Bahamas, at Last!
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
December 27, 2018
Our weather window to cross the Gulf Stream arrived on Sunday, December 23. We had arranged to leave with our friends on Jubilee II, and both boats weighed anchor at 04:30, headed into the Gulf Stream. Winds were out of the NNE at 10-15 kts, and we had a glorious crossing on a beam reach for most of the day, sailing at a speed of 7 kts. We arrived at North Bimini Island at noon, and tied up to the dock at the Big Game Club Marina. We flew our quarantine flag while Christoph went ashore to clear customs in the building next door to the marina. The process couldn't have gone more smoothly. Soon we raised our Bahamian flag and left to tour the small island.
We had read about the Dolphin House, a work of original architecture and art, which was just up the road. And lucky for us, designer, architect, builder, author and historian Ashley Saunders was seated in his front yard when we arrived. He offered to take us on a personal tour of the house, built entirely of recycled, found materials that Ashley had fashioned into unique living spaces that paid tribute to his totem animal, the dolphin (same as ours!) and the sea. He is putting on a third story and roof, and requested a donation of $5 per person to help fund his additions. We donated gladly.
The house was full of whimsy, beauty, and creative solutions for practical concerns, such as screened pickle jars for ventilation. The house reminded us of Isaiah Zagar's Magic Garden; these artists were surely kindred spirits.
Coconut Brian up the street whipped up cocktails and served them to us in freshly cut coconuts. We stopped at Sharky's Point to watch five giant bull sharks battle for the fish scraps tossed into the sea by the fisherman trimming their catch.
The next morning we departed North Bimini for Chub Cay, making our way towards the Exumas. We sailed for 12 hours in NE winds all day until we arrived and dropped anchor at 20:30. It had been an exhilarating but exhausting day. With winds forecast to blow at 35kts out of the east later in the week, we needed to seek a more protected anchorage where we could wait out the blow for the next few days.
So we set out again, this time for New Providence Island, where our friends from Jubilee II had anchored. The seas built as the wind strengthened, and although we reefed to sail on a beam reach, the winds out of the NE gusted to 23kts and I became a bit seasick. It was a mild case, and candied ginger seemed to hold the queasiness at bay. We arrived at 12:30 and dropped anchor in a gorgeous harbor, where we are one of 10 boats, including the famous James Bond mega yacht, Octopussy, just behind us in this photo.
I meditated this morning with Rabbi Yael Levy, whose teaching focused on the experience of Moses, who was walking in the desert when he turned aside to gaze at a burning bush. It was only then that God called to him and he responded,"I am present." He was told of the task that lay before him, changing his life plan. We may believe that we know the direction in which we are moving. But then, we may notice a sign that changes everything. The stars blaze in the black sky and the ocean shimmers all around me. And I am present, noticing, and wondering how my life will change.