Palm Cay Marina

It’s been two months since we’ve stayed in a marina. We are pretty glad we picked this one.

 

The Marina is located in a residential area. Very quiet, nice people. It is the cheapest marina too. Lots of construction going on so we assume the prices will skyrocket when all the work is complete.


Looking out the channel, Exhumas are about 28 miles southeast.

 

Time to provision. We don’t need a lot. Last time we provision was 2 weeks ago. So just going to get some fresh meat, milk, eggs, half / half. Marina provides a free curtesy car( 2 hours). Driving was easy since we are in a residential area, very little traffic, nice roads.

 

Guard Gate. There are many Condos and homes enclosed in this gated community.

 

Bus stop??

 

Great grocery store about 5-10 minutes from marina. Prices didn’t seem too bad, fruits, veggies, and meats were about the same price as in the U.S. There was a frozen Mrs. Smith pie for $12.00 :-).

 

 

Made Brian Pull over several times to take picture of the gorgeous flowers along the way home.

 

 

Not sure when we will head for Exumas. I was pretty sick coming over from Rose Island so I’m determined to wait for calm weather. Will need to stay around this area until we renew our visa which expires in 10-12 days. So may go play around Rose Island and Green Cay( east of Rose). Some locals said Green cay was their favorite and most beautiful anchorage.

Rose Island to Palm Cay Marina

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Our route to Palm Cay Marina.

 
 
 
 
 

We love the Bahamas, love the people and the anchorages.

 

Night shot. A big storm passed through last night at 1 am. Wind shifted to a northerly direction which put us on a lee shore.

 

The pass to head south from Rose Island to Palm Cay.


All sorts of boats running about.


Rose Islands eastern tip

 

 

The pass is to the right of this reef.

 

That is Nassau off our starboard quarter

 

Reef.

 

Our track into the marina.

 

At one point the chart did not match what we were seeing. So we relied heavily on our eyes and the depth sounder. Active Captain had a blurb about getting in and Brian called the Harbormaster to double check the approach strategy. Brian also had the iPad blue charts pulled up while I used the Chartplotter at the helm. Due to the rough weather that churned up the sand and clouded the water, it was a bit difficult to read the different shallow areas. For example, 15 foot depths looked very similar to 8-10. The wind and current had us going at least 5 knots turning into the marina, even though I had the engine throttled way down (just enough to keep good steerage).

 

In the slip, whew. Was a bit rough and we were a little stressed from the approach. But Brian and I worked like a well oiled machine, working together navigating and docking.


We have water at the slip!!! No electricity, we don’t need it, but we were on our last couple gallons of water and all jerry cans were empty ( this does not include our emergency water supply).So it feels quite luxurious to have water on demand :-) giggle. BTB- My hatch scoop invention failed in the keeping things dry mode :-) so our vberth was soaked after a big wave crashed over the bow. But my hatch scoop scoops wind like no other! So we are still happy with it. I don’t see any alterations I can make to improve the ability to have the forward hatch open while making passage.

Harbormaster requested we pull in bow first. We had the wind to our backs, gusting about 25 knots.


We headed for the marina office and then over to the restaurant. I had a fantastic chicken curry( like my dad used to make). Brian had a Fish sandwich. The fish was called Marian..? It was light and flaky. The marina is very nice with a club house on the second floor above the restaurant, a beach, a very nice pool, and lots more. The marina is located on a resort condo facility, so lots of services. We have use of a curtesy car too. Tomorrow we will go provision. Today is laundry day.

Mr. Magoo


Happy Schmoopies.


Scupper 

 

Sunset at Palm Cay Marina


We love this Marina. Water at dockside( luxury!!). Wifi and a cool club house. Plus it has a pool and its own beach :-).

 

West Bay to Rose Island

 
 

Leaving West Bay, this little line got caught around our prop. We had just raised the anchor and I was steering us away from some shallow water and rocks. The transmission started to whine and knock real loud. I immediately threw the engine in neutral and Brian dropped the anchor.  I dove in the water to make sure the anchor would hold( we were not in a good place, very close to rocks on our lee). As I got in the water Brian asked me to look at the prop, sure enough, rope was wrapped around the shaft/prop. Brian dove in to cut us free. We checked the transmission and the bilge, no water ingress. I tried the engine in reverse and it worked! Tried in forward, worked too! So brian hauled up the anchor. I steered us to the middle of the harbor in case we needed to drop the hook suddenly. After a few minutes the transmission was still working fine, engine oil pressure, heat, everything looked good. So we made for Rose Island. Whew! Dodged a bullet. 


Our route( roughly) took us over New Providence. We stayed well clear of Nassau. Brian was able to sail over half way there.

 

Pretty straight forward approach, but lots of reefs.

 

Our anchorage. The water is deeper than charted. We have 12-14 feet. It is deep right up to shore.

 

Rose Island

 

Rose Island was bought by a big hotel. They even dredged a channel for Marina facilities on the south side, but the project went belly up.


Tucked safely behind the reef, nice view off our stern.

 

Well protected, great beach, good holding.

 

As soon as we got to our anchorage and Brian dropped the anchor, I dove in the water with Brian taking over the helm. Love being able to dive the anchor, takes all the mystery out of dragging.

 

 

As I swim up I see the achor, it is sitting on top of the seabed, not dug in. I tried to dive and position the anchor better but my head exploded at about 12 feet. The water here is about 13-14 feet deep. I’ve been diving 10 feet easily with no pain. But I didn’t want to push my brain so just had Brian back down on the anchor at about 2600RPMs

 

 

After brian backed down on the anchor. Anchor nicely dug in. We can sleep well tonight!


 
 

The seabed is sand with coral heads and reefs scattered about. There are no coral heads or reefs in our swing room.

 

 
 

Scupper went crazy on the beach, off leash.


Nice quiet anchorage.


Next day. Weekend hits and the hoards invade!!


Jet skies everywhere!

Our anchorage got real popular, real fast!


From what I can tell, most are locals, students from the sign on the big tour boat, enjoying their weekend.


Like kids in America enjoy their hot rods, these kids race and do stunts in the jet skies.


This jet ski was doing donuts in front of this moving parasail boat( no parasail in the air). The driver didn’t seem to mind. 


As crazy as it was that day, it was hard to begrudge anyone, they were all laughing and having a blast, no one got hurt, beach was clean after they all left :-).


Cool row boat.


Monday proved to be nice and quiet, with only a few tourist boats. So the fish came back to play.


I live in the water. But I tire so easily! Very frustrating but Brian says I’m getting stronger. I don’t take the dinghy to shore, I swim to shore :-). Brian is working on the boat, reading, and watching scupper. We can only swim one at a time cause it stresses scupper to be alone on the boat, even if we are within sight.

 

Barracuda. Was very protective of his little spot so gave him a wide berth when he showed signs that I might be bothering him.

South side of the island was pretty sweet. Too rough to snorkel though.


Brian. So happy and in his element :-). My sailor man! We need to head for a marina to do some laundry and fill our water tanks. We both are dreding going to a marina. Hopefully, we can get what we need done in a day or two.

 

West Bay, New Providence

Rain Dog sitting at anchor at West Bay, New Providence.


We are looking very hillbilly, but hope to have the boat clean and decks clear within a few days.


Brian, always smiling :-)


Visitor

 

A big cat pulled in today. Turns out they are from Kemah, Texas. It was  David and Amy  aboard Starry horizons. Nice couple!! They brought the boat over from France , spent a few months outfitting her in Florida, and are now cruising the Caribbean :-). Wish them great adventures aboard their beautiful boat.

 

Sunrise in West Bay. This bay is so pretty and there is a faint floral scent in the air. Crazy but true! 

 

Brian and I tried to see the park rangers HQ but was too far for me to walk in that heat. So we just meandered down a road and took a small trail back to the boat.

West Bay. The pier is not complete, you must jump down into the sand, about 3 ft, to get to land. the local kids love to jump off the pier, so be careful of swimmers if you use this as a dinghy dock.

 

Thunder storms to our Southeast.

I don’t rave about Brian’s cooking enough. Here he made homemade tortillas with melted Colby jack cheese ( quesadilla). His tortillas are AMAZING! I have requested a sopapilla for desert night :-).

 We are headed to Rose island, north east of Nassau. We will spend a couple days there then head over to a marina for a couple days of cleaning, laundry, and shopping. 

Bimini to West Bay, New Providence

wind on the nose and rough. We expected a flat banks with white/blue water but instead we had 3-4 ft waves and strong current in the dark blue water. About half way across the banks we noticed the temp on the  hard working engine gauge was rising. Brian checked all the systems on the engine and spotted shredding on the belt for the water pump. He had a spare belt ( :-) that’s my man!) so we drifted about a mile while Brian and Chris repaired the engine. This set us back a bit so we did not make the anchorage outside NW light.

 

 

Had to anchor here for the night. Not ideal, but the best we could do. The anchorage was very rough, dropping down a few steep rollers with steady beam waves. There was a moderate amount of night time traffic. We rigged extra white lights at the bow and beams, along with the very bright dodger rope light, and our top mast anchor light. With the reflective tape I added on the permitter  of the boat last month, we should be very visible for traffic to avoid us. We left our Vesper collision alarm on and Chris slept in the cockpit with the Chartplotter( interfaced with the Vesper). We also reiterated our collision course plan of ditching the anchor to avoid collision. More than likely, there would not be enough time to crank the anchor and chain back in if collision were imminent. but it only takes a second to pay it out to the rope section, where we could cut and run. We all know where the emergency knife was strapped to the mast if we needed it. Thankfully the anchor held, no real traffic concerns Chris reported in the morning, and we were off at 6 am Tuesday making for NW light.


I have waypoints marked for the abort point to New Providence. We were cutting it very close in order to reach anchorage with good light. I voted to head for Morgans Bluff, but the boys wanted to keep going and make for West Bay. So West Bay it is.

 

The boys got the boat to West Bay by about 6:30pm. I was down for the count by about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Way too much rough weather for my brain to handle. Brian got us safely anchored and Chris got the dinghy and motor in the water ASAP to walk scupper.


Scup and Chris snuggled up

 

Making for West Bay. Brian is pretty fatigued at this point..

 

It seemed to get rougher and rougher as we headed out past the NW light to New Providence, we are now in a trench, thousands of feet of water below us. Boat is a disaster!!

 

Brian with a rainbow :-)

 

We made it to New Providence, West Bay. This pic is taken the next morning. I was too sick to even get up to help them anchor.


They call the beach Jaws beach because many of the beach scenes from the film Jaws were filmed here.


The harbor is lined with rich homes, mostly locals, this is the very exclusive part of New Providence. Hopefully our hillbilly boat won’t cramp their style:-). We are the only boat anchored here.


To the west there is an island, with surrounding reefs. Actually, we are totally surrounded by reefs. Tour boats anchor just to the lee off this island. We think it is for wall diving. Brian and I will check it out as soon as we can :-)


Some crazy billionaire Canadian fashion tycoon owns the property on the point. It is a Mayan temple theme (??!!). It can be rented for a weekly rate of $45,000. Or you can get a beautiful boat and anchor near it for free :-)


First morning at West Bay I dove the anchor. The bed is supposed to be a mix of soft sand and rock. The NE side of the anchorage, where we are, has the best holding per the chart books. I found that we had drug anchor, probably during the anchoring process when we back down on the engine.


The anchor was just lying on top of the seabed. I dove and dug the anchor tip into the sand. I then had brian turn the engine on and reverse, hoping to lock the anchor into the bed. At 1600rpms, the chain pulled up, showing load, but this was about 50 short of the anchor. The anchor showed no signs of load. So I had him up to 2000rpms, still no pull on the anchor, pull stopped about 15 feet from the anchor. He then cranked it to 2600rpms and bingo, the whole anchor chain lifted and the anchor dug in about 3-4 inches. It was very interesting to see how much RPMs it really took to move our anchor. We had about 75 feet of chain out(3/8 BBB). I will dive the anchor daily to check the status :-) it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.:-)


The seabed after our anchor drags on top of it. Thankfully, the sea grass looks mostly unharmed. Swimming around I saw no other scars from anchoring, the bay looked very healthy. Rumor has it the park to the south side of the bay wants to put in mooring buoys. Brian and I will go by the park rangers HQ today to use their dumpster and see if we can donate to the mooring fund. If I had my druthers, I’d have mooring fields instead of anchor fields. The sea life and overall general health of the aquatic area does so much better when the seabed is healthy and intact.

 

Next day, anchor is digging in nicely. Brian payed out all our snubber ,30feet, due to increase in winds.

 

Chris calls scupper meatball. As you can see Scupper has Chris wrapped around his little paw.

 

Brian took Chris to shore to catch a plane back to California. We will miss his quick wit and helpful hand. Scupper had grown very fond of him. We could not of done the trip across the Gulf Stream, then across the banks, without his help. Thanks Chris!!!


I hop in the water every day around noon. I feel so much better in the water. My head pain decreases, my nausea goes away. I could stay in the water all day! Brian jumped in today too, I got back onboard to keep scupper happy. 


Scupper gets very unhappy if brian and I both get in the water. So we usually take turns swimming or bring scup in the water with us :-).

 

This little guy followed me everywhere as I swam out to the anchor, then explored a nearby deep reef.


This deep reef ( coral isn’t tall, but a small mound) is about two boat lengths off our stern.


The seabed around the boat is mostly sand and sea grass.

 

Brian and I will head for Rose Island on the east side of New Providence. It will be easier to get to the marina if we take a northerly route. We need to fill our water tanks sooner or later. Last time we filled our tanks was in Marathon.

 

Gulf Stream Crossing To Bimini

Piked up a mooring ball on Sombrero reef. We still needed to get the boat stowed and in ship shape.

 

Of course, we needed to play a little too ;-) Brian.

 

Chris enjoying Sombrero Reef.

 

 

Rain Dog at Sombrero Reel mooring

 

Boat is shipshape, time to go to the Bahamas

 

Wind on the nose, so it’s motoring for us.

 

Sunset at sea, Gulf Stream .

 

Long night for Brian and Chris. I relieved them just before sunrise

 

As usual, I took over 120 pics of this sunrise!

Ships began to pop up

 

Party central. There were easily, two ships on collision course with another four to watch. All going every which way.


On watch. :-) just kidding!! I’m on watch and Chris caught some Zs after we were clear of traffic

 

Brian checking out Chris’s awesome camera


Gotcha!

 

Few squalls here and there


LAND HO!!


Q flag up.


Chris navigating Rain Dog on the approach.


Entrance was Everyman for themselves! Some passing to port, some to starboard.


Blue water Marina up ahead to port, after the garbage ferry.


JR at blue water brought us our paperwork. We headed to the air conditioned office to fill out all the forms, but the clerk running the office told us to go sit out in the patio(it was so hot outside, no breeze!)


Captain heading out for the customs and immigration


Chris was looking a bit shady, so they only gave us a 30 day visa. Thanks a lot Chris:-)


Beautiful osprey(?)


Osprey hunting around our boat.

 

All checked in with our lousy 30 day visa. After checking around, this seems to be more common, the 30 day visa. We came to Bimini because we understood it would give us better odds for a 90 day visa, no. Going to hit the town for lunch

The boys get food while I hit the beach and played in the water.


Headed back to the boat after the black flies made it impossible to eat.


Headed out to anchor after being at the dock for only a couple hours, we were feeling crowded and stuffy in port. This is MUCH better :-)


Anchored at the north point, Bimini


There was some sandy patches, but we still dropped on the hard Lyme seabed. But the weather was calm and boat was happy to sit at chain


Sunset in the Bahamas

 

North Bimini, west side. Landfill with trash burning. No stink, but a bit of smoke.

Sunrise. Heading for NW light, about 50 miles across the Bahamas bank.


I love clouds :-)

Our track. Will anchor off the channel near NW light. Then make for West Bay, New Providence. Chris will hop off and head home from there. :-(

 Will update as soon as I can…..

Bahamas Bound

Whipped up a last minute cover for the jerry cans on deck. It covers four( 3 diesels and 1 urine jerry can)

 

I had already packed away my sailrite, so I used HH33 glue. This glue will actually weld the vinyl together, no need to stitch.

Brian and Chris making a provisioning run. Chris just arrived from California to help us with the crossing. This gives me the opportunity to not have to take a watch if I’m not feeling up to it. Hopefully my broken brain won’t complain too much, the weather window for crossing looks good:-).


Gotta have the monster toilet paper order from Amazon!


Almost ready, or rather, departure day is coming fast and the boat is a mess of provisioning and last minute projects.

 

New moon crazy low tide, looking out into Hawks channel, Atlantic

 

Now you can really see where the shoals are..

Scupper


Great sunrise for departure day


Ospreys hunting around are boat


I think this is a sign of good luck :-)

 

 

Brain a little stressed trying to get everything ready by Thursday( today!!). I refuse to leave on Fridays, it is bad luck in sailor lore. So leave today or leave Saturday…..hence the stressed look as he peers at his crazy wife :-)

 

We slip the mooring lines and are on our way!! Boat is not sea ready, need to stow things proper and re run our jack lines. We will anchor outside the harbor, two miles down the road, and in the morning make a run for Sombreo reef. We will finish the boat out there, and do a little snorkeling on the reef :-) This makes our departure on Thursday, not Friday, thus appeasing Neptune , crazy wife, and ensuring a nice safe passage with a shipshape vessel.

 

Chris :-)


Handsome hubby :-)

 

Enjoy our last sunset in the keys for a while.

 

 

And there she goes…

Will update as much as possible….