Day 16 – Marianna to Home!!

Our last day – wow! It seems like we just left home and now the trip is almost over. We stopped at the Florida Caverns visitor’s center on the way out, and most of the group toured the caves. Then it was homeward bound. We actually didn’t stop at all the rest of the way home. The trip was a total success and every member of the group contributed to that success. Well done, crew!

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Day 15 – Lake Panasoffkee to Marianna

Today we drove from Lake Panasoffkee to the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, Florida. The campsite was beautiful and the neighbors friendly. We had a delicious meal of chicken and rice.

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Day 14 – Motored into Port Largo

Sadly, our sailing trip must come to an end. We pulled into Sharkee’s to fill up with fuel, then proceeded on to Marina Del Mar to moor the boat. Next was the unload process and cleaning up the boat before we began our road trip back to Mississippi. We departed Key Largo by RV and drove to Lake Panasoffkee, Florida where we spent the night.

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Day 13 – Gulf Stream Crossing back to Florida

Today we made our way back across the Gulf Stream to Florida. The wind was on the nose most of the way, and with the Gulf Stream current also working against us, it was a bit slow. We made it back in about 14 hours. We anchored for the night at Rodriguez Key, just off Key Largo.

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Day 12 – Trip Update – Berry Islands Back to Bimini

We had the best time imaginable in the Berry Islands! Our sail to the Berries across the Great Bahama Banks was quite nice. We pulled into Chub Cay Marina for fuel and water. The marina facility was excellent and the people there were very nice. We pulled around to another dock to moor temporarily while the kids checked out the store nearby. They are supplied by boat each month, so they didn’t have much. John got a pack of frozen corn dogs. After our fuel stop, we circled around the Berries from south to north, about halfway up the chain to our favorite place – Hoffman’s Cay. We actually anchored between Hoffman’s and Devil’s Cay nestled in around some other smaller cays. While there, we spearfished, line-fished, swam in the Blue Hole on Hoffman’s Cay, caught a shark, paddle boarded, ate a lot of fish, and otherwise enjoyed our time in a beautiful place. One highlight – we built a fire on the beach at night – that was awesome. For our last night in the Berries, we sailed south to Bird Cay because that would position us better for the return trip to Bimini. A new anchorage for us, it turned out to be a good one. It was very calm and the fishing was incredible. There is a steep drop off on the southern tip of Bird Cay that made for great spear fishing. Josh caught a nice amberjack there. Yesterday, we returned across the Bank to Bimini. Our intention was to stop at Great Isaac Island, but the first half of the trip was rather slow due to strong winds on the nose. We did stop at 3 Sisters off the west shore of Bimini to spearfish – a good stop. Afterwards, we motored to the inside of Bimini Bay back to the vicinity of Big Game. There is a little anchorage just to the north of Big Game that had no boats in it when we were here last week. Last night there were two boats in it making it a tight squeeze for us, but we did it. It turned out to be a sweet little spot in protected water and close to civilization. We tidied up the boat and had a good night’s sleep. Today is a recovery day after our trip from the Berries. We want to be well-rested when we take off for Florida tomorrow. We all had much-needed showers last night. Some oatmeal and coffee this morning got me going for the day. Later, we’ll head down to North Cat Cay to top up on fuel, water, and ice. We’ll anchor in the lee of Cat Cay for an early morning departure for Florida. Tomorrow night we should be at anchor nestled in behind Rodriguez Key very close to Key Largo. The winds are expected to be southerly, so it may be a slow trip. All our sailors are doing well – happy and healthy. We all wish for you a great day!

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Day 11 – Bird Cay back to Bimini

We traveled all day covering about 85 miles back to Bimini. The seas were a bit rough for 2/3 of the way back. By the time we neared Bimini, things had settled down. We stopped along the way for another visit to the 3 Sisters reef. Afterwards, we pulled into Bimini Bay and made our way to a nice little anchorage next to Big Game.

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Day 10 – Hoffman’s Cay to Bird Cay

Last night we remained anchored at Hoffman’s Cay. We enjoyed Hoffman’s for about half the day, then weighed anchor to position ourselves at our take-off point for the return trip to Bimini. We chose to anchor near Bird Cay. The water was crystal clear, smooth as glass, and the fishing was incredible. Josh caught a nice amberjack there.

 

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Day 9 – Hoffman’s Cay

Wow! What a beautiful place! Hoffman’s Cay is amazing. We anchored in a calm spot nestled in between several Cays offering protection from the wind and sea. We swam in the Blue Hole on Hoffman’s all morning, then fished and paddle boarded in the afternoon. That night, we built a little campfire on the beach.

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Day 8 – Voyage to the Berry Islands

It was pretty much an all-day trip covering about 100 miles to the Berry Islands. The route we took was across the Great Bahama Bank. We stopped at Chub Cay at the south end of the Berry chain for fuel and water. We then proceeded to Hoffman’s Cay for the night. It was a long day, but one that will be well worth it when the sun comes up tomorrow!

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Day 7 – Honeymoon Harbor, Swimming with Dolphins, and Preparing for Voyage to Berry Islands

Today we spent the morning at Honeymoon Harbor hand-feeding the stingrays, paddle boarding, and otherwise enjoying a beautiful anchorage. Danielle got really good and cleaning conch. In the afternoon, we set sail northward in search of dolphins. We swam with dolphins for quite a long time in the area of Moselle Bank, and then went to the north end of Bimini to anchor for the night. Our plan is to leave at 4 AM for the Berry Islands.

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