we left from, over 2 thousand miles slipped under our keel since that morning 5 months ago!

At this writing were busy washing the accumulated sand and rust that a boat builds up after 5 months in the tropics!

Playing golf living in air conditioned comfort and running errands in our car is a real adjustment from the life we just left in the Bahamas!

Below are some more pics from the last parts of our trip

The last Barracuda caught on the trip, this one between nassaua and Bimini

While in Marathon the wind cooperated one day and we took the dink the 2 miles out to Sombreo Key light and had a great snorkel trip, the reef and the water were every bit as good as the Bahamas .

Out with the old in with the new, batteries that is!

While at the boatyard in Marathon changing the batteries we were busted by these guys, we always see Manatees in the boatyard there!

This trip to Marathon we rented a car for a day and went up to key largo and islamoralda, we spent a few hrs at the dolphin research center, the dolphins there are amazing and they preform almost constantly,could have taken hundreds of pics!

While in marathon we caught up to friends from Kemah, on Daddys Money a 57 ft Nordhaven, they were dock mates of ours at waterford marina, Joe is pictured at breakfast with his drink of choice while at the stuffed pig, the bacon Bloody Mary !

Sunset on our way from Marathon to Venice.

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