In the Bahamas

I’ve been slacking in keeping the blog up to date. Here’s a bit of catch-up since the last post.

We left Ft. Pierce with hull shined and the shaft seal secure, next stop was West Palm just to overnight, then on to Ft. Lauderdale. We arrived there on the 26th of January and anchored in Sunrise Lake adjacent to Coral Ridge Yacht Club. We spent a month in Ft. Lauderdale. Friends Chris & Joyce aboard Celebrate are members there, as well as a relative of Barb’s, so we enjoy guest privileges. We paid a monthly rate, and spent almost 3 weeks in various slips, the rest of the time we spent anchored in Sunrise Lake, and also spent a few days on the New River, at the City Docks downtown. The stay was interesting, seeing many mega-yachts transiting the river.  Many of the service yards are reached via New River, and it is narrow, winding, and runs with a significant amount of current. Yachts over a certain length are required to be towed, fore and aft. It’s interesting to see the tow operators maneuver the large vessels through the tight thorofare, particularly with the aft tow vessel being dragged backwards!

Ft. Lauderdale bills itself as the “Yachting Capital of the World”, and that billing is well placed. Mega Yachts line the waterways, there is an abundance of yards that service all sorts of vessels, and as a result, Lauderdale presents unmatched opportunity to find about anything one could need in the way of boating gear. There are a number of consignment outlets, and pretty much any other part you’d need. Having the girls’ car at our disposal enabled us to get our dive gear fully serviced, replace an outdated LP tank, and pick up spare parts. We also provisioned for our stay in the Bahamas. It’s challenging to try to anticipate three month’s worth of provisions, and a bigger challenge yet to try to find places to store it all. We have dog food and toilet paper in the oddest places!

During our stay, I completed some maintenance tasks aboard Celebrate, refreshed the cap rails, rebuilt the water pump for the dinghy outboard, and generally prepped things for their Bahamas cruise. I also took the opportunity to refresh our own cap rails, a task I’d been deferring far too long, as well as catch up on some polishing and waxing- a never-ending chore!


We also took in the Miami Boat Show, one of the world’s largest. The week leading up to the boat show has many boats passing the Yacht Club; the face dock where we were docked for a week fronts the ICW, so much of the traffic during that week consisted of boats heading to the show.

Some were fantastic, others not so much! It was interesting, and it’s a great spot for boat watching. One of the neighboring mega-yachts in the marina just south of the club has a helo on deck. Something everyone should have for those quick hops to shore or to the grocery store! Really??


We finally decided we had completed what we needed to complete, and headed to Miami Beach on the 2nd of March. Daughter Andrea and her husband David were to be in Miami late on the 3rd, and we planned to meet up with them upon their arrival. We arrived in Miami the afternoon of the 2nd, anchored, dropped the dink and headed into South Beach for a stroll. Upon our return we discovered the fridge, already under the load of being fully provisioned, was warming up. Ugh!! The fridge was replaced in 2004, and I had replaced a thermostat this past summer, and suspected there was another issue with the condenser fan, but it never seemed to materialize and worked normally during our journey south on the ICW. But there was no getting around it, there was a problem, and it wasn’t going to heal. We partially removed the unit, of course now filled to capacity, to determine if there was an obvious, ergo, repairable problem. There seemed to be an issue with the condenser fan, plus a power supply abnormality, so we decided for replacement over repair. Painfully costly, particularly since I’m a trained professional capable of doing the repairs, however time was not on our side, and we did not want to risk making a repair then have another cascade problem surface that might require replacement in the Bahamas. That’s one place you don’t want to be dealing with a refrigerator problem!

So a few phone calls to confirm a refrigerator was in stock- the distributor is just north of Lauderdale- and we scheduled the swap out for Wednesday morning, and returned to the Yacht Club and anchored out for the night. Wednesday morning we moved the boat to a temporary dock where we could make the exchange. Barb headed to Miami to retrieve Andrea, and I stayed behind to assist with the fridge. The techs from Beard Marine showed up as promised by 9:30, and the new unit was in place and wired up by 11 AM. Barb and Andrea did a grocery run to re-stock lost provisions, and pick up some dry ice to assist with cooling the contents in the new fridge. We threw out anything that looked questionable; replacing provisions when the Publix is two blocks away makes that a no-brainer! So it’s done, and stuff is now chilled! We were under way for Miami by 2:30 PM Wednesday afternoon. We anchored in the spot we left the day before, and were on schedule to cross to the Bahamas on Friday morning. Thursday we took Andrea to South Beach for some sightseeing, and David arrived by taxi after noon. We lifted the dink and the anchor and headed down Biscayne Bay to No Name Harbor to meet up with Celebrate for the crossing to Bimini the following morning, Friday.

Our crossing was as good as it gets! Calm winds and seas, probably our calmest crossing to date. We arrived in Bimini about 1530, in time to check in with customs and immigration, and enjoy a meal at the Big Game Marina restaurant. Saturday we booked a golf cart, and toured the island with David and Andrea. Their return to Miami was scheduled on the World Resort Fast Ferry for Sunday morning, so their stay was short, but we managed some beach time and it was great to spend time with them, even if it was at a bit of a hectic pace! We shuttled them up to the resort Sunday morning and saw them off. The ferry run is about 4 hours, and they made their connecting flight in good time, arriving back in San Francisco about 2 am local time. Quite a bit of traveling to do and be at work the next morning!

The photo above left was taken during our 1st visit in 2009, the one to the right this week. The sea is reclaiming its due! During our ensuing time in Bimini, we visited the BTC store to get our Bahamas phone activated as well as a data plan for the iPad for those areas where we don’t have wifi access. We also did a plumbing repair to correct a blockage in our forward head. Plumbing repairs- now who’d a thunk?? It was a mess, but all fixed! It seems that the Angel Soft we’ve used for years has changed their formulation, and the “new & improved” product doesn’t disintegrate in the lines like the older product did for years. Instead, it forms into a packed mess. Surprise!!! So all that TP we stockpiled and have stored all over the boat may be finding a new home! Time to change brands.  Cruising- now we’re fixing the boat in exotic places!

Weather permitting, and it looks like it will, we’ll head out of Bimini late Wednesday morning and do an overnight run to Highborne Cay, 165 miles. Although overnights are not our favorite, this one puts a lot of miles under our keel and allows us to bypass a stopover where the choice is a stay at Chub Cay Marina where the slip fees are $4.35/ft- outrageous- or anchoring at Frazier Hog Cay, where we were nearly carried off by mosquitos! We can endure the overnight to get us to Highborne, from there we can cruise at a more leisurely pace.

It’s great to be back in the Bahamas in the clear water!

2 Responses to “In the Bahamas”

  1. Cindy Schmincke on 19 Mar 2015 at 4:48 PM #

    Where are you….COME BACK!!!!!

    Chuck & I will be in Bermuda in May…should work your way there!

    Miss you


  2. Barb on 20 Mar 2015 at 10:00 PM #

    We’re heading to Georgetown. I miss you, too! Tell your boss, Lisa, I miss her, too!