One night at anchor in Bimini and we’re off. Headed east. There’s not much to Bimini. A stopover island. First impressions of the Bahamians? Nicest people I have met to date. Strangers say Hi on the street. They treat each other with kindness. Almost as if they’re all family. I could get used to this. But after a $160 night in the marina, we go to anchor. Our wallets have been hemorrhaging and it’s time to live off the grid. We have a water maker, solar, and twin diesels if we run low on power.
It’s a bit daunting anchoring here. Not because it’s dangerous. Instead, because there is no one around. We drop the hook in a wide open, shallow bay. There’s a slight swell but nothing to complain about. And yet, we’re the only ones here. Are we doing something wrong? Everyone is moored in the marina. Weird. Nothing happens that night. We sleep like babies.
We’re up before first light. Today is a big day. We’re heading east. Well, first north then east. Our second major passage. We’re in a bit of a rush as the wind will be clocking from north to east. Sailing east into an easterly is no joke. But first, around the northern tip of Bimini. Little do we know what’s in store. Massive waves crashing over the bow all the way to the back of the boat. We’re quickly covered in salt. Occasionally we hit a set that stops us dead. The engines start cavitating. They can’t stay submerged long enough to push us forward. The catamaran paralleling us turns and runs for cover. We forge on and eventually make it around the tip. We feel safe on Maravilha. She’s takes good care of us.
Things get pleasant from here. A nice 15-25 knot nor’easter. A bit close hauled but we manage. Eventually Ashley convinces me to shake out the 2nd reef. She is always in race mode. I keep trying to figure out who we’re racing against. Not a boat in sight for six hours. But it’s a race; Genoa in an inch. Mainsail out a half inch.
We settle into the swing of things. I fish. Ashley sails. I couldn’t care less about the sails. Sure, I’ll pull em in if they’re flogging. Number one priority is making sure my fishing lines are set right. Are the hooks razor sharp? Right length from the boat? Right lure? Time to rig some more lures. Sometimes I’m requested to pull in the sail an inch. I refuse.
We drop the hook in the nick of time. Lights out. Both literally and figuratively. We’re exhausted. Battled many a fish. Sailed from sunrise to sunset.