Made it to BIMINI!!!

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Miles: 57.79
Time: 9 hours
Avg Speed: 6.4
Max Speed: 10

We left Key Biscayne around 6:45AM to winds out of the North/North-East – Really not the preferred direction. They shifted mid-morning to more out of the East. We had sails up all day, tacking to and fro with the motor running as well. We traveled slow because we were really going right into the wind. Stew set a course South of Bimini due to the Gulf Stream that was dragging us North. Because our wind was also from the North we had forces working against each other. This all made for a very rolly, windy ride!!

Once close to Bimini we put down the sails and prepared to enter the harbor. We kept hearing that a catamaran was stuck on a sandbar – their were several USA boats coming in at the same time. It turns out the cat had entered another little harbor to the South Bimini marina and it was low tide which made the entrance even impassable for a cat that draws very little under their boat. Our draft is 6′ so we were being very careful. We were not going toward South Bimini so we headed up our entrance to Brown’s Marina – we saw water depth over 7′ the entire way (thank goodness) – again, this was low tide, actually almost slack tide! The slack tide made it easier to get into the harbor and eventually our slip.

Once in our slip we cleaned up the boat – things were everywhere since the ride over had been so bumpy! Nothing broken but things were scattered around like you would expect.

We headed up to the marina bar area, completed our immigration forms and went to customs office and immigration office. We were warned that I should remain outside as only the captain is to have left the boat.

We continued walking up the street (Queen’s Hwy) to the BTC store to get a sim chip – they were closed already (it was 4:45, they closed at 4:30… probably earlier… you know “Bahamas time”). We continued on up to Dolphin Electronics to get out Aliv MIFI. They only took cash and it was $180 for the MIFI90 and the device. So after 2Km we turned around dejected. Luckily we spotted another Aliv sign just south of the Dolphin Electronics place and headed in. It was called “Computer Cater” and Lena (maybe the owner) helped us get set up. The same device was only $140 and Lena took credit cards.

These stores etc were really hard to identify – most looked like just a residence or something – so different that US shops. As we headed back, just south of Computer Cater was this cool conch bar “Joe’s Conch Shack” unfortunately not open just now.

Back at the boat we decided showers were in order and the marina showers were great – really hot! We enjoyed the evening relaxing after a busy BUSY day. We were both just so exhausted! We chatted a bit with our boat neighbors and I spotted several bull sharks swimming around our boat. One was larger than me – just massive and he kept coming to the surface. TERRIFYING!!

We both slept in on Tuesday, which felt delightful. The previous night at Key Biscayne had been super rolly and with the anxiety of the crossing neither of us slept well. So some extra hours of sleep were wonderful! We moved around slowly and finally headed up the street to get our BTC esim. We stopped at Big Game marina where they have a lot of sharks due to the fish cleaning station. None here were the size that I saw last night around the boat.

Getting the BTC esim for my phone proved very difficult and took almost two hours! So we lost most of the day. We decided to get back to the boat for lunch and then headed to Radio Beach to swim. We had a great time at the beach and I collected a ton of beach glass which I always enjoy. Stew even found a little blue piece. The water at the beach was so aqua – just beautiful on the white sand. We were so busy enjoying ourselves that we didn’t take any pictures!! Go figure!

We spent the evening looking at weather and reading about the Berry islands – trying to figure out where we wanted to land eventually. It would take us 2 days to get to the Berry’s, so we would have to anchor in the middle of the Great Bahama Bank… a little scary since we would be completely off grid with no protection. But we thought everything looked good. We will double check again tomorrow.

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