Bahamas bound. Really?

It’s Monday morning here in Marathon and we just enjoyed a lovely sunrise over the Mangroves.    The view is very peaceful and welcomed after what seems like weeks of heavy winds.  The good news is that the view is beautiful but with the calm winds comes no-see-ums.  However, we have found that those bug coils, sort of like incense, seem to work quite well at keeping them at bay.  

The silence here is absolute which is so different from what we have woken up to in the middle of the night with the wind humming in the rigging and the boat working back and forth on her anchor.

“Bob, the title.  What’s this about us going to the Bahamas after writing so much about the Keys”?  Well, the forecast for the next week seems to suggest that perhaps the pattern of cold fronts rolling down from the north might be interrupted which will make a run to the Bahamas quite pleasant.  Besides, the number of spots to anchor in the Keys is so limited that we aren’t inclined to stick around here for the rest of the winter.

Speaking of the “rest of the winter”, we have to be in Ft Pierce FL around April 15th and while it’s not quite March, we do feel like our trip this winter is about over.  That’s funny because if we were in CT we’d be moaning that winter will never end.  I guess that life aboard in warmer climes in the winter is a bit different than in the frozen north.  Based on some of the comments I have gotten from our “icebound friends”, who are not at all sympathetic about our “wind trials”, I suppose that it’s all about your point of view.

Yesterday was the first really warm, no make that hot, day we have had in weeks and it was pleasant to spend the day out shopping and enjoying a leisurely lunch at a local seafood place, clearly a favorite of the locals.   Perched right on the side of the Post Road (yes, that’s the same “Post Road” that runs all the way from New England), it was a divy sort of seafood spot with a tacky fountain in the back courtyard.   Compared to the sameness of the fast food places that line most highways, it was very refreshing in a shabby sort of way.

Speaking of local color, when Brenda and I docked our dink yesterday to do our errands, we happened upon this juvenile pelican.  I guess that he/she hasn’t been hassled much as he didn’t seem to concerned about his “Kodak moment”.   However, it was pretty clear when he telegraphed “that’s close enough bud”.  Pretty amusing.A few days ago the strong winds shifted from the north to east which meant that things floating by in the nearby Gulf Stream were blown ashore and into the creek that we are anchored in.  So, when I went up on deck yesterday morning the area was dotted with Portuguese Man of War jellyfish.  These beautiful but deadly creatures couldn’t have been too happy to be in confined muddy waters.   I was fascinated by them and took time in the dink to photograph a few. 

Their “sail” is a sort of bladder filled with air and as the wind blows, they move across the water.  Unlike most “jellies” these guys can travel many miles with the wind.  The blue tentacles are deadly and pity the unwary that touch their “business end”.   I understand that they still pack quite a punch even when washed up on the beach.So, I looked but didn’t touch, advice that is so often good for life in general.

Just a moment ago I went up on deck to check something and saw this beautiful spotted eagle ray gliding Pandora.  What a beautiful and graceful creature. They get huge, over 8′ across, but this little fella was just 2′ of so.  Just amazing. Today I will be going to a meeting at the city marina where folks planning to cross to the Bahamas will compare notes.  I expect that this will be very well attended as it has been so long since a good “window” has been available for crossing and many cruisers are itching to get underway.    Actually, in our experience, most crossing opportunities tend to be measured in hours and not days as seems to be the case this week so I expect that many boats will clear out and make a dash across “the stream”.

When I downloaded the “gribs” this morning, they show that we should expect light winds and pretty settled conditions for much of the week so perhaps after Rob leaves on Thursday morning we can begin making our run to Bimini.

So, after months of “We’re going to the Bahamas, we’re not going to the Bahamas.  No wait, we are going to the Bahamas, maybe.”, I guess that we are, well at least for now.  We will just have to wait a bit longer and see what the weather brings.

For now, the one thing that’s certain is that it’s time to make some coffee.

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