Florida Keys and the Bahamas

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We arrived just before Christmas in the Florida Keys. It was the first time Samadhi has been to the United States in nearly 4 years. As you can imagine, Key West was packed with tourists for the holiday season. It was nice to explore the small town and take in all of the tourist spots. Unfortunately for us and the tourists the weather was not pleasant. It was very windy and very cold. Well at least cold for us and Florida. The US was having a major cold storm throughout the country and it was creating havoc with our weather in the Keys as well. We found a marina that had an opening and squeezed our way into one of their slips. The price was backbreaking but we figured it was better than riding out a storm for 4 days with little to no shelter from the seas and zero shelter from the wind for Samadhi. By going to the marina we were able to get off the boat and the boat was nicely tucked into a safe place. It was still hard to swallow the $8.00 per foot per night price tag. The marina was at a resort so there were many pools and games for the kids to play with and there were also kids to play with. Our friends were planning on visiting but they ended up getting sick and had to pass. The price tag of the available rooms may have played a role in their sickness. The cheapest rooms available during the holiday season were $1300/ night and it was really not that nice of a resort. Welcome back to the USA.

The weather finally settled down and we were able to begin making our way to the Bahamas. We had a pleasant sail across to the Bahamas Bank. The entire trip we were telling the kids how strange it will be to see the sea floor while we are sailing and far from shore. When we arrived on the bank the kids would not stop staring at the sea floor as Samadhi glided above just 12 feet from the bottom. Normally if we are in water that is only 12 feet deep we are stopping and turning around and getting back to deeper water. Here on the bank 12 feet is considered rather deep. When crossing the bank going deeper into the Bahamian islands we were out of sight of land and yet we could clearly see the bottom of the ocean. It is a very strange feeling knowing that our keel has less than 5 feet underneath it as we are sailing fast.

We had a beautiful day sail to Chubb Cay where we checked into the country and topped off with fuel. Ouch fuel in the Bahamas was nearly $9.00 a gallon! The next day we again had a fantastic sail to Nassau and caught our first mahi-mahi just before entering the harbor. We spent two days in Nassau provisioning and taking in the sights of city. Next we sailed around to the south side of Nassau out of the town to a popular bay with an amazing beach and crystal clear waters. We swam in the warm, clear waters every few hours on our school breaks. We caught our first lobster just behind where Samadhi was anchored. Victoria spotted it and I went down and netted it, after a few tries.

We continued down the Exuma Island chain stopping at many small islands with beautiful beaches and clear, warm waters. It was beautiful but not our favorite. The problem with the Bahamas is that the waters are shallow, VERY shallow. And many of the places where we want to explore or anchor are simply too shallow for our boat. Also, when any kind of weather system arises there are few places to take shelter. So you just have to ride out heavy winds and choppy seas in very exposed anchorages. Also there is little to no hiking and if there is hiking it is along white, sandy trails. Don’t get me wrong, the Bahamas are beautiful and we liked our time there but it was just not our favorite place. It sounds a little strange but after nearly 4 years of cruising we need a little more from a place than warm waters and white sandy beaches.  

We are anchored off Bimini after crossing from Florida
Anyone know what would make a cloud do this?
On our way to the beach at Bimini in the calm waters of the Bahamas
The Atlantis Resort in Nassau.
Hollywood here preparing to fillet our first Mahi mahi.
We are all “patiently” waiting for Victoria to finish so we can have lunch.

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