Landfall at Bimini

Our March 1 crossing was uneventful if a bit on the lumpy side, but Sammy, our cruise comfort bellwether was not pacing and panting, so it was an acceptable ride! We departed No Name Harbor about 0700 and arrived at Bimini at 1500. Our cruise speed was on the slow side as we bucked the Gulf Stream. Our autopilot will steer a course to a waypoint and correct for set and drift imposed by current and wind, but the set from the Gulf Stream when crossing it at almost a perpendicular course requires a heading of more than 30 degrees from the bearing to the waypoint, more than the autopilot is willing to steer. So for the time we’re in the strongest part of the current, we do some manual course corrections and set the autopilot to steer a compass heading rather than compute the heading on its own.

We were greeted with spectacular weather upon our arrival, but forecasts held some windy conditions whose peak, had we continued our planned travel, would coincide with a location that would be the least desirable to wait out the winds. So we decided to wait out the passage of the front here in Bimini where we’d be more comfortable, and where there’s plenty to do. So we’ll be here for a week.  We’d prefer to be underway, headed for more southern locations, but there are some open stretches over big water we need to cover to accomplish that, so we’ll defer that travel to when conditions are more favorable.  Weather decisions are always a crap shoot, you consider all the information you have available, weigh it against location and projected travel, and call the best shot.

Bimini has seen some positive changes since our first visit. There is currently construction ongoing at the government docks, we’re told it will be a dock for a new fast ferry route from Miami to Bimini and Freeport and back, sure to be a boost for the local economy.  As with most things Bahamian, the projected start up date was originally October of ’11, now June of this year, with the actual date anybody’s guess! Dredging has been done in the channel, and we also noticed the old Chalk’s seaplane ramp and apron has undergone some maintenance as well, the apron was covered with sand at our last visit.  Our stay this year will be our longest yet, so we’ll learn more during the time we’re here. 

Comments are closed.