Past Travels, Tips + Gear We Love

Our First Bahamas by Sailboat Trip –

Marco Island to Bimini, to Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas

CLICK HERE to watch the VIDEO of this leg of our trip!

Welcome to our first official blog post! After we talked over what we wanted to say in this post, about our first sailing trip to the Bahamas, we both laughed out loud when we realized that we both wanted to say that the other person truly over-did it with the things they were put in charge of buying for the journey to the Bahamas: Hal with spare boat parts, tech equipment & gear, and Bridget with too many clothes & shoes, provisions, make-up and layers of redundant ‘safety gear.’

Even Keel Traveller

Organizing galley provisions, using the Out of Milk app.

After what seemed like ENDLESS delays, due to weather and general ‘life stuff’ that came along, we finally cast off the dock lines from Marco Island (SHOUT OUT to Jack at Denison Yacht Sales, Dockmaster Craig at The Marina at Factory Bay, and Nick at the Rose Marina fuel dock for their knowledge, patience, laughs and encouragement!), we finally left with what was likely enough provisions for a small army, and enough spare parts to build another complete boat…well, at least it seemed that way to the person who didn’t buy those items! On February 8th, we left Marco Island and headed towards the Bahamas.

Traveller, on the Marine Traffic App, in the FL KEYS

Feb. 8 – Marco Island to Blind Pass/Cape Romano area – spent 1 night at anchor

Feb. 9 – Blind Pass to Little Shark River (Everglades National Park!), spent 1 night at anchor

Feb. 10 – LittleShark River to Windley Key – spent 3 nights at anchor

Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day – we treated ourselves to one last stop in the states and stayed the night at Plantation Key Marina in Islamorada. (Yes, we rented a car and ran some MORE errands! Got MORE provisions and parts!)

Feb. 15 – left to go to Cesar’s Bank, north of Key Largo, spent the night at anchor off Hawk Channel, in the middle of TRUE darkness and amazing star-gazing!

Feb. 16 – Crossed the Gulf Stream to Bimini, where we had an easy day, great weather, and all of us, dogs included, got checked in easily at Customs and Immigration. (WHEW!-big relief that all the permits and paperwork for the dogs went smoothly!)

Feb. 17 – At the dock in Bimini, Hal fixed a small crack in the seawater strainer cap with some epoxy – yes, good thing he brought along that much-needed repair aid!), we had to wait for it to dry, so we were delayed over an hour, then on to a 13 hour day of motor-sailing, from Bimini to Great Harbour Cay. Now, we are at anchor again for several days waiting for near-gale force winds to die down, so we can continue south.

Great Harbour Cay – (cay is pronounced KEY) About this lovely place: If you’ve even gone on a cruise, you may have stopped at this friendly island chain. In fact, just a mile or two north of here, is Coco Cay, AKA Great Stirrup Cay, AKA, the cruise lines’ private island, where many cruise ships stop for the day to enjoy empty beautiful beaches and turquoise water. Many of the islanders here are supported from work through these tourist visits. They have shared that they rely on tourism for their income. From where we are anchored, we can see the tops of the cruise ships that stop there, & so far we’ve seen several from Norwegian, a Disney ship, and some Royal Caribbean ships as well. Tell us the name of the ship you’ve been on in the comments below and we’ll let you know if we’ve seen it while here!

Tracking Traveller w/ the Marine Traffic app, in the Berry Islands, Bahamas

While here, we’ve set up our local cell service from the BTC store on the island and are doing lots of inventory, cleaning, re-organizing projects onboard. We’ve also been doing more cooking than we thought we would so early on in our trip, and it’s because of this phenomenal new gadget called the Instant Pot—it’s so fast and easy to prepare healthy foods that taste like they’ve been slaved over! We both LOVE this thing-but for different reasons, Hal likes it because it’s an electronic gadget, Bridget loves it because it’s fast/easy & the food tastes so great! Needless to say, more info on the Instant Pot & recipes to come!

Now, back to boat life…where we are anchored is breezy scenic spot with lovely blue-green water. Skipper & Pilot have really adapted well to anchor life! There seems to be a dog on nearly every one of the 12 or so boats that have anchored around us. We were the first ones here a few days ago, Hal thought this was a prime spot, out of all the blowy east winds, and it seems others agree, as we are now surrounded by several other sailboats and at least 2 local Bahamian fishing boats. For those of you who enjoy seafood (as you may know, Bridget is allergic-{al}, you’d love this spot, as the local fisherman stop by each day to offer FRESH lobster and stone crabs, in large amounts for just 20 dollars! Later this week, once our ‘chores are done’ we plan to dinghy onto the island again and explore the gorgeous beaches on the East side. Where we are, on the West side, there aren’t any beaches (or at least any that we have seen/found), but there’s a marina nearby and a few places to dock as well. We’ll post more pictures as we explore Great Harbour Cay…and we plan to check out the vast numbers of EMPTY cruise line chairs & chaises on Coco Cay once we leave here – and pretend that it’s our own private island for a few minutes. We’ve been told that if the cruise ships are not at anchor there, we can go and have a quick visit, will post pics and let you know what happens…Thanks for coming along!


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