- Katharine Hesmer
DAY 15 | December 28, 2021
Updated: Jan 8, 2022
No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, Florida to Bimini Big Game Club, Bahamas
Job One was to check Ron and Skeet’s emails for their Covid results, and by 5:30 am, we still hadn’t heard. Around 7:00, we got the unbelievable news that both Ron AND Skeet were NEGATIVE!!!🥳🥳🥳 I’m guessing Skeet just has a bad cold, but I honestly could not be more surprised, except maybe by the fact that Ron and I feel just fine. Go figure.
Goodbye, No Name! Goodbye, Miami!
We were underway at 7:30 a.m., and at 8:05 Ron said, “Our depth is getting ready to go from 15’ to 1,000’, so hopefully that means this water will smooth out a little bit.”
That black blob inside the rectangle is KORKZcrew. Check out the dramatic change in depth!
Ron says that on nice days when the water is really flat, even jet skis can get across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas in a few hours - it's about a 50-mile crossing. I had in my mind that it was a really big deal, and I don’t mean to discount it here because it still feels like an accomplishment to even attempt it, but I understand now that it’s all about waiting for the proper weather window. Ron has subscribed to the Chief Forecaster at the Marine Weather Center, Chris Parker, who specializes in mapping out desirable weather windows for boaters like us, and had been studying Chris's predictions, which is why we’d chosen this particular day for crossing as long as covid cooperated with our plans.
Captain Ron, super stressed about our Gulf Stream crossing 😂
KORKZcrew was averaging around 7 knots - not great; not terrible. Seas were around 2-4’ feet for the first half of the trip, and got down to 1’ to 3’ in the second half. We’ve been rolling around a bit but it’s not too uncomfortable. Ron calls these conditions a washing machine because we’re bobbing around a bit from front to back and side to side. He says 2-4’ seas are about the max this boat can handle comfortably. The Great Harbour N37 trawler has a beam of 16’ which makes it really stable for the most part, and is another reason it’s got so much storage space. That’s a pretty wide beam without being a catamaran.
Ron decided to put a line in the water just for kicks. Back in Wilmington before we left, Whitney’s fiancé Will had rigged up two fishing poles for us, encouraging us to drop them in whenever the spirit moved us, even though Ron and I are embarrassingly inexperienced at all things fishing related. And yes, we live in a coastal town. But hey, maybe we’ll come back from our trip as seasoned professionals. But I wouldn’t hold your breath. 😂 No bites as of 10:20 but will let you know if we land the big one. Or maybe just tell you that we did 😂
Skeet took the helm for awhile. A 120’ yacht named Probability passed us way off our port side going twice as fast as we are which isn’t hard to do. 😂 it looked like they were towing a dinghy the size of KORKZcrew 😳. By the way, we have something called AIS (Automatic Identification System) on board, which is a safety protocol allowing boats to see and be seen. That's how we could see Probability's name and size.
At around 1:00 we could see Bimini in the distance, and the cell signal we had lost completely began to make its way back. For some reason this leg of the journey has been more roll-y than the rest and I’ve got no idea why. I don’t feel green thank goodness but it’s not ideal. 2700 feet deep where we are right now!!
Hope this doesn't make you green. I promise it's not as rocky as it looks.
We saw TONS of flying fish on this trek!! Crazy! Ron said he has a theory that they can fly about as long as we can swim under the water. Bet you didn’t know he’s a marine biologist in his free time. 😂
Around 1:45, after getting really tired of rolling around, Ron suddenly jumped up and told Skeet to slow down (I mean, slower than our typical slow 😜). He hustled down the steps and I figured out he’d seen the fishing pole bend over and went down to reel it in. The video tells the rest the of the story!!! Made our day!!!
Made Steve's day too . . . Steve was so excited, Skeet had to hold him still during the whole ordeal!
Arrived in Bimini around 2:00, with that unmistakable Bahamian blue water that has this crazy way of tugging at your heart strings.
Pretty wild to see everything completely covered in salt
Made our way to the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina around 2:30 pm, which is one of the designated spots in the Bahamas where you can check into Immigration and Customs. The marina is very picturesque, and the people who work there are super friendly.
They let us tie up at the marina for about two hours to give us time to get squared away with Customs, but the first item of business was to filet the catch of the day!!! Coming soon, to a dinner plate near you, freshly caught mahi-mahi!! 🥳
After a (really) long check-in process, we were officially cleared through Customs into the Bahamas for the next 90 days - Steve included! That felt like a huge achievement. You have to satisfy all sorts of requirements aside from just presenting our negative Covid tests, so after about 2 hours of battling with computers and filling out forms, Ron was understandably fried, and we were all ready for something . . . fried. Or maybe that's just me. 🐷
Had conch fritters I mean an early dinner at the Big Game Club Bar & Grill, overlooking the Marina and some enormous nurse sharks you could see in that incredibly clear blue Bahamian water. Light breeze, hot conch fritters, and a happy crew celebrated the end of a long day that culminated in our arrival in Bimini. Happy. Ness. We spent the night anchored just off to the side of the marina, and will probably hang out here until around Friday the 31st, when the weather looks good to travel again.
7 hours underway / 47 nautical miles