A Bon Voyage and a Welcoming Committee!
May 2nd-5th, 2020
Dolphins, Dolphins and more Dolphins!
The first night we had some good sailing for a few hours and then the wind died so we had to bring down the sails. We passed over twenty cruise ships idling north of Berries and near Grand Bahama Island. With no place to go due to Covid, they just hovered in place. They contained no passengers, just crew but they were still brightly lit. So much generator power. The next morning when crossing near Freeport, Bahamas, we dodged multiple freighters but a pod of dolphins also joined us. They played near the bow of our boat between the hulls! They are supposed to bring good luck so we took it as a good sign!
A couple of hours before sunset the wind picked up and we were able to raise the sails. We were both a bit melancholy and as Kevin went down to sleep, I took the first watch at sunset. It was beautiful and I tried to take it in and all that we had accomplished.
Note: I meant to say "from the Bahamas, not to the Bahamas"... I was a little sleep deprived.
Later that evening, the wind was strange. We would get gusts where we would fly along at 8-9 knots and then the wind would die and we would travel at 5 knots. We made such good time that when the winds finally died the next day, we still had to slow the boat down even though we were motoring to make sure we would arrive in daylight the next day in St. Augustine. We had hit the gulf stream and although we only had one engine on under 1000 rpm we were still hitting 6 knots. Gotta love the Gulfstream. We also had to force ourselves to slow down in the Gulfstream to make it there in daylight. Once in US waters, we would hear many coast guard calls. Boats drifting, boats taking on water and with each call the coast guard was professional and they definitely earn their living in Florida! On one call a helicopter was deployed to bring bailing equipment and on another the captain of the boat was trying to determine if they needed rescue. Makes you question your own safety at times.
It was our longest passage yet! Overall, it took 63 hours! 3 overnights and two days. When we were outside of St. Augustine we had a welcoming committee of dolphins splashing near our bow. Land Ho! We just had to enter the inlet. The timing wasn’t perfect for it was an outgoing tide so although we had both engines running full throttle we were only making 4.5 knots. Wow, what a current! Once settled on a mooring ball, we breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it back to the USA!