This post is a little late. We’ve actually been in Florida for a few weeks already, with Nami up for sale. More details on that coming…
Hopping from one island to the next en route back to Florida, we decided to pull into Whale Cay in the Berry Islands. Our few times in and out of the Berries, we’ve always past the lighthouse on Whale Cay and it always looked so breathtakingly beautiful (as opposed to what else in the Bahamas?!). The colors of the water are unreal because the water depth goes from a few thousand feet to sand flats in a short distance. Being that this was our last chance to check it out (at least in the near future), we decided to sail in. As an anchorage it was a little too rolly to stay the night with the wind conditions we had, so we just explored land a bit, snorkeled a big shipwreck and moved on.
We got to Chub Cay in the late afternoon and were surprised by all the traffic. It was Memorial Day weekend! We rarely knew what day of the week it was, let alone an actual date, so this was a surprise. There were a few mega yachts in the little anchorage with giants slides and jet skis galore, but we easily squeezed Nami up into the shallower area off the beach. With big fishing boats and jet skis constantly flying by, it felt like we were already back to Florida. Not to mention the sea plane that landed right in front of us! It was fun at first with all of the people around and the possibility of going to the restaurant was entertainment enough (we still had 10lbs of Mahi to finish!). Though, the excitement eventually turned into sadness when we realized our last time in a beautiful secluded anchorage had past…we were officially almost back.
After one night at Chub Cay, we left in the late afternoon the next day to set off for our fourth crossing of the Great Bahamas Bank. The conditions were light, so we motor-sailed for a few hours until sunset. There was a diurnal pattern (thanks Chris Parker!), so once the wind picked up we cut the engine and sailed through darkness for 10 hours. Although we were in the middle of the banks with nothing in sight, throughout the night there was constant radio traffic. A boat crashed into turtle rocks off Bimini and passengers were thrown overboard. It was a little crazy for us because we could only hear the coast guard side of the conversations as they coordinated the emergency response. Eerie thing to be listening to on a night passage.
Pulling into Bimini was way more of a wakeup call than Chub Cay. This was our final stop before Florida. It was still the holiday weekend so there were tons of boats everywhere. We decided to pass the channel and just anchor off of Cable Beach. A lot of peole don’t anchor there because it’s open to the Gulf Stream, but if you have the right conditions, it’s a beautiful place to drop the hook! Too lazy to inflate the dinghy, we both just hopped on a surfboard and paddled to the beach for some epic sea-glass collecting. We basically just took it easy and relaxed because we would be crossing the Gulf Stream the following day.
We picked up anchor at around 4:30AM and pointed due west. The Gulf Stream crossing proved uneventful…no fish, no Coast Guard boarding, no squalls with 10ft seas…just Nami and us heading back to where it all began.