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Friday, November 20, 2009

Back to the Island!

Well, what a difference a day makes!! Today was great! After our brutal day of frustration, moving and unpacking yesterday, we slept well for the most part (hard to believe, I know!) and thus were feeling good and ready to tackle the tasks we had on our respective lists. Ron headed out to get the last of the fresh produce, hit the bank, then make a run to Best Buy for some new DVDs and a modem for the condo. Karyn tackled the remainder of the boxes, clearing out a huge portion of the boxes. She put away box after box of kitchen goods, laundry stuff, clothing, winter coats (ummm....why did we bring those again?), bathroom toiletries and assorted odds and ends. While she was doing that, she was also dodging the shutter company guys today, as they were installing all the custom plantation shutters for our windows. Talk about gorgeous!! Love them!


When Ron returned with the modem, Karyn took care of the technical end, getting its MAC address connected and transferring the internet e-mail accounts to the local Comcast provider, so that the house will have internet acess. At least the account is set up, although we're not entirely sure if it works, as their test link was having issues, but...we’ll see when we return!


We say, “when we return”, because after looking at the good weather reports and tides, we decided to head out to West End, Grand Bahama Island in the early afternoon. We gotten quite a lot accomplished in the house and were feeling good about that, but we both wanted to head out while it was still light. So...we did!! We were provisioned and prepared to the teeth already, and were simply trying to get the boxes off our backs before we left. Yes....lines off and underway at 2:30 pm.


Since we’d not gone out the St. Lucie inlet in over a year, we double-checked the last year’s worth of Local Notice To Mariners (LNM) last night, to make sure we knew about any issues with the St. Lucie Inlet. There had been some shoaling in the St. Lucie Channel, (which Ron discovered upon his return from the haul-out-that-was-not-to-be) but other than a couple of moved buoys, the inlet was fine. We just figured it was best to be prudent about it, to check beforehand and leave in good sunlight.


Normally we’d leave St. Lucie inlet late at night to arrive in West End in the morning, but being as familiar as we are with West End (having spent all winter there last year) we have no qualms about arriving at night. It's well-marked, with deep water right to the breakwater at Settlement Point. We called Old Bahama Bay to confirm our arrival; Ron was delighted to speak with Jamal, one of the superb dockhands there at OBB, who assured us that our old slip, S-7, was waiting for us. We’ll simply fly the quarantine flag and wait for customs to open in the morning!


Despite the light winds being out of the north, (never a good thing when crossing the Gulf Stream) the seas were only 2-4’, with good conditions forecast for the next few days. While the Gulf Stream slowed us some, the following seas were lovely and benign. The cruise over was uneventful...something that you only appreciate after having been tossed about in 20’ waves! The stars were glorious; we spent quite a few minutes star-gazing from the portuguese bridge, checking out the Crab Nebula (try to look directly at it and it seems to fade!) and watching the Monarch of the Seas slowly make its way north. A lovely cruise!


We arrived in near total darkness -- love the spotlight and the FLIR!! It was nice to see the details using them both. As it turned out, there were two additional markers by the breakwater, new since last year, which caused us to pause and check it out...usually in the Bahamas, the markers wind up missing, rather than double! And so....here we are, in OBB!! Yay!

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