Last and first

The last night in St. Augustine / The first swimming during our sailing
The last goodbye to USA / The first crossing of the gulf stream
The last change to the officer / The first sunset on Bahamas

We are staying in St. Augustine longer. The reason – Jim and Fred are coming this evening to the same marina (we cannot refuse such a good company:)) Pete drives us to stores, we buy last Christmas presents (yes, Santa is going to find also our small paper Christmas tree:)) and we refill our food and alcohol supplies.

In the marina we go directly to Jim’s boat where he and Fred are looking forward to see us. We are invited to dinner (different pasta with tomato and vegetable sauce) so we just put the things to our Dove, take a bottle full of good mood and stories (translation: RUM:D) and we get aboard on this famous trimaran.

The food is great, we talk, tell stories and after some hours we move to a nearest bar. Fred orders drinks and some food (in this moment is already clear that we are not leaving tomorrow and are going to stay one more day). The average age in our group is 65 (including mine 25 and Jan’s 30), but instead using path walks we go back through the minigolf court, where the “tour guide” Joe tells stories at every corner and step – simply old rebels :)

The morning is surprisingly OK and even sunny. We make last laundry, take a shower, clean our snorkeling gear and we are ready to leave tomorrow. The evening is similar to the day before with only differences, that we are 8 (Pete’s sons Pete and Ross arrived), today’s menu is soup and we don’t continue in a bar. In the morning we say farewells to Jim and Fred and wish fair winds (which is the nicest, what sailors can wish).

Next two days we sail further south and our motor still doesn’t work properly (don’t work when there are more people around or we are under drawbridge:)) and makes captain think about buying a new one. The nights we spend anchored next to bridges which is not maybe the most romantic and quiet spot, but we are protected from wind. We arrive to Lake Worth on Wednesday at noon. We fill gasoline and water and Joe is looking for a new motor – without success.

It took us almost 60 days to get to place where we could leave USA and now we are so close and at the same time so far from this. The gulf stream could get us back to New Jersey again with unreliable motor and bad weather…

We anchor and silently are looking at the motor without ideas how to solve it. Joe’s brother is looking for motors on Internet, but the only one in this area is not good for us.

I change the tactic: I don’t know a shit about engines so I’m not able to repair or come with an idea, but I want the guys think… why? how? can you draw it for me, can this get lose? where the gasoline meets the oil? can it be loosen when overheated? where are cylinders? Either they didn’t want to answer my questions anymore or I really motivated them, but they are taking the fuel pump apart, check the valves – everything alright – and try to clean the water cooling pipes with toothpick… and it helps – the water wasn’t going out, so the engine was getting overheated before.

We make a 30min test ride to the ocean inlet and everything looks good. But can we trust this motor which was not working properly during almost the entire trip and rely on it crossing to Bahamas? We anchor…

And swim! it is 58 days since we’ve left Provincetown and we are finally jumping to the sea. I’m awaiting cold water so I jump not very relaxed and painfully stretch my neck muscle – the advantage is that I get massage afterwards :). Joe cleans the bottom of the boat from all the green plants which began to grow there – we will be faster.

Joe is having a drink and listens to weather forecast. With Jan we are already used to wait and the wind in next days doesn’t look best so we are already resign to next postponing of our departure. Captain decides – I’m going to have a nap, we will leave in 3 hours. We are surprised and hope that this was a sober decision. We’re having a rest also to be able to spend the night awaken with him. We realize that we didn’t check if we need visa to Bahamas (yes, sometimes we don’t think enough in advance and forget). Fortunately there is a free wifi and we use the last percents of the notebook battery to find it out – we don’t need :)

Our nap is a little bit longer and we are leaving around midnight. As we get further from the shore we hope that the bigger waves are not going to make us sick after so much time inland. Using GPS we calculate course which should count with the shift in gulf stream, set up the autopilot and go towards the dark night. Approximately after 2 hours the lights from shore disappear and we are saying goodbye to USA – it were nice months here…

Something to think about: I’m feeling free – not just because leaving USA, but because I realized I have wings and can fly (we travel where we want, discover and learn new things, …). So now I think if there can be a cage (one place somewhere), which will fulfill all my dreams and imaginations and can supplement the inability to continue flying, exploring and discovering… hmm

The waves become bigger and we enter the gulf stream. It’s pity that is night because captain says the water here should have special light blue color. But the night is charming, no lights around us (we see only 2 ships during the whole night), sky full of stars (we can really more enjoy them because the smartphone application helps us to recognise the stars and planets), falling stars, lights in the water (this special animals which light in our wake), waves from behind and motor working properly…

The sun is rising and we are still in the middle of see, nobody around us. The water next to Bahamas begins to be with more light nice clear and blue and the wind is good to sail for a while. We finally arrive to Port Lucaya after 16 hours sailing. We show the yellow quarantine flag. We are a little bit lost in the canals but finally we find the correct marina. Joe (only captains is allowed to leave the boat) is going to do the official things when entering the country and after 45min he returns with stamps in our passports. We spend our last smaller dollar bills to pay for the marina. Our first sunset on Bahamas we watch from the boat. We are tied in a slip without water and electricity but anyway we are really tired so we go to sleep early.

Next morning we charge notebook batteries in a restaurant and do some work on internet. Gil with Dan (Joe’s friends) come to visit us – they are going to spend the Christmas on Bahamas too. Next to our boat a ray fish swims in the harbor, we make a walk in the streets of this touristic town which looks so not-real, we go to a beach to try our snorkeling gear and in the evening we go for a drink with Joe.

The bar is full of people – crew from a big boat going to Mexico to weld underwater pipes. The crane on the boat is almost 300feet high (probably the highest point on Bahamas now:)). We talk with some people from crew (even with captain) and they are so nice and normal people.

This evening and our whole trip opens our eyes. We realized we have prejudice towards people who have achieved something or are at higher positions because we somehow think, they don’t have any reason to speak with us “normal” people. But these guys are also normal people with great personalities, whose have achieved their success by networking with other and being interested in people around them :)

21.12.2012 – end of the world on Bahamas. It is cold, windy and rainy. Even the Santa figure fell in the wind on the ground and now is laying under the Christmas tree… hopefully till Christmas Eve everything will be OK again :)


Whole lenght 354 mi.

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