I just got back from a two week trip to help my son and daughter-in-law take their Bayfield 36 from Ft. L to Nassau via West End and the Berry Islands. The first week was spent readying the boat, provisioning, getting fishing gear, etc. We spent Saturday night at Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderdale and left under a full moon at 3am out the inlet and headed NW across the Gulf Stream to West End. Not much wind so we ended up motor sailing most of the way. Beautiful sunrise while the full moon was still up.
We covered the 70+NM to West End in about 12 hours and got a slip at the Marina, which was about empty, and had the Mahi Mahi that we caught on the way for dinner and toasted the day with a couple of Margaritas!
We needed to be in Nassau by Thursday so I could catch my flight back to Ft. L so we didn't have much time to relax and explore. We set out the next morning for Great Hbr Cay, 80+NM. We had to motor for most of the day, not a ripple, but it made up for it when the sun went down. We were tacking into 25-30 knot winds and 4-6'waves until we pulled into the bay about 3am and set the hook in a nice sandy spot. We caught a nice tuna while motoring and had it for lunch. The next day we went ashore and had a nice swim and a beach walk then motorsailed about 10 NM (and we caught a big fish, we think it was some kind of Jack?, tasted like Halibut) to a little anchorage by Hoffman Cay where we set the hook near another sailboat with the winds out of the SE. We woke up to cloudy skies and winds out of the North at about 15-20 knots. We had planned to relax for the day on the pretty white beach but since the winds were in our favor to head south to Nassau and it was cool and cloudy we decided to go for a downwind run to New Providence Island (Nassau).
The last picture is of a big Spanish Mackeral that we caught while on the way to Nassau, what to do with it all was becoming a bit of a problem. We had a great downwind sail, 40+NM on a single broad reach in 4-6' waves with a modest swell. We made good time and set the hook in West Bay just before dark in the lee of the island and just off the beach from some enormous mansions. The next day we woke up to strong north winds which wasn't good as we had to go around to the north side of the island to get to a marina where I could catch a taxi to the airport. It was raining a bit and cool. We pulled the hook and motored out the shallow channel and I could see that it was going to be nasty up ahead when we cleared the protection of the point, and we were going to be directly broadside to the rollers. It was worse than it looked and in the middle of it all, we caught another fish (have I mentioned that my son doesn't go anywhere without trailing a line?). Ben was steering the boat, I was holding the pole and trying to hold onto the rail, Kristen was down below trying to hold onto the dog. We aborted and set the hook back where we started, with a nice big grouper to add to the stores. We had to dinghy to the far side of the bay and make our way to a deserted looking road where Ben and I started walking in an effort to find a way to the airport. After walking about a mile and seeing the road ran another mile with no sign of a store or a house I flagged down a pickup truck and a very nice Bahamian man named Jackson offered to take me to the airport(I was getting more than a little worried about catching my flight). I had a great time and hated to leave. Ben and Kristen will spend a few days in Nassau and then are heading for the Exumas where Jackson tells me they will not want to leave.