After returning to Miami from Marathon and sailing Biscayne Bay we spent five full days shopping, loading and stowing our provisions for our 90 days into the lower Exumas. We also spent time preparing the boat for sea and for the arrival of our good friends Jeff and Sharon, IP 35 Lucille owners from our home port of Rock Hall, MD. It is always exciting when you are on the launch pad to a trip like this. You never feel like you are ready and there is always so much to do. The days are busy, you work all day and then crash into your bunk at the end of the day. When you finally deaprt, you are relieved because you actually left, you departed and headed out on your voyage. You would think with all our years of doing this, it would be easier, it is not, it takes a ton of effort, time and money to load up.
Our process went like this:
Day 1 Sat:
Pick up Rental car Coconut Grove, $9.99/day Sat Sun weekend special booked months ago, drive to South Beach for Total Wine, load up thanks to Jeff and Sharon!
Drive it back to Dinner Key, load all into the dinghy, take to anchored boat behind Dinner Key Moorings. Soak Radeen with a bow wave over the the dinghy because we are so over loaded and I took a powerboat wave wrong. Not a good thing.
2pm Up anchor, drive boat 1.5 hours back over to South Beach, anchor off Belle Island,
5pm head into town and attend our 7th Wallcast with boat buddies.
Day 2 Sun.
Anchor up 0800, drive the boat back to Dinner Key, re-anchor it and continue shopping! Drive 30 minutes to a Costco, load up one large cart.
Drive back, load into Dinghy, take out to anchored boat behind Dinner Key Moorings
Stow items until 10pm,
11pm crash into bed
Day 3, Mon,
Drive 40 minutes to a Walmart Super Center, load up one large cart
Drive back, load into dinghy, take to Mooring 168 now in Coconut Grove Sailing Club
Stow items until 9pm,
11pm crash (Note: We keep the rental car another day)
Day 4, Tue,
Note: We keep car another day!
Drive 20 minutes to Publix Grocery Store, West Marine, CVS, Back up to Miami for Yanmar parts, etc, etc, etc… load up
Drive back, load all into dinghy take out to moored boat,
4pm Stowe remaining items as Jeff and Sharon just landed and are on their way.
5pm Jeff and Sharon arrive and move on board yacht
5:30 Go into club for visits with Ron and MaryAnn,walk up to town to Lo Kal for burgers
11pm crash into bed.
Day 5, Wed,
Note: We keep car one more day, this is three extra days, and we needed it.
Jeff and Hayden Service Yacht. Get propane, gas and diesel jug. Tune the Standing Rigging, pull the impeller, pull heat exhanger end cap, find broken impeller blade, reassemble and run engine.
De-rig dinghy, take off 15 hp Yamaha and fuel tank. Return Rental Car.
Move boat to dock, water up, pumpout and wash the boat.
4pm Gather at the club for an Island Packet MiniVous, very fun gathering
6pm Walk up to town, celebrate Sharon’s Birthday with Jeff, Sharon, Ron MaryAnn and Radeen
Day 6, Thur
DEPART 7am Miami/Dinner Key for what was to be a 6-7 hour run to Bimini. It turned into an 11 hours bashing into the wind making Bimini Sands Marina inlet at 1800 as the sun was setting!.
WE DID IT.
We loaded and actually departed for the Bahamas. I will always say, the hardest part of any trip is simply LEAVING. Then if you try leaving close to your target date it is even harder. Move up your date by a few days, even harder, but we did it.
Here are some photos…
It was a full five day prep, but we did it, and we actually did it 3 days earlier than we have planned due to a small weather window opening. The gulf stream crossing was NOT a good on, but that is another story. Thank you for sailing along.