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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Location: Hurricane Hole Marina, Nassau, Bahamas

Log: 3213

Distance Traveled Wednesday and Today: 120 Nautical Miles

Total Trip Distance: 574 Nautical Miles

We departed at daybreak Wednesday from Port Lucaya near Freeport, Grand Bahama. The wind had picked up during the night and I was concerned that seas would produce an uncomfortable ride. The waves were small but very steep when we first left the harbor, and we were going straight into them. To make the ride tolerable, I tacked to the left and right of course for about the first hour, wondering if we would ever get to an anchorage in one day. Fortunately, the seas died down as we got further offshore in deeper water, and we had a nice ride for the rest of the day.

We anchored last night about half way to Nassau in an area called Great Harbor off Great Stirrup Cay. We cooked a pork tenderloin on the grill, had a fine dinner, and watched half a movie before hitting the rack early.

This morning, we got off around 7:00 a.m. for the second leg to Nassau. Unfortunately, winds had picked up to 15 knots and, this afternoon to around 20 knots. Again, we were headed straight into the waves. They were only about 4-foot seas but very steep and right on the nose. When it began to get intolerable, I turned about 15 degrees right of our course and found a comfortable ride. We had to run this way all day until we got in the lee of New Providence Island (Nassau) where we were finally able to turn back toward our waypoint. All in all, it was not a very comfortable day.

Just when I was sighing with relief to enter Nassau Harbor, a Bahamas Defense Force boat came out toward us, circled around, and began following me closely into the harbor. Sure enough, they had to board us, see all the paperwork showing we had been admitted to the bahamas and purchased a cruising permit, etc. Between the Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement officials, and the Bahamas Defense Force, I have now been boarded about 10 times in my boating career. All have been courteous and businesslike, and I have nothing to complain about. It just always seems to happen when I’m tired and ready to get to the dock.

Anyway, we’re here. The boat has performed beautifully. The remainder of the trip is less a delivery and more enjoyable cruising. We’ll lay over here tomorrow to get some provisions. Saturday, we’ll travel down to Allan’s Cay at the north end of the Exuma Islands chain. Throughout next week, we’ll slowly work our way down the Exumas.

After tomorrow, it may be awhile before I have internet access. However, I’ll check back in as often as possible. 

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