Monday, December 15, 2014

TCI's to the Dominican Republic

Marina Peurto Bahia, DR
We checked into South Side Marina to enjoy a great but far too short a stay in the Turks and Caicos. Thanks for the hospitality Bob. Met up with June & Duane on Sea Clearly. We shared a rental car to tour the island, go for a snorkel and lunch at Ocean Reef Resort. Nice lunch, great service! This  island has really "grown" since we were here 12 years ago! Beautiful resorts, it looks like they did it right!

We depart Friday after getting our "outbound" clearance. 15-20kts out of the NE so it was a bit "bumpy" crossing the banks but we were setting ourselves up for the overnight to the Dominican Republic. Checking with Chris Parker and WeatherBouy the upcoming forecast is another great opportunity. After a night at anchor just west of South Caicos we are off Saturday am, the winds are light and other than a few squalls we have a smooth crossing often on glassy seas to Samana, Dominican Republic.

Miami to the Turks & Caicos

I decided to break from my past routine and go into a bit more detail, we are both retired now, gotta do something with all that free time!

Ceviche 101
Well, it was not planned to be a 72 hour direct crossing but man did it work out sweet. A bit of history first.  We are waiting in Miami for a good opportunity to cross the Gulf Stream and carry on maybe at least to the Exumas, or maybe Long Island and wait there for a good window to move south to the TCI's. We are using NOAA,  XM, PassageWeather, WeatherBuoy and Chris Parker in addition to a trusted advisor who  has done the trip many times (thanks!). Some of you may remember that week, as Chris put it, the models were not in good agreement. After a great lunch with Ron & Nicole in South Beach at Ceviche 101? we pick up a few last minute supplies and head to the boat, planning on leaving early the next am. We give CP a call just to confirm. Yep the Gulf Stream crossing might not be ideal but "doable" and the weather moving in behind is favourable for a run to Calabash Bay Long Island. A South Beach Mega Party starts up, loud, loud, loud. If it was Hendricks or the Stones we might have stayed but at 19:30 the winds have dropped the party is in full swing so we weigh anchor, off we go to the Caribbean.

Dec 6th
19:30, weigh anchor, head out Gv't cut.
19:45, cruise ship on our stern, blows horn, hard to starboard, yikes where the h*** did he come from? we just entered the cut only moments before, a 80' yacht leaving Miami Beach Marina and the Fisher Island Ferry the only traffic in sight.
19:50 out the cut we go, a bit lumpy, tug traffic, we get out of the channel as soon as we clear the break wall.
23:20 in the Gulf Stream now, winds NE @ 12-16kts, steep 3' seas, not too bad at all.
Dec 07th
03:30, North Rock, Bimini, winds NE @ 13kts, seas 2-3'
13:00 Enter Tongue of the Ocean, wind NE 12-15kts, seas 2-3', we are heading SE, sweet!
19:30 round the SW end of New Providence, Coral Harbour, On the bank wind NE @ 10kts or so, light 1-2'chop
Dec 8th
01:30, Turn south at Norman's Cay
06:30 out Dotham Cut, Exumas to cross to Calabash Bay.
15:30 weather is good, a real nice opportunity to go outside Long Island, direct to the TCI's, we decide to carry on.
Dec 9th
Another good night running offshore
09:15 finally the big swells find us off Plana Cays and down through the Mayaguana Passage-6-8' then 10 maybe 12 but big long and lazy, on the beam to stern quarter. Stabs work hard but the ride is great.
11:40 Wind has made a sudden shift, clocking to the NW @ 10-12 kts, 2'chop, front coming?
15:30 Wind has backed to 250-270 @ 12-15kts.

20:30, after sunset we approach Sa
ndbore Channel, TCI.
We follow Bob from South Side Marina's advice, "move into the channel about 2 miles, turn to port and anchor in 15-20 feet do not try coming east in the dark". We drop anchor, deep soft sand, we can hear the surf pounding on the reef, a steady distant roar. We roll once in a while but have a comfortable night (we are dead tired) protected from the swells by the reef only.

Miami - TCI, 72 hours, fun!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Krogens in Miami

Stevedore and LiLi arrive. We are waiting on weather. They are moving south; farewell and safe travels. Tom and Phyllis, Cocoon II, stop by in their big tender, nice ride, and like us  they are waiting on weather. All reports are looking like late Sat, early Sun to cross the stream. Travel safe all. Sylvianne and I spent the day on boat projects. Really looking fwd to moving south but we are gonna miss cruising here and hooking up with the likes of LiLi, Crackerjack, Follow Me, CloverLeaf, Steadfast, Wanderer's Rest, Mystic Moon, Silver Bay, The Good Life, Gratitude, Coral Bay, Morning Star, Compass Rose, Ariel, Salt & Light, Seaclusion, Epilogue, Puffin , Sandy & Glen (one day, in the not too distant future?). Sorry if we missed anyone. Happy travels to all the cruisers and people we meet along the  way.

Safe passage

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Now In Miami

Left Stuart, headed down the ICW to WPB. Spent a day at anchor, we were expecting to be in WPB for a few days, forecast offshore, NASTY, but we do not relish the Bridge run south from here.

Wake up in the am, no wind, depart 7am, Miami, direct, outside we go.  Yes the winds did kick in as forecast but by then we were already underway,  I was most concerned about getting out, once out everything is on the bum. So here we are, outside, 15-20 kts from the E-NE, mostly 3-5' seas,  on occasion 4-6', with a few 8's just for fun,  beam to stern quarter, stabs worked hard but all was good.  New AP pump and Scotty AP set up working GREAT!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Thanks Dr Brown,  Mark, Mary. Off the dock, ICW to WPB, Lake Worth. All looking good, offshore in the am, sea trial on the new systems. Short run, Ft. Lauderdale next.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


OK, been a few busy weeks here at Sunset Bay, Stuart. Thank You's huge to all who helped get us get "ready".

Kudos: Scotty, Philip, George, Angel, Bill & Ann, Bill & Ann, did I mention Bill who spent a day on our boat with Scotty and I??  Thanks Bill, (and Ann).

Also thanks to all who were sympathetic, yes she now looks "just like new".

"Seal trial" this am had some adventure, Scotty and Sylvianne manned the lines, getting off the fuel dock was interesting, went bow in at the slip. Squally, nasty day.  I did not want to even think of banging the swim platform on the dock, so I chickened out on the usual stern in  docking plan. Bow in was easy! Nice to have Scotty on board to help for that one!

Departing in the am.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Virginia to Florida

After a comfortable night at Great Bridge, Virginia we woke up the bridge tender at 5:50 am declaring we were here for the 6 am opening. He sleepily replied "Good morning capt, stand by we are opening in a few minutes". Down the canal we go, love the big searchlight for the ICW in the dark. Within an hour we see the beginning of daybreak, looks like a pretty day ahead. We run "down the sounds" stopping near Long Shoal River on the Pamlico just as the sun goes down. Beautiful calm night. Next am (Mon 27th) we again depart in the dark; easy here, no need for the light, just radar and the chart plotter. At around 13:00 we talk to Steve and Julie on Erban Renewal as we approach the Neuse. Originally we were planning to stop in Adams Creek for the night then go offshore Tuesday for a run to Fernandina Beach, however looking at the longer term weather it looks like a wonderful window today right through to Friday the 31st. If we carry on now we will head out Beaufort NC Inlet in late afternoon. Let's go!  It is now 19:00 Thursday the 30th, we are just south of Canaveral, ETA Fort Pierce Florida about 2 am Friday just ahead of the weather moving in over the weekend. We have had great weather all the way, only 5-6 hours where we saw anything over 15 kts and 3' seas. Mostly 5-10 kts, 1-2 feet! Don't you love it when a plan works out even better than expected?