Thursday, December 20, 2007

Planning for the Bahamas


When Peter and I planned our first sailing trip all those many moons ago, we sat down in January with all of our books and charts and figured out where we would be every minute of our two week vacation in late July. We plotted buoy to buoy, calculated estimated time of arrival. Our Power Squadron instructors would have been very proud.

Now that we are getting ready to cross over the Gulf Stream and for the first time leave our wonderful country we have finally dug out the charts and guides. This is about a 60 mile trip; after about 5 miles we will lose sight of land and won't regain it until about 4 miles out of West End, when hopefully we will see a tall red and white water tower. There are few buoys or other aids to navigation in the Bahamas, you figure out where you are by reading the guides that say things like "anchor by the white house with the pink shutters". Hopefully no one paints in the Bahamas.

We have been monitoring the VHF waiting for someone to announce their departure for West End. Only one boat, a trawler planning on 8 knots, came through; too fast for us. A bunch of boats left this morning, planning on an overnight trip to the Abacos. Some aborted. As we plan to leave tonight, no worries yet about finding a crossing buddy.

Monitoring the main frequency, I heard Bay Wolf speaking with another boater, and hailed him after their conversation. We started our ICW adventure with Bay Wolf, and here we are, 2 months later, in the same anchorage. Alex and Lorrie are leaving for West End around 4am tomorrow. So if the Captain is willing to delay a bit, we will have company. Hopefully we will hook up with several boats doing the crossing this evening.
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