After hanging out with some cheeky Manatees in Great Harbour Cay, we made our way to Freeport/Port Lucaya the 12th of May. We were hoping we would be able to continue our crossing to Florida after a few days…..well, it took close to 10 days to finally get some weather that was going to make for a pleasant journey. The winds, the rain and the wave action were not quite right and we were not alone at the marina as others were waiting for the same window.
Since we were there for a little while, we decided to rent a car along with our new friends Art and Brenda who have been sailing on their Island Packet Zippidy Doo Dah for 7 years. We had time and were able to explore Grand Bahama Island. We docked at Grand Bahama Yacht Club and enjoyed the pool, laundry and facilities. We had a chance to go to the Lucayan National Park, walk the mangrove path and check out the awesome sink holes. Enjoyed the beach and bar at Banana Bay, drove to the West End and explored the island by car. Port Lucaya Marketplace has a nice variety of restaurants, Greek (Zorba), Italian (Cappuccino’s), Pizza (Pisces), and Jeff’s favorite bar Rum Runners.
We had sushi at Pier 1 and got to see the feeding of the sharks. There were some really BIG black tips and bull sharks that showed up as soon as the dinner bell rang….the restaurant feeds them the fish scraps - hence, the dinner bell.
We met some young kids from New Zealand. They were waiting for weather to sail to Bermuda, prior to crossing the Atlantic and heading to the Azores and Portugal. They plan to go around the world….and in a 27 foot sailboat with no refrigeration! Oh to be in your early 30’s right?
We met a French guy who lost his ride to Florida. He crossed with some folks who were leaving their boat in Freeport and flying back to France and he wanted to continue but had no boat…..he eventually found someone to take him on - a solo sailor who wanted/needed crew.
As the weather was changing - some sailors decided to go to the West end and stage there prior to crossing - we decided to stay put and do a longer crossing from Port Lucaya. In the end, it was the right move for us because we ended up leaving on a great day for a crossing……if you’re in a power boat! Is the weather ever perfect? No! 3-4 knots of wind (that we created I’m sure) no real wave action and cloudy most of the day. It was nice because the sun was not beating down on us. Yes, it took almost 12 hours - but it's 12 hours on the water, in a sailboat so no complaints here. BTW: I guess you figured out I’ve made up with Jimmy and Kenny by now. (Could never really give them up.)
We had a chance to prep for the crossing so meals were prepared, we had our shift schedule and the cabin ready to go so we would be comfortable. We left at around 5:30 AM ET and arrived at Lake Worth inlet, anchored and settled by 6:00 PM ET ready to enjoy the sunset. It was so different than our crossing to Bimini - either we’re more settled into boating or it was just a nice ride. Perhaps it was the fact that we didn’t leave at 2:00 AM? Not sure what it was but this seemed like a much more relaxed and drama free crossing than any before.
The next day, we got up early and started up the intercostal for Ft. Pierce, Harbor Isle Marina our final destination for a few months. We pulled up anchor, pulled into a marina for some diesel and headed north. We made it to our marina about 5:00 PM and once we finally got settled into slip 9, we showered and ordered an Uber to take us to dinner at A 12 Buoys.
Fort Pierce has a nice beach/restaurant area, a beach park and lots of local flare. We have spent the last few weeks working on cleaning up the boat in the morning and then exploring in the afternoon. It’s cooler in the morning and the heat/rain always happen later in the day so it’s been a good plan. We are off the boat in an AirBnB - yep, just like millennials, except with gray hair and more money (hehehe)…..another way this life keeps you young.
We took a few days to get off the boat and catch up with some friends. Opportunities are something we don’t like to waste and since we were up north and knew our friends from Intermezzo were in Annapolis, we convinced our friends to drive us to surprise them at dock. Let me just say that it was so worth it to see the smiles on our friends faces as we walked up the dock and they realized it was really us! We spent an awesome day, catching up with them and meeting their friends who had come from NJ to meet them.
Yet again, I’m reminded of just how fortunate Jeff and I are to have had such wonderful people cross our path and share the journey.
So here were are…..in an AirBnB. Will this always be our life? Probably not, but we are enjoying our transitions this year. Next week I have some business meetings and get to reconnect with some awesome folks. We plan on traveling and making our way to Virginia for work and pleasure. Visits with family and friends over the next few months until we get to continue the journey. Our next sail plan will include the Abaco’s and Eleuthera. Seems to us there’s a whole lifetime of cruising to do close to Florida and on the East Coast. We hope to be able to keep doing this for a while……and travel will always be part of of our lives.