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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bye Bahamas, the end of the season.

 After tying up at Browns marina we went for a walk about and found the trunk lady. She didn't have much left but Garth managed to get a meal. From there we went in hunt of a red Bimini long sleeved Tshirt. Easier said than done!! We did manage to find one for a decent price. The wind and waves kept us in Bimini one more day so that meant we had one more day on the beach. I went by myself in the morning. Zeke does not understand that everything you pick up is not for him and he barks thinking you are going to throw him something to retrieve. I had a lovely walk and came back loaded with sea glass and a few beans. (Stop laughing Frank and Peggy) Actually I got two hamburgers and two sea hearts!! When you two see my collection you will be so envious!!
That evening Garth, Dan, Judy and I went up to see the sunset. We left early enough and took the beach route instead of the road. People must wonder when they see these four adults walking along the beach with their heads down. Like maybe we lost a ring or something valuable! Anyhow, we all managed to get some nice glass and some beautiful shells.
Dan is looking up so he must have found something good!

Along the way Garth stopped these two crabs playing chicken with the waves!

Our last Bimini sunset.

Beautiful even though there was no green flash!

Dan & Judy threw us the lines at seven am and we were off.  As we were heading to our first way point  Garth looked back and caught a beautiful picture of the sun rising over Bimini.

Around 11 we saw a sailboat on the radar and thought it may be "BEANS" , not sea beans but a boat named Beans. Garth called them and sure enough there they were.  They had left Bimini at 3 am and were hoping to get into West Palm in time to check in at immigration before they closed at 6 pm. And I thought we had a long day! It was neat to talk to someone out in the middle of the ocean.  Getting closer to the Florida coast the boat traffic picked up considerably. Garth looked through the binoculars at one point and said - "It is either the Police or Homeland Security".  Within two minutes they were speeding and I mean speeding towards us, they circled around the back of the boat and pulled up on our starboard side. Always comforting to see the ray bans, the bullet proof vests and the guns just meters away! NOT. They asked a few important questions like where are you coming from and how long have you been gone, then they got down to the nitty gritty. "Do you have any vegetables on board?" "Do you have any fish on board"? "Where are you going?" "Are you US citizens?"  As one of them was running the information through the computer the other one carried on a conversation with Garth about how "pretty" the boat was and then asked him all kind of technical questions. The computer guy shook his head to the other one and he told us he was not going to board the boat and have a great day!!  I make fun of it but in all honesty they have a job to do.

I called Tow Boat US for local knowledge coming into the St. Lucie inlet. It is not marked because the shoals are constantly changing. Last year we took a strange route in but this year he said just come straight in! I hate inlets as the water can sometimes be confused and generally there are a ton of small boats zipping here and there. The small boats were there, but it was all good. The marina is about an hours journey up the St. Lucie River. As we were rounding a bend we saw a sail boat off to our side, the women was frantically waving her arms and yelling. Garth slowed down and I went outside to see what was happening. She yelled "we have run aground" Humm, let's see, you are in a sail boat that drafts probably 6 feet and you are on the wrong side of the marked channel? I asked if they had  the number for Tow Boat US, at this point she was srcraming to her husband and literally standing on the edge of the boat looking like she was about to jump off. We watched for a few minutes.As he was gunning it the silt was stirring up and they managed to free themselves. I yelled to her that they should be on this side of the marker and she looked at me as if to say" you stupid blonde I know that now"  Sometimes you're the show and sometimes you're the audience! We made it the marina at 6:02 and thankfully Jason had stayed late to help us dock. The predicted wind had arrived just in time but thankfully we were being blown onto the dock. After getting the water and electric hooked up we had long hot showers and went for dinner. As we were walking down the dock a bunch of boaters we doing what boaters do best - having dock tails. We saw Gene, Ginny and Skipper who we last saw almost three years ago in Norfolk Virginia.
 Our next task was  to, get the car and then  check in with immigration to get a new cruising permit.  Staring tomorrow we will clean the boat and begin to get it ready to put away for hurricane season. It will be going back to River Forest Yachting Centre.
Gee, where does the time go. We have been here a week, we have accomplished a few major tasks but still have a lot of organizing and cleaning to do. We had a huge storm here on Sunday, everyone was running around securing their lines. We got some fender boards from a cat on B dock and they saved us. I think Sunday was worse than when we were here for Sandy. It made us question our location and as of April first we will be moving back to B dock for the security of a slip rather than being on the wall.

Another ending to a great boating experience in the Exumas.

Over and out until we are back aboard Algonquin.