Before going further need to wish two good friends a very Happy Birthday. Kathy Tennar my friend of more years than we wish to admit and fellow cruiser Al Watson, Happy Birthday!
The passage west from Hope Town was planned for just about 200 miles so we decided to break it up into two segments, each with there own challenge. The first leg was from Hope Town to Spanish Cay which included a trip through the Whale Cut Inlet and the second crossing the Gulf Stream at night.
First through we passed through the some amazing clear water that appeared to be Star Fish central. There were everywhere for about a mile. We had never seen such a concentration of them before and as you can see the sighting was easy!
There is large bar behind Whale Cay which forces all passing vessels to go out and around the Cay. In addition the Whale can be very unforgiving when passage is poorly timed in regards to tide against wind. We timed our passage so the tide and wind went the same direction!
This particular mariner did not do as well. It is a 100 foot barge that did not successfully navigate the Whale and stands as a reminder to all who pass.
Below is are track as we passed the Whale.
After a restful night anchored at Spanish Cay it was time to get on the move. We had a number of squalls chasing us out of the Bahamas! They came close but never did we get a drop of rain.
The Admiral at the helm and double checking our route.
The balance of our flotilla with our friends on Eleanor Q center frame.
Our plan was to cross the Little Bahmas Bank during daylight hours and then the Gulf Stream and open ocean overnight. The sun was setting as we approached the edge of the bank
We knew we were back in the USA when we came right into a traffic jam and had to wait for a large barge to enter Fort Pierce inlet before us.
After spending time in the Bahamas that has nearly zero navigation aids seeing this marker seemed quite odd!
A stroll around the deck uncovered two interlopers that caught a ride. Sadly these two flying fish missed their connection!
We had a very successful crossing and after entering Fort Pierce Inlet we continued onto Vero Beach for a visit with my cousin Penny and a few days of R&R!