Our 20-hour crossing from Lake Worth, FL to Great Sale Cay, Bahamas was “pretty good…” We left at midnight with a mega-yacht sailboat named Meteor. She was gorgeous in the moonlight, a brand new, high-end 150 foot ketch. It was a good sign that we had picked the right time to go out the inlet. Slack tide AND when the pros were doing it.
The waves were pretty large but spaced far apart, so Velocir could glide over them instead of crashing into them. It was a motor ride the whole way with little wind. The moonlight was pretty and being in the open ocean again was soothing. We were dodging freighters by the miles instead of the feet. Amelia took the first watch and we rotated every 3 hours or so. We both get seasick, last time it was Amelia, this time Grant. He stuck it out all night though.
In the morning hours we entered the “banks.” As we crossed the reef, the deep ocean depths became a steady 14 ft. deep, and the ocean blues turned to a bright caribbean blue green. Visibility in the bank was clear 30 feet down.
We made it to our anchorage in Great Sale Cay just after dark, other boats anchor lights the only other light besides the stars; and anchored just inside, moving up into more protected waters the next morning. There were a few boats there, some had checked in at West End (a spot farther south) others like us were still waiting to go into a port. We raised out yellow Q “Quarantine” flag that says we have not yet cleared customs.
Our boat fared well on the crossing. Our Christmas tree got pancaked. Grant put on his sad face for the photo. We relaxed our first day in the Bahamas with a Star Wars marathon, unable to go onshore until we cleared customs and happy to rest and relax.
Our first beautiful sunset in the Bahamas! We miss sunsets, unable to really see them on the East Coast. The next day we headed for New Plymouth in Green Turtle Cay to check in. The wind was very choppy head seas and we could not make much ground so we anchored in Allans Cay.
Finally we got to Green Turtle Cay on Tuesday and are now cleared in! Amelia went into town as the “Captain” to clear us in. The customs agent was very hot and cold. While Amelia was there two people came in bearing food gifts for her and she was extremely friendly to them. We were hassled because Grant was not there even though the rules say that only the Captain may come in. She said Amelia could not sign for him on the customs form and withheld his passport. She insisted that “couples” should always come in to customs but not larger groups because “her office was only big enough for two people.” (We are unclear on who signs for everyone on larger groups???). It was very strange and hard to believe that husbands do not sign for their wives every day. Everyone we know who has cleared in has sent in the male spouse as “Captain” and never had a problem. She even told Amelia she had committed forgery by signing him in. Grant came in and flashed his smile and we went on our way. That, coupled with her lack of fishing knowledge (we read to have our fishing permit endorsed for spear and cast net but she didn’t know what a cast net was so she wouldn’t include it, end of story), made it a strange and confusing check-in.
The town of New Plymouth was very small and quaint. The buildings were very traditional and colorful, though many were abandoned. Everyone was very friendly and said hello to us. The town and everyone’s golf carts are all decked out for Christmas. We walked around for a while and then had a delicious dinner of Conch Fritters and Rum Punch at Pineapple’s Bar and Grill while we watched the sunset.
Today we went to the beach. It was windy so we read books, tried some fishing and played with a bunch of hermit crabs we found running around. A cool, windy day here is still a great day!
For our first night in the Bahamas, Amelia made some One-Bowl Pizza to use up our cheese. It is easy to make the dough and sauce, then just add the cheese and toppings. First, the dough is made by adding 1 c. water and 2 1/4 tsp. yeast to the bowl and letting sit for ten minutes. Then, add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 3 1/3 c. flour (sometimes I use 1 c. wheat) and 1 tsp. salt. Mix together in the bowl. The knead in the bowl or on a counter (if you have one) until smooth. Press into the pizza pan and bake at 350 degrees while you are making the sauce (about 15 mins). The bowl is then used for the sauce. Mix together 1 6 oz. can tomato paste, 4 oz. warm water, 2 tbsp. honey and 3 tbs. parmesan cheese with as many of these spices as you have: 1 tsp. garlic, 1/8 tsp. red pepper, 1/4 tsp. basil, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 3/4 tsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp marjoram.
Once the sauce is ready, take the crust out, add the sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for another 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pepperoni is crisp!
Tomorrow we are going to head to a secluded anchorage for some snorkeling and fishing!
Welcome back to the Bahamas! We are officially jealous now. Cool that you got to sail out with Meteor – very nice boat. Have a wonderful holiday, and enjoy that crystal clear water!
Safari Tu Crew
YAY!! SO glad to hear you made it across safely! In the Bahamas for Christmas!
How do I know you guys are pirates? you say “being in the open ocean again was soothing.” I think I would be unsettled in the open ocean with absolutely nothing around except an expanse of grey/blue salt water, knowing how deep it was, and how far away help was…BUT a pirate’s home is on the open ocean, and it seems like you guys are at home on the open ocean too :)
You describe “Visibility in the bank was clear 30 feet down” — WOW — (ocean) floored! I cant even imagine what it must look like to be able to see 30 feet down! (you know how bay water is only, like, 3 inches visibility)
Super lame about the customs lady. apparently the feminist movement never reached her, so sad. I think any other time you have to check in at customs or do anything “official” Amelia should be declared captain to see what people’s reactions are. I think it would be a fun project.
Golf carts decked out for Christmas?!? Please send pictures! I have got to see this!
“then had a delicious dinner of Conch Fritters and Rum Punch at Pineapple’s Bar and Grill while we watched the sunset.” — wow what a dream! Interesting you point out missing sunsets being on the east coast, that is a very good point…and December is one of the best months for sunsets and sunrises, so good timing!
Pizza recipe looks great! Honey sounds interesting, I’ll have to try that.
Thanks for posting, cant wait to hear about your next adventures!
So glad to hear that you are safely over to the islands. Thank you for posting so we could hear details. Your Mom did a good job of describing the process and likely what you did based on your SPOT points. It matches pretty well what you say! She has a good memory of her trip.
Great pictures and you both look happy and relaxed.
A great place to be spending your first Christmas; what memories down the years when you look back.Fluff that tree out and you’re good to go.
I can’t wait to try that pizza recipe as well. Sounds like a good crust which I don’t make very well.
Merry Christmas to you both from the Colorado and Utah Millers!!!
Love Aunt Sandy & Uncle Dan
Yum, yum. Great food, beautiful sunset, gorgeous water, lovely couple. Congratulations on your crossing — well done! Love, Mom
I love this! Ali
Congratulations on your arrival and successful entry to the Bahamas. Don’t you love the bureaucracy! Look at it as good entertainment.
No doubt your tree is back in shape and you’re looking forward to a nice, warm Christmas. Are conch fritters on the menu?
Have a merry one!
Sue & Peter
It amazes me that you are so blessed to have a wife that knows how to make something out of anything to eat. Rarely do you find females today that can cook without a microwave and freezer full of packages. It must be the younger generations desire for instant anything! Pizza looks good!