|Passage from US Virgins to Florida - March 2002
Leaving Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, USVI on the afternoon of 25th March (B's mother's 90th birthday), we made a course to head to windward of the Bahama island chain, with the intention of heading north to pick up the Gulf Stream after Great Abaco.
Using our tried and tested watch pattern of 4 hours on, 4 hours off, we quickly settled in to the routine of getting as much sleep as possible on our off watch.
On the second night we were joined by a Brown Noddy seabird, who perched on the outboard motor, resting and preening itself.
On the third day, I woke up to find that Graham had landed his first fish, a 12lb Dorado (mahi mahi)! What a treat! Well done, cap'n!
We had a fab full moon, but some lightning visible that night. Then the wind died, and we were motoring most of the time.
I was just making lunch with the last of the Dorado, when 'zzzzz' went the reel, and we had another bite. This time, it was a real biggy, and took a long time to get even close to the boat. Wow, a huge Marlin! A bit TOO big for us....
A cruise ship visiting the Berry Islands
The next couple of days, over Easter, the seas started to get bigger, and the motion less comfortable. With news that there was bad weather to the north of Florida, we changed course to head through the New Providence channel, and to pass close to the most northerly Berry Islands.
There was a lot of commercial shipping about, and we had to keep a sharp lookout.
Herb Hilgenberg, our SSB weather guru, agreed that we would be best not to try and head north into the Gulf Stream, so we headed straight across it. It was absolutely flat calm, but with electrical storms to north and south of us, and we made landfall at Lake Worth inlet, Florida.
An 8 day passage of about 1100 miles.
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