Well, the fast track journey from Turks & Caicos up to Fort Lauderdale via the Bahamas, was as expected quite swift, we had limited time due to pre-booked flights and appointments back at home so the journey wasn’t so much a sight-seeing tour, but more of a delivery cruise!
We left T&Cs early morning for a good day sail up to our first port of call Clarence town, Long Island, this was a great anchorage with a small marina nearly for checking in and amenities, the Customs/Immigration official lived down the other end of the island, so he charged us an extra $100 on top of the $300 per year cruising permit (although we were only in the Bahamas a four-night) for the 1 hour drive to come and see us.
However, as stunning as our anchorage was, as always when you’re on a schedule, the weather changed and it was prudent to book a space in the marina, we end ed up being there three days, thank god the restaurant served some of the best food eaten to date!
We were forever amazed at not only the shallow depths but the sheer colour of the water, the azure and often turquoise blues were amazing!
We had intended to leave Clarence town and travel via cat Island and Eleuthera, but at the last minute, decided to head slightly south and on the inside route up the side of the Exumas to Staniel Cay. This is home to the Famous Swiming pigs, although on this occasion we just didn’t have time, again when we tried to leave we got caught out by the weather, so ended up putting into the harbour for one night, to let our our crew off for their flights back to Fort Lauderdale and onto the UK.
We never failed to be overwhelmed by the quantity and sheer size of ships and boats anchored in such shallow water
We undeniably fell in love with the Bahamas and will definitely return next winter! (Particularly as we have paid $300 for a year cruising permit) But we had to press on and the next leg was a 27-hour run to Bimini, skirting along-side, Nassau and the Berry Islands (places also on our list to revisit). We arrived at Bimini mid-afternoon for our overnight stopover before the last little 6 hour run to Fort Lauderdale.
The run over was as flat as could be with very little wind, which suited us as we had heard stories of the Gulf stream, pushing boats far up the east coast, twenty or thirty miles off course, so to allow for that you have to ironically head south, often against the wind to reach your intended destination, we hardly noticed the effect of the Stream and hit our target of Port Everglades with ease.
Our final Destination of Cooleys Landing is an amazing journey, through the intercoastal waterway and under several bridges to a riverside mooring in the centre of Fort Lauderdale, some very tight manoeuvring, not experienced since Vanne in France, but we’ll post more about that later.