Cruise 2017 Adventure

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December 18th, 2018
Eliot is here and this is us settling him in with a beer in a nice anchorage an hour from Palm Cay Marina - lives not too shabby
December 13th, 2018
Sunday saw an early start, if we were going to make it across the Gulf Stream this was the only day on offer. 20-25knts from the south slowly veering to the SW. We decided to have a look with the option to turn back if we didn't like it. Once again Pearl dug her shoulder in and got on with the job with power and dignity. It turned out to be a thrilling and fast sail that had the anchor down in Cat Cay buy 16.30hrs. I had a swim before supper and once again we fell into bed as the accumulated effort of the last few days started to be felt behind the eyes.

Up before dawn and off for Chub Cay which we made at sundown. Up at 04.00hrs for a rough sail to Nassau and a lovely welcome to Palm Cay Marina. It felt like coming home as we were here in February and it's a lovely marina with the nicest staff.

We've made it and it feels good, particularly as Eliot arrives tonight. Bring on the Christmas cruise we have been so looking forward to.........all we need to do is pop to the shops and buy the goodies. Ciao

This is Breydon aka Captain Crunch, the Bahamians are the loveliest of people and its good to be back
December 13th, 2018
We moved to a marina to top up with fuel, water and stores. Noisy but cool as the beautiful people strutted about above and a Manatee and its calf munched on weed below. The manatee won out big time but I have to say we had a lot of entertainment watching the preening competition going on above. Silicone mountains, anorexic waists competed with doughy men who measured themselves with either large or loud motor boats. Not a world for us but nevertheless a fascinating voyeuristic glimpse. One block away and there were queues of tired faces shuffling to get on the bus after grinding out another day to survive. That's one of the contrasts of America, a country that has made us welcome on all its levels of society with dignity and sincerity.
December 13th, 2018
This is Miami as it appeared out of the sunset, twinkling its lights as the blanket of darkness descended. We had managed to arrive in St Augustine the evening of the day before and fell into a deep sleep after our night at sea and rough weather. The following morning, we set off early to try and get south before the wind went back to the north and closed any opportunity to cross the Gulf Stream. The push was to make Nassau for Eliots flight and Christmas visit. If we missed the window he would have to get off in Miami and we were determined for that not to happen.

It was a very long day but one of complete transformation in that we left St Augustine in full foulies, thermals gloves and hats. As the day unfolded we slowly stripped to shorts, broke out the sun cream, put the Bimini up, reveled in the clear blue water and squadrons of flying fish. Large turtle, their backs covered in barnacles started to appear and the water went from 17C degrees to 27C.

I have to say entering Miami at night was really thrilling as we tried to make out navigation lights against the cities sparkle whilst dodging cruise and container ships. Eventually, in pitch dark, we dropped the anchor in a quiet spot and fell exhausted into bed.
December 13th, 2018
For all the wind, cold and waves on deck this is the view from below where thanks to the insulation and double glazing it is warm, dry and quiet. A great spot to sup a cuppa and stand watch. Sadly, Tracey suffered from seasickness but being the trouper she is she got on with it and actually recovered while we were still out there which is a real milestone. The funny thing is that she loves the waves and drama of high winds - reminds her of a pre-Raphaelite painting she likes.
December 13th, 2018
This is what we want to see as we surf down another wave - miles being eaten up.
December 13th, 2018
The following day we found ourselves in very different conditions with a rising wind and nasty seas. It leveled out at 30knts plus with sustained gusts of 36knts and was very cold. It was just amazing to see Pearl doing her stuff as she ploughed on and looked after us with a steady dry ride. I am ever amazed at how she performs with the centerboard up. All that gyrating that you would normally get around a keel in short seas disappears. Steering is easy and as we have fixed ballast its very comforting to know that we don't give any righting moment away with the board up. This is the roughest we have had on Pearl so it was lovely to have the opportunity to play around with combinations of sail and centerboard. Once again, we are grateful for choosing a Garcia 45 Exploration.
December 13th, 2018
Its 240NM from Georgetown to St Augustine so a night sail was called for and we dove into this beautiful sunset donning thermals for what would be a cold night. There was no moon so the stars were mesmerizing - I spent a lot of time on deck.
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