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It was asked by a couple of different people if we were ever scared during the passage. Unlike our big-wind sail in the Chesapeake where we both were a bit scared, this time we weren’t. On several occasions we evaluated the situation and mutually concluded that although we were (very) uncomfortable, we were not in any real danger. This guided the decisions that we made during the day. Of course, we were always conservative and shortened sail when appropriate (at night and when the dark thunderstorm clouds loomed in front of us).

We had a lot to do before giving up our slip at the marina. High on Rebecca’s task list was repairing the sail that we tore during our passage.

Better than new!

Work completed and boat moved to anchor, we could now head out exploring. Do you see that sharp inflatable-piercing wreck in the water beside our dinghy? Fortunately the water was so clear that we did, and we set our tiny dinghy anchor to stop our boat from drifting sideways into it.

Welcome to Bimini… the sign we’ve been waiting to see for so long!

Nice!

How many days is it until Christmas?

Too bad it’s closed on a Sunday.

The calm side of the island.

The not-so-calm side…

Glad we didn’t end up like this ship!!!

29 Comments

  1. LOVE the smiles, glad that you are there, sad that some of us are in a cold place, happy that you made it!!!

    Total eclipse of the moon tonight – maybe 3am! Something to get up for!

  2. Congratulations on getting to the islands! What a way to end the year.

  3. Sounds like the motor in the video. Did you motor sail the whole way? I’m not a sailor (yet) so just curious. The island looks very nice; especially the turquoise water and sand. Rum punch for everyone!!

  4. Congratulations on your successful crossing!

    I don’t know if this will work in your set-up but regarding the dinghy swinging while underway, we wrap a line around the lower unit of the dinghy engine and lash it to a nearby cleat and then take the dinghy bow line and lash it to a cleat on the other side. This completely immoblizes our dinghy – even that time we were in 88 knots of wind.
    Laura

    • Our big problem is that we can’t get it high enough. The attachment points on the dinghy need to be changed and/or the block and tackle arrangements on our davits. We have it cratively lashed down hard with some dock lines. We’ll see how we fair today! Fingers are crossed!!!!

  5. Great video – really helpful in understanding what you faced. We’ve been cruising for 8 years and we’ve been in the same or worse conditions too many times. What was nailing you was the wave period, not the height. I was measuring periods of 3-5 seconds from the video. That’s wicked rough and creates an uncomfortable motion. Periods of 9+ seconds (and especially 11+) are comfortable. There are web sites and some NOAA forecasts that provide period (buoyweather.com, windfinder.com).

    They say the most difficult maneuver in boating is the 180 degree turn. It’s not technically difficult; it’s emotionally difficult. Now with the calm of day and all wounds licked, have you considered the conditions that would make you turn around in the future? Would you have done that passage to Bimini in those same conditions again?

    As we’ve cruised more and more, I can tell you, we would have turned around and waited for another day. It would be great to hear some of your thoughts about this and what you learned from the experience.

    • Hi Jeff

      yes, that period was way to fast!

      I hear you about the 180 degree turn. We knew from the weather forecasts that had we not gone when we did, we would have been stuck in Florida for a week or more. Of course, we could have used that time to sail further south, but crossing this week seems out of the question. If I thought we were in danger we would have turned around, or altered our course to a more comfortable point of sail. I’m not sure what conditions would have brought us to that threshold though.

  6. Mike & Linda (II the Max) - Reply

    Hooray… totally cool, so glad to see you made it OK. Linda and I have the same blessing of wind on the nose, so don’t feel bad (Mike, I share the queezies with you in a swell, but somehow that survival instinct get’s you through it when it gets rough). Really great job keeping the blog up – your adventures will help us through the winter up here.

    As I type I think about the pile of PVC on II the Max to build our tent frame. The Potomac is already frozen over up to the Channel.

    Mike & Linda

    • Hi Mike and Linda

      Winterizing, shrink wrapping and tent frames are (hopefully) things we will never have to contend with again. Good luck with all that! As for wind on the nose, there’s just no avoiding it at times!

      Mike

  7. (Long time reader, first time commenter) I’ve been curious for awhile how you manage to find wifi to post all these great photos, then I saw in the previous post that you broke your Alfa, what model do you use? Are you able to locate free networks everywhere you travel?

    Congratulations on your crossing, it looks beautiful in Bimini, I’ll eagerly be following along to see where you decide to go next.

  8. You hit the nail on the head……Never take mother nature for granted, but your vessel, your preparation of each trip and your skills will not put you in danger…..It might be an uncomfortable ride, but you are safe. It is amazing what boats can with stand. The wind can not put anymore pressure on your mast than rebecca doing her workouts! The water is beautiful…….

  9. Glad you guys made it! Wish I was there on Liberty as well, but maybe next year.

  10. hey I remember that wreck from the windward side 🙂
    Zach watched the video with me and said, “COOL! I hope we get a fun ride like that one day then I can go bouncing all over my bed!” Ahhhh, youth!
    Do you all have a SailRite machine on board? Nice repair Rebecca!

  11. Great job, guys. I’ve followed you for a while and have the whole blog. I admit to living vicariously through folks like you and Bumfuzzle. I’ll be making the leap in the next few years once my daughter leaves for college. Until then, thanks for sharing and helping keep the dream alive!

  12. Thanks for the video, glad you made it safely.

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