Silver Maple Blog

The Voyage Continues!

Safe and sound in Florida

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Thursday, October 29th to Wednesday, November 4th — Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas to Palm Beach, FL

We take our last couple of days to wrap things up in New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas in preparation for Friday’s early departure. We do some final errands. Unfortunately, when we get up in the morning on Friday it is thunder storming and raining, so our 7AM departure moves to 11AM. We don’t get as far towards West End, our launching point for the Gulf Stream crossing, but we do end up in a beautiful anchorage at Allans Pensacola Cay the first night. Silver Maple is the only boat there and it is a calm and lovely stay.

In New Plymouth doing our last errands before we leave tomorrow.

In New Plymouth doing our last errands before we leave tomorrow.

Success!! Randy leaving the BTC office where he manages to add more data to his Bahamian cell phone.

Success!! Randy leaving the BTC office where he manages to add more data to his Bahamian cell phone.

Late start leaving Green Turtle. Thunderstorms are past but its still raining.

Late start leaving Green Turtle. Thunderstorms are past but it’s still raining.

Nicer day as the afternoon goes on. Hmm...no one seems to be driving...

Nicer day as the afternoon goes on. Hmm…no one seems to be driving…

Nice to be sailing.

Nice to be sailing.

Captain on the deck.

Captain on the deck.

We bought cake while we were in town yesterday. Yum!

We bought cake while we were in town yesterday. Yum!

Anchored in beautiful Allens Pennsicola

Anchored in beautiful Allans Pensacola

The next morning, we are off to Great Sale Cay. It’s a shorter trip so we have some relax time in the morning. When we arrive at Great Sale Cay there are two other boats and a third arrives after us. Everyone else stopping at this anchorage is going the other way, of course, towards the Bahamas rather than towards Florida. On the way from Great Sale Cay to West End, we pass two sailboats heading towards the Bahamian Abaco Islands. One of them, ‘Miss Informed’ we met last year in Marsh Harbour. They radio us on the way by to say hello and ask why we are going the wrong way.

Sunrise over Allens Pennsicola.

Sunrise over Allans Pensacola.

Lady of leisure watching the sunrise.

Lady of leisure watching the sunrise.

Back on the water on the way to Great Sale Cay. Gorgeous day!

Back on the water on the way to Great Sale Cay. Gorgeous day!

Captain checking out the neighbours at Allens Pennsicola.

Captain checking out the neighbours at Great Sale Cay

We arrive mid afternoon at West End and the Old Bahama Bay Resort. Its hot. Over 90 degrees F and very humid so we take a trip to the pool and relax. The weather report for the next day (Monday) is still looking good for doing the Gulf Stream crossing to Florida. Although the resort is lovely, we decide to go while the going is good.

Early morning start as we head to West End.

Early morning start as we head to West End from Great Sale Cay.

Moon over Silver Maple as we head out.

Moon over Silver Maple as we head out.

Another gorgeous Bahamian sunrise.

Another gorgeous Bahamian sunrise.

Silver Maple at Sunrise.

Silver Maple at Sunrise.

Very calm day from Great Sale Cay to West End. No sailing today!

Very calm day from Great Sale Cay to West End. No sailing today!

Water so clear you can see the bottom at 15ft.

Water so clear you can see the bottom at 15 ft.

Captain enjoying the view from the deck.

Captain enjoying the view from the deck.

Silver Maple docked at West End, Bahamas.

Silver Maple docked at West End, Bahamas.

The beautiful Old Bahama Bay Resort at West End.

The beautiful Old Bahama Bay Resort at West End.

On Monday morning we are up at 4AM and on the water while it is still dark. The waves always feel worse when you can’t see them in the dark, but as the sun comes up the trip is much more pleasant. Just before we reach half way, we see a large boat on the horizon. It looks official and is approaching quickly. Yep, US Coast Guard!  They pull in behind us and radio us with a few questions on our nationality, destination, registration, yada, yada. They then ask us to hold on the radio as they confirm the information. We wait and wait. Finally they come back and tell us they are having some communication problems, so we should maintain our course and they will get back to us as soon as they can. So, Randy responds with “So you mean we will have an escort?” The Coast Guard ship replies with “Yes, Sir. This will be your safest passage ever.” Too funny. They follow us for about an hour or so. Eventually, they wish us a good trip and pull away.

Early morning start as we make the crossing from Florida to the Bahamas.

Early morning start as we make the crossing from Florida to the Bahamas.

Perfect crossing weather!

Perfect crossing weather!

Captain is happy!

Captain is happy!

Sea sickness medicine makes you want to nap.

Sea sickness medicine makes you want to nap.

US Coast Guard pays us a visit.

US Coast Guard pays us a visit.

We have an escort!

We have an escort!

Still following us.

Still following us.

We are half way! Woohoo!

We are half way! Woohoo!

The Coast Guard pulls away and wishes us well.

The Coast Guard pulls away and wishes us well.

About 15 minutes later, we get a call on the radio from Will and Muffin on Antares. We have seen them every year in Hope Town while we’ve been in the Bahamas. They were listening to our Coast Guard encounter. They are crossing from Florida to the Bahamas. The first thing they say is “Hey, you’re going the wrong way!”

The crossing is good.  It’s a great day. Seas are relatively light and there is enough wind to put a sail up. When we arrive in Florida we are exhausted. It’s hot! We have a quick dinner at the Old Port Cove Marina where we are staying in Palm Beach and hit the sack before 8PM.

Lee on the deck enjoying the ride.

Lee on the deck enjoying the ride.

First glimpse of Florida.

First glimpse of Florida.

Captain is pleased to be back on the InterCoastal Waterway (ICW).

Captain is pleased to be back on the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW).

Now we are in Florida, it is good to be back on the mainland. Brutally hot and humid, but it’s still good. Randy is getting some maintenance and repairs done on Silver Maple while Lee shops for provisions in preparation for the trip back to the Bahamas. Looks like tomorrow we will hit the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show which is on here, and then wrap up preparations by Friday for a crossing sometime this weekend…weather permitting of course. Stay warm, everyone!

One thought on “Safe and sound in Florida

  1. Lovely pictures Lee… the heat sounds great. It is cool here and the sun is trying to come out. Just had a call from Joanne, Lorraines daughter, to let me know that Lorraine has passed away.

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