Rum Runner Done Reach

Published: January 6th 2008
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Land Ho!Land Ho!Land Ho!

Okay- here is a picture of the Bahama Banks as you approach Great Harbor. But we weren't able to take the picture on our trip over because, well it was too windy. So we took this pic on a calm day.
We left Florida to set sail for the Bahamas; the boat was ready, we were fully provisioned, and the weather looked good (at least according to NOAA). But weather predictions are just that, predictions. It was supposed to be 10-15 knots from the west in the afternoon, dying down to 5-10 by the evening, with only 2-4 foot seas. So the wind and waves would be on our back quarter and turn light and variable by the time we would be crossing the Gulf Stream. Perfect- right? Wrong! When we left Ft. Pierce just before noon it was already blowing 20 knots, but we figured it was just a local effect from a nearby cloud and would die down as we continued south. So we kept going. The wind then picked up to 25-30 knots, from the south-east (dead on our nose), and 5-7 foot seas. So we bashed all day, all night across the Stream, and all the next day until we got to the Bahama Bank. Waves were crashing over our bow and we were getting wet... really really wet in the cockpit. Good thing we have foul weather gear, eh? We had to be strapped in at all times to not go flying off the boat and we would be knocked around down below. Kona had to be locked in our cabin for the whole trip- poor pup. The boat looked like a total disaster because everything flew out of our cabinets when we fell down a wave- so we had broken glass and shells everywhere and coffee and books and clothes and laundry detergent and dog food and just a total mess. And then, the piece de la resistance, we were just about 5 hours away from the Berry Islands when one of our kayaks broke free and flew off the boat and we had to do a rescue mission. Luckily we got it back after an hour of circling when we were finally able to grab it with the gaff.

Needless to say we were thrilled to make it into Great Harbor, a very protected marina in the Berry Islands, and to be tied up to a dock. We neither slept nor ate while we sailed the 28 hours to get here so were completely exhausted. And we have many cuts and bruises (and Jay broke a toe) and the boat is a little bashed up as well. We realized that our second anchor broke free during the trip and put some holes in the bow of the boat- all the way down to the fiberglass. Luckily it is above waterline so we aren’t taking on any water, but this is something that has to be fixed before we continue much farther. But we made it, a little worse for ware, and are happy to announce that the Rum Runner Done Reach! And we spent the first couple of days in Great Harbor to rest, to re-arrange and re-organize the boat, and to fix some of the damage we did in the crossing. Whew- what a nightmare. But of course it could have been worse. And we are happy to report that the new boat handled it great, better than I did I think.


7th January 2008

What an adventure.. Hard to trust those weather guessers. So Jay - w/ the wend on your stern - you must of been motoring?
9th January 2008

hey Spence
We motored for two days against the wind... The weather is always a prediction that is a "guideline" for making our own decisions... Unfortunately this one was way off and we were already out in it before we could make other decisions... Ce la vie' - always more experiences to explore!

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