Friday, May 29, 2015

Final days in the Bahamas

We are again anchored on the Henry Bank, near South Bimini (map), after a smooth northbound passage on the outside from Cat Cay. Mark and Mary had to leave us today, and we motored all the way back to Resorts World to drop them off at the same marina where we picked them up a a little over a week ago. Having no need of the marina ourselves, we came back here after dropping them off and saying our goodbyes.

Gun Cay with its lighthouse and abandoned Bahamian Defense Force base, leaving Cat Cay.

They were good sports about staying in some pretty rolly anchorages, getting wet on the tender, climbing on and off a heaving boat, having a couple of hard dinghy landings, and generally all sorts of boat drama that most folks never see. We understand they are thinking about some sort of boat themselves, and I hope they have a good start now.

As for us, we are ruminating about our plan moving forward and returning to the US. The weather is good this weekend for a crossing to either Palm Beach or Port Canaveral. The former is a one-day affair and we could go tomorrow or Sunday, whereas Canaveral is an overnight and would require both days.

At this writing it is looking like Palm Beach will be our port of entry. I'm due for a follow-up there on my Lasik/PRK, which is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday. We'd like to get some fuel, and if we don't fuel in Palm Beach we won't see those prices again until Virginia. And there is a good chance that Blossom will also be arriving this weekend in Palm Beach, and we'd get a chance to catch back up with Martin and Steph.

Trying to get any substantive information about clearing in to the US at either of these ports has been a challenge; there is a number to call for instructions and a clearance code, but it is a loooong wait on hold. We'll have to do it after we arrive in US waters and have some cell signal. But it looks like we can clear right next door to the Riviera Beach city marina, near Palm Beach, if we do it on Monday, whereas on the weekend we'd need to go to the airport. That would suggest waiting until Sunday to make the crossing, so we can clear in within the required 24 hours.

When we know for sure what we're doing I will try to put up another post here, and file a float plan with our emergency contacts. Whichever port we choose, we should be cleared back in to the US sometime on Monday so long as our weather window holds. We'll have been out of the country just over three months.

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