Summer 2020 Trip UPDATE

Our next trip to the Bahamas will be July 4 – 19. This is a change of dates due to the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our plan is to visit the Bahamas, however if the Bahamas are closed, we will sail the Florida Keys instead. Depending on weather conditions and other factors, this may include sailing to the Dry Tortugas. Click here for all the details and forms.

Itinerary:

Depart from Ocean Springs – Saturday July 4, 2020
Arrive in Fort Lauderdale – Monday July 6
Sailing Tuesday July 7 – Friday July 17
Depart Fort Lauderdale – Friday July 17
Return to Ocean Springs – Sunday June 19

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COVID-19 Update

Right now our schools are shut down and the Bahamian ports are closed. It is too early to know for sure now, but we’re hoping that by summer things may return to a more normal state and we’ll be able to go on our trip. A lot of that depends not only on what happens at home, but also on what happens in Florida and in the Bahamas. Right now, the Bahamian government is not allowing anyone to visit the Bahamas at all. They will of course open again. The question is when, and the answer is unknown at this time. If it turns out that our trip cannot occur when scheduled, we will likely reschedule to later in the summer or later in the year. Feel free to contact Captain Dan anytime at 228.327.4557 if you have any questions or concerns.

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Pictures from the last trip

Here are the pictures I have from the trip. Thanks to David Beaugh for his pictures. Please share your pictures with me and I’ll post them here too!

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Download them all here.

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Home Again!

Our drive home from Marianna was beautiful. We stopped at Florida’s “highest waterfall” in Falling Waters, Florida. It was a nice diversion from the drive, but we didn’t spend very long there. Everyone was intent on getting home so we kept rolling. Turkey sandwiches and ramen noodles kept the group happy as we got closer and closer to home. We returned to SSC at about 3:45 in the afternoon, right on time. Our trip is complete. The lessons of life on the sea are now in our memories (and on our blog!).

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In Marianna, Florida

We had a great day on the road with only one stop for lunch on the Turnpike. We stopped for the night at Dove’s Rest RV Park in Marianna. Everyone is looking forward to being home tomorrow!

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Back in Ft. Lauderdale

We had a very nice crossing yesterday after a great day at the Sapona and Honeymoon Harbor. On the way in, we fueled up at Lauderdale Marina, went through 2 bridges, then dropped the hook to grill some chicken for dinner. We organized personal gear and then came in to the dock. A highlight of our return was quick trip to CVS for ice cream! You’ve never seen kids have so much fun as they had in that store.

The RV is now loaded and the boat is almost cleaned up. We’ll be on the road soon.

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Trip update Friday

Today we began our sail back across the stream. We left at about 10 am with winds of about 15-20 knots mostly from the southwest. This put us on a beam reach, the fastest point of sail toward Ft. Lauderdale. As we approached Ft. Lauderdale, the wind took a more westerly turn and increased briefly to about 25-30 knots. We simply took our sails in and motored the remaining mile or so into Port Everglades.

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Wreck of the Sapona

We’ve had a couple of interesting days.  Recall Tuesday, our port sail drive (forward/reverse gears) went out. This is very unusual and not fixable in the Bahamas. Without power on both sides, the boat is extremely difficult to maneuver in tight quarters. The good folks at Fun in the Sun Charters brought us a new boat today and sailed Sundance back to Ft. Lauderdale. Our new boat, Mintaka, is a 44′ Fountain Pajot. It is really nice!

Today we sailed our new boat, Mintaka, from North Bimini southward to the wreck of the Sapona. The ship is aground in 15 feet of water and towers 30 feet above the water. We anchored close to the ship and snorkeled inside and around the ship. It is really cool to see fish inside the ship and the propeller at its stern. Some of our sailors spear fished in this area too. The crew climbed the sketchy rope ladder to the deck of the ship and jumped off over and over again. What a great time!

Later, we sailed over to Honeymoon Harbor where we anchored for the night. We broke out the fishing poles and otherwise enjoyed a beautiful night at our anchorage.

Bryley

William

Paxton and Robert

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C.J.’s Deli

What do you do when you’re stuck in Bimini? Of course you go to C.J.’s Deli. C.J.’s Deli is the place to go for authentic Bimini food. It is a great little place with the best food ever. We had conch fritters, fried conch, chicken wings, french fries, and even a club sandwich. Of course, life would not be complete without some Goombay Punch!

Some of us went to the straw market to buy souvenirs. Mr. Bob and Bryley made brownies on the boat

Later in the day, we dinghied to our anchor and pulled it out of the sea bottom by hand and then reeled up all our anchor chain. When we had the problem with the sail drive, we had dropped anchor and payed out our anchor chain to settle into our boat slip. Basically, we were prepping the boat to be sailed away later.

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Update from Bimini

Today, Tuesday, we’re about to head out to Great Isaac Island, then tonight back to Bimini for the night. All is well! Ya mon!

We sailed to the dolphin grounds on Moselle Bank, but alas, we did not spot any dolphins. We decided not to go all the way to Great Isaac due to the boat going unusually slow. It turned out to be a wise move as the port sail drive was apparently slipping and ultimately failed as we approached our anchorage near Big Game. We dropped anchor immediately upon the failure and avoided all potential drama. We eased the anchor chain out to settle our boat into a boat slip at Big Game.

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