Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Goodbye Bahamas, Hello USA...





We up-anchored at 05:15 
and headed off 
up the NW Passage
and Across the “Bahama Bank” 
heading to Cat Cay.  


It was a lovely sunrise, with a crystal clear and calm day. 


This beautiful whale passing us on the way.


You could see the bottom all the way
(however this beautiful day meant no sailing)


Richard (for the first time) put up the hammockand read a book while we were motoring.


We had been told that LPG fills in the USA are difficult with our fittings,
Therefore we found you could fill in North Bimini, so we headed there to do this.
We anchored outside the island as it was still lovely and calm.

The guy who fills the LPG hangs out in the Liquor Store (airconditioned & beer!)
He take us to his truck, drives us down the road, and here is the filling area…
Gorgeous picturesque spot at the end of the point – no safety goggles, no health & safety standards here, just fill the bottle – AWESOME!


 Time to say goodbye to the Bahamas (for now)… up early and motor sailed to Fort Lauderdale, crossing the much talked about Gulf Stream..  Our first sight of Florida


Heading to the entrance of the port was laned on our Chart-plotter like a highway


Boats everywhere!  In front – Behind – Everywhere



Heading through the first of many bridges to come…


Made it around to Lake Sylvia, passing some amazing homes, with their boats out front.  
All these small boats are anchored, with people standing in the water partying.   


We then anchored, then headed ashore to go and see customs/immigration.
They state on their website that you need to phone – so I had phoned the day before and after trying many times had ended up on hold for a time of 2 hours – eventually giving up (and running out of both phone and data time).

The taxi driver found where we had to go, after a couple of false starts.
I went in to check if it was the right place and the customs officer said
“Where”s your number?”
I explained about the phone issue the day before and he said
“Not my problem – phone the number”
I explained about not having money on the phone, he said
“Not my problem.  How long have you been in the States”
I replied, “we just anchored and have come here immediately”
“Lucky he says, as I could deport you – get the number”
I went back to the taxi, a little uptight and explained to Richard what had happened.
The lovely taxi driver said “here, use my phone and see what you can do”
So, to cut a long story short, it got answered immediately and we received
“The Number” and cleared into the US of A.

The next morning we decided to do a reconnaissance trip in the dinghy to check out where we needed to go to get to Lauderdale Marina, where we were due to go Monday.  It is 3 ½ miles along the canal system.  We came across this 250ft plus “Superyacht” on the way, being piloted by 2 pilot boats – oh boy, our trip the next day was going to be interesting!

The phone rang and it was our friends Ashley, Graeme and Jack.  They have been such a wonderful help to us before our arrival here with advice on contractors.  So, we went around to their place for coffees and to meet gorgeous Jack (just over a year old) – Photo will follow when we get one.

You cannot start the trip to the Marina until after 0900, therefore we were ready to go – Richard did an awesome job helming our way there, having to sit at idle and give way at times
Radioing ahead to get the bridges to open and monitoring other traffic on the canal, working out who would give way.
It was certainly an experience…




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