Monday, June 20, 2016

Rescued a fellow boater and cleared customs!

Day 8 - crossed 80 miles over to Bimini, Bahamas!!!  We had a south westerly following sea (about 3 foot) the entire day which made for an okay ride.  It took us about 9 hours because we averaged 10 knots (usually 7) with the Gulf Stream!  We caught a Mahi on the way and a wicked storm closed in just as we anchored off North Bimini.  We saw depths of over 2000 feet - I always find that kind of eery!

Day 9 - We pulled anchor this morning to go into Bimini and check in with customs.  We rounded the corner tip of the island and got back out into the westerly winds with 3 - 5 foot seas.  About 20 minutes in, we decided to turn back.  We stayed anchored on the east side of North Bimini another night, enjoyed a peaceful afternoon with storms.

Day 10 - We decided to go another 75 miles across to Great Harbour Cay and check in with customs there.  Again, the westerly winds made for a following sea, but the 3 foot waves still make it kinda rolly - imagine going up over the wave, then surfing down the backside!  About half way across, we get hailed on the VHF radio - a 24" Grady White boat in distress!  They see us in the distance, can we town them in?!?  Turns out they had engine trouble the day before and were anchored out over night in those bad storms with no protection.  Because we took a more southerly route across, they were able to see us, thank goodness - (I'm glad we stayed an extra day in Bimini)!  We towed them 5 hours into Great Harbour Cay Marina which is where they were headed.  We were very happy to help and they were VERY HAPPY to be rescued!

We arrived at the marina to cheers!  Our rescued boaters' friends and family were overjoyed at their arrival!!!  I soooo wanted to get a picture, but we were busy docking our boat and I missed it.  Everyone was appreciative - but we only did what we would have wanted someone do to for us.  We did get some homemade conch salad though as a thank you!

Later, customs came on board Christina Sea, searched our boat and cleared us in.  When a boater arrives in the Bahamas, they must fly their yellow quarantine flag until cleared, then we can fly the Bahamian flag - we're official!

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