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Posted By Robin & Jim

We finally made it!  We crossed the Gulf Stream last Thursday - a somewhat lumpy ride, but not too bad.  We saw a sailfish jumping, lots of flying fish, and we even had a little bobolink bird hitch-hike on the boat deck for an hour or two.  We decided to come into South Bimini, clear customs, and proceed the next day.  Jim and Dan took a cab to the airport and cleared customs quickly - so we hoisted our Bahamas courtesy flags and raised a toast with a cold beverage.
We had a little time in the later afternoon for some exploring, so we walked to the north end of the island and took a water taxi over to North Bimini - a distance of about 150 yards.  People were very friendly and smiling, and the water was so blue that it reflected turquoise off the bottom of the puffy white clouds... lovely.  We walked through Alice Town and Bailey Town, stopping at the little liquor store for some Bahamian rum (Dan got coconut and I got mango), and the gal there recommended a little place called "Kim's Deli" for dinner, a good walk up the road. 
Friday morning we left for the long trip across the Great Bahama Bank.  We had nice conditions for the crossing, but we were nervous because of the shallow water.  Of course it's so clear that you can distinguish individual blades of sea grass easily, but we're just going to have to get used to the shallows and gain confidence in our ability to read the water.  At the eastern end of this "plain", the water plummets from 15' down to 3000+' as we entered the Tongue of the Ocean.  We ran in the deep for about an hour, then tucked in to anchor behind Frazers Hog Cay in the Berry Islands just after sunset.  The weather was changing and we would have to stay put for a few days - a welcome excuse to relax and explore a bit.
We launched our dinghies and headed to a nearby beach to land and explore.  We saw tons of little birds - migrating red starts as well as local finches.  We waded in the shallows at the north end of the island out of the wind, and rescued several sea hares (large shell-less snails) from the low tide.  We came back to the boat and snorkeled around a bit - we're still getting used to the unbelievable water clarity. 
We had two boat-bound days - we did some chores, read, relaxed, and cooked a bit - things we haven't had the time to do in a long while.  We took advantage of the time to build a "lookee bucket" - a bucket with a clear bottom that you can stick in the water to see what's under the boat.  It's handy for checking the set of your anchor, looking for good coral heads to snorkel, etc.

lookee bucket

A nice day followed so we dinked over to the tiny marina and bar/restaurant called the "Berry Islands Club".  The name makes it sound big, but it's just a speck of a place... friendly and nice though.  With some advance notice (you radio ahead if you want to eat there, and tell them what you want), we had a nice lunch on the porch.
The problem with the Bahamas islands is that there are so many places to explore it's easy to become paralyzed with indecison.  The biggest constraints are water depth and finding anchorages that will provide protection from the current wind direction. 
Here's a crude map to show you where we've been (Bimini and the Berry Islands), and where we're headed (the north end of the Exumas).
bahamas trip route


 
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