Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heading out for the crossing!

Well, down to the last day before departure!! After our brutal day of provisioning, unpacking and storing items yesterday, today was more high-speed errands. We were up early and immediately began to tackle the tasks we had on our respective lists. Ron headed out to get the fresh produce, hit the bank, and return to unload and unpack some more. Karyn was held hostage waiting for the dryer repair man (who never showed until after dark, unfortunately) but used the time to do last minute lists, and assorted must-complete correspondence. In the midst of it, Ally had a dentist appointment for a routine check-up and x-rays....which revealed she will need to have her wisdom teeth removed, as they are aiming to come in sideways on her lower jaw. Ouch! Never a dull moment around here!!
The high speed day continued until we headed to the airport to pcik up Paul and Muriel, who are making the crossing to the Abacos with us and spend some time together diving, fishing and relaxing in the sunshine! Unfortunately, their plane was delayed a bit and didn’t arrive until after midnight, but we took it in stride as we weren’t leaving until high tide at mid-day anyway! As always, it is SO good to see them again! We chattered away until far too late (early?) in the night, until we forced ourselves to get some sleep.
After keeping a sharp eye on the weather reports and tides, we were delighted when the day was sunny, the skies were clear, with south to southeast winds of 10-15 knots. Ron and Paul headed out from Outrigger Harbor aboard Equinox after Ally, Muriel and I helped with the lines, then Muriel and I followed in Tingum. We pulled up behind Equinox and secured Tingum in tow just before the the ICW and the St. Lucie River Crossroads, and then happily headed out the St. Lucie Inlet with plenty of water under the hull. Seas were a light chop on a 2’ swell, and despite the forecast of isolated scattered thunderstorms, we had a fabulous crossing. Gorgeous blue water, complete with dolphin escort  under warm is good! The crossing over the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas was uneventful...which is the way we like it! 
Muriel & Ron checking out the dolphins at the bow

Here's to the crossing!

After hors d'oeuvres (Mrs. Peter’s Smoked Fish Dip and crackers) and a celebratory glass of wine on the pilot house roof at sunset, we enjoyed a simple but satisfying dinner in the pilot house as we crossed over onto the Little Bahamas Bank. The weather continued to be benign, and when darkness fell, Muriel and I were on watch, taking the 9 pm - 1am slot. 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 later were astounded by the sight of a stunning moon rise! Just past the full moon, the orb was glowing orange and appeared so suddenly -- just huge on the horizon, ducking in and out behind some spectacular thunder clouds. An spellbinding sight and a great omen while on our  lovely cruise!

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