Bahamas to Maryland HOME

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THE TOTAL IS IN…., 3,294 nm run over 62 individual legs!
Here is the total trip:
https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/029c-222ed31e-ae72/view

We made it back to our home waters of the Upper Chesapeake Bay, May 30, 2022 after a challenging weather month of May.  Many cruisers were complaining about the spring weather and how they were stuck and could not move north. We wanted to sail from the Bahamas direct to Cape Lookout, a simple 3 day passage with the aid of the Gulfstream, but our weather router, Chris Parker, said there was not going to be a good 3-day window. So we headed for Florida and then ran north on shorter, single overnight trips. Here is a screenshot of our entire voyage:

Dec 2021 to May 2022, Caribbean Sea to Annapolis MD

Archive Maps are interesting

 We have all of our trips archived on our MAPS page. We use two services to do this, Garmin InReach and Spotwalla. The Inreach device is the tracker that sends our position report to the Iridium satellites and then back down to Garmin which records the position into a database.  This data is then pulled and presented on our shared public map. With Garmin, you can see the current position or you can VIEW ALL position reports to see everywhere we have sailed.  Here is our Garmin shared map, click VIEW ALL then zoom back!

https://share.garmin.com/islandspirit

The second service we pay for is Spotwalla. The developer recognized the need to extract these data positions and create what are called TRIP MAPS. A trip map has a start and an end date and pulls all the data points within that timeframe. We like this better than Garmin in the fact that we can focus on one season, where as Garmin combines all seasons together. Here is this season’s trip map:

https://new.spotwalla.com/trip/029c-222ed31e-ae72/view

All our Maps

With many years of cruising, we have archived ALL our maps and indexed them by years on the MAPS menu link.  One of the tasks I am working on is to extract the data of miles from these maps. Garmin keeps the mileages of each leg and I am working on the total of all of these. We estimate we have well over 40,000 nm traveled on Island Spirit since 2001. Here is out map archives:

https://svislandspirit.com/maps/

Bahamas to Florida

Our passage from Bahamas to Florida was the calmest we have had in 11 years of crossings. Literally, the Gulfstream was a lake. What a simple motor run this was. Look at the ocean on this passage, we never see this….

Arriving Stuart, FL

Of course, we had to return to Stuart, Florida and the Sunset Bay Marina, one of our all-time favorites. We enjoyed a wonderful week there with many friends. Thank you to Tommy BOY and Sailor GrL for the best cherry smoked rib-eye steak ever. What a treat that was. Thanks to all our cruising friends who loaned us cars, invited us to their homes, and simply enjoyed the sunsets and coffee bar with us as we all caught up on each others happenings. Here are a few Stuart Photos….

Tommy BOY…..
Sailor GrL…..
Alex and Amy world travelers…..
Cheerleader Lynn and Jim
Rick and Terri and Jean, lucky bums who live here in Stuart FL

Onward North….but no WX Window:

We really wanted to sail directly from Stuart Fl, 2.5 days direct via Gulfstream passage to Cape Lookout. Well, that never worked out because the storms were running and there never was a wx window more than a day or two. The CAPE index was really high, indicating strong updrafts in the air which turn into severe storms over the stream. This made us decide to NOT run the stream home, and that meant day hopping up the east coast! Here is the issue….

 

St. Augustine, here we come

We departed Stuart and made an inside run up to Ft. Pierce to visit our dear friend and world sailor, Jeffery of famed IP460 FLYING FISH. Jeffery just completed his circumnavigation and was in Ft. Pierce preparing his yacht for sale. If you are looking for the dream WORLD VOYAGING YACHT, then look at FLYING FISH HERE:

http://flyingfishsail.com/
https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/2017-island-packet-460-8239004/

After a wonderful visit with Jeffery, we headed to sea for an overnight run to St Augustine, Florida. This is always a great stop because of the city and the outstanding harbor as well as Tina and John. We have “family” friends as we call them here in town. They always connect with us and enjoy our time together. Tina is the sister of our dear friend Anita at home. Then we also connected with our fellow yacht broker, company owner and lifetime sailor GrL, Melanie. She runs her own yacht brokerage firm called Sunshine Yachts. Always a good time in St. Augustine….

THE yacht broker, Melanie and owner of Sunshine Yachts
Our St. Augustine “family” Tina and John….

Offshore again to Charleston, SC

We had dreams of docking and walking EAST BAY Street in Charleston, but when we arrived and called every single marina for a dock, they were all full. ZERO slips available.  So we dropped the anchor off the aircraft carrier and rested. We were only here to pick up a new B&G RI10 radar interface box that never did fix the broken B&G radar. Thanks, B&G, we did not need it, even though your tech told me to buy one. The problem is the antenna and we have now ordered a new one. So, our visit to Charleston was a bust and out the inlet the next morning we raced….

Our view from anchor

Once more Offshore run to Cape Lookout, NC

We departed Charleston after breakfast and made the offshore run for Cape Lookout, NC. Each of these ocean runs was about 36 hours, so one more overnighter at sea. Sadly, much of this had to be motor sailing as again, we were running before storms and trying to get into port before they would hit us.  At this point of the trip, we were really missing Caribbean Tradewinds sailing, as the winds are steady and always from the east. Here on the coast, you need to deal with cold fronts and storms. Not fun, and we missed the trades. When we reached the Beaufort NC inlet, of course the winds were 20 gusting 25 knots. We needed to reef down to a double reef as we bashed into the ebbing tide, making 3 foot standing waves in the long, long inlet. Finally, we reached the ICW and ran up Adams Creek to a calm anchorage after 36 hours. Here are some ocean scenes…

Moring calm and the code zero
Sunsets at sea are wonderful

Now to run the ICW north….easy

Well, that is what you would think, except for more severe thunderstorms and lightning. We cant believe it,.We actually had to take a dock for 2 days in Belhaven, NC to wait out storms. While there we walked, reprovisioned, used their free laundry, and ran our ship’s air conditioning, a real treat. It takes 3-4 days to run the ICW up to the Chesapeake Bay. 

We ran this in one day!!!! and we also got lucky missing a 75 mph storm
This morning’s storm blasted the Outer Banks and ran behind us.

HELLO CHESAPEAKE BAY

We finally reached MILE MARKER #1, in Portsmouth VA. This is always a must stop location for us. Here we walked the town and waited in line for TOP GUN TICKETS. What a fantastic time at the movies. We also connected with fellow IP sailors Jane and Pat and their friend Race of M’Aingeal. Jane is an amazing singer and guitar player and we had a wonderful time together for two days in Portsmouth.

The GILMERTON Lift bridge, hello, Norfolk VA
Good times in Portsouth VA
Jane is an amazing guitar player and has a beautiful voice
We are not in the Caribbean….hello ship

Chesapeake Bay Stops

The normal run up or down the Chesapeake Bay always seems to be Norfolk, Deltaville, Solomons and Annapolis. These are all about 50 nm apart and take about 8-10 hours to run. During our stop in Deltaville, we met up with longtime friends Jim and Laurie and we also met new owners, Nancy and John. In Solomons, we connected with long-time boat buddies who sailed with us to Maine and Florida. Mary Anne and Ron.  What a wonderful home coming….

 

 

Laurie and Jim…
Mary Ann and Ron

Pulling into Annapolis is HOME

Yes, our home dock is in Rock Hall, MD, but pulling into Annapolis is the real feeling of HOME. We first sailed here and rented boats here in 1986. Every year since we have sailed to Annapolis and have spent many nights here. This is one of our all-time top destinations. When we sailed past the Thomas Point Light, we finally knew we were HOME…..it has been a long, long, much longer than expected trip from the Caribbean Sea. We feel very accomplished and we are proud of the distances we have run. Go, ISLAND SPIRIT!

12+ country, state and territory flags

CHEERS….we did it

Celebrating with fine champagne on mooring ball #1 Annapolis MD.

Thank you all for Sailing along.

We will soon wrap up this blogging season, but please be aware you can follow in more real-time on our Facebook public Web page. We enjoy posting and sharing there as well. Now it is time to check in on our house and also to fully service Island Spirit. She needs some work to keep her in mint condition and to prepare her for the return to the Caribbean Sea in Nov 2022. It is too wonderful there to not sail back. WE LOVE IT THERE……

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9 Replies to “Bahamas to Maryland HOME”

  1. YoHo
    Great to have you back in the USA. REALLY enjoyed being with you guys virtually on the trip
    Ps. – Don’t watch tv, read the papers, or new blogs. Gale force issues are always a’blownin there AAAARRRGGHH.
    CAPT Dan

  2. Terrific trip and a great account of it all. Sorry you had such crappy weather once you got to the US coast. We’ve had that experience of the Gulf Stream being like a lake and then miserable weather further north, especially once we reached the Chesapeake. It’s frustrating to be so close and yet have weather delays! All the best as you start to work on Island Spirit to give her the TLC you mention she needs. Welcome home!

  3. This is terrific documentation of another great passage. The images are amazing, especially the reflection shot of the cockpit while you were crossing a glassy calm Gulfstream. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. Wonderful stories from the sea! Keep ’em coming, please. We want to hear about projects and maintenance, too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. So great to follow your cruising! Wish we were doing more ourselves. We were thinking of sailing north from Ft Pierce last month. We drove instead, since we didn’t see any good Wx windows. Glad you made it! Thanks for sharing.

  6. We’ll Done! We were especially glad to see you and Ray in Stuart. You’ll see us in Rock Hall in late July. ⛵️☀️

  7. I am always amazed, but never surprised, how no matter what anchorage you two pull into, there are usually friends of yours who happen to be there.

    Then, in the odd chance that a friend is not in the anchorage when you arrive , there’s a damn good chance that by the time you leave, you’ll be leaving a new friend behind. That’s just the way you two are.. A pair of wandering souls who brighten up the day wherever you tread.

    It’s been a while since our wakes have crossed. Too long. They used to cross so much, and I continue to look forward to the day when they do again.

    Until then…

    Welcome home!

  8. So happy to have sailed along on this journey with you. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I feel like I’m with you in the cockpit! Welcome home! Loretta

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