We took the weather window on Sunday the 2nd to cross to Bimini. We had been waiting for four weeks for decent weather. We motored all the way with a 12-14 SE true headwind (17 apparent). It was slow going, just 4 knots the first half of the trip. We had 2-4' wave forecast and thats what we got. Some a lot bigger, but 2-4's on average. They were a lot like the ones we had when we traveled from Lake Worth to Ft Lauderdale. But instead of pusing us from behind and going with the wind, we were motoring into them, so it was a lot rougher. But I was happy with what we got.
We sailed a 115 magnetic heading leaving from the end of the Biscayne channel (decided not to go all the way down to Fowey Rocks). The Florida channel markers are not lit, I had the channel waypoints marked from when we went out on other trips. That really helped a lot!
Had to go to 118-120 deg after 10 miles out because it was slow going. But we did a nice "S" curve crossing and ended right at Bimini. We left at 5AM and got to Bimini at 4:10PM. Decided to anchor at Nixon harbor on the south end.
Not much holding there, so put out all our chain. But calm winds so it was ok other than the rolling. Went into Bimimi channel next morning, following a boat we crossed with. They ran aground, so I circled back and followed a 7' draft freighter in. The channel is shallow, so you need to have someone on the bow reading the water and telling the driver where to go. Our friends ran aground becasue the driver didn't do what the bow person told them to do. I think she was trying to follow what the chart plotter said to do instead. But it was soft sand and they were able to get off.
We checked into the Bimimi Bluewater marina. Very nice place, $1 a foot. Cleared customs and imigration. I was really nice to them, got the 5 month permit I asked for. Another guy checked in the same day and he only got a one month permit, they must not have liked him...
Our alternator was acting up during the crossing so I'm going to check it out today. We'll stay here through the next cold front Thurs to Sat.
We're not liiving in America and we're not sorry! (Our song)