Our 2002 Hylas 46

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finally in the Bahamas .......

February 9, 2015

Well the weather gods gave us a little grace and offered up a weather window to get to the Bahamas. We dropped our dock lines at Key West at 10AM Monday the 8th and set out for an overnight ride to Bimini, Bahamas. As predicted, we had a 15 to 20 knot east wind on the nose for the first 6 hours or so but as soon as we were able to add some north to our course we opened up the staysail and full mainsail. We motor sailed the entire 175 miles to Bimini as the wind was either 25 / 35 degrees off the nose or not strong enough to be able to turn the engine off. On the positive side the waves were 2 feet or less and with a partly cloudy sky we enjoyed a bright moon to see by. My first experience with the new AIS (Automatic Identification System) and it was very helpful as we were passed by no less than 8 cruise ships and cargo ships – the data provided makes it so easy to understand their course / speed and if a collision is possible. The system is mandatory for large ships and optional for pleasure craft – I have noticed that there are lot more personal boats that have them on board than eve two years ago. They also see all the data from Ambition – boat name, boat details, course, speed etc. I needed to change course for at least one cruise ship – apparently bigger does matter!  
I wanted to be in Bimini before noon as the weather gods were not overly kind! The entrance to Bimini is now much better indicated than the last time we were here but the water is still VERY thin – we arrived at almost high tide giving us an extra 2 feet of water depth – we gingerly entered with never less than 2 feet of water under the keel!

Cut into Bimini from Browns Marina

It became obvious that we were not the only ones that decided to make the jump from the US to the Bahamas – there were at least 40 other boats that arrived in Bimini along with us. The marinas are full and the line-ups to clear customs and immigration are the equivalent to a summer long weekend to Plattsburgh! The $300 winter visiting boat visa and fishing license is all done and we are officially ready to enjoy the Bahamas for the rest of the winter.  YYYEEESSSSS!!!!!

February 10, 2015
The weather gods were right and I am glad that I didn’t spend anytime washing the boat upon arrival – the skies opened up overnight and it just poured – Ambition was thankful for the automatic and free fresh water shower! All the deck salt is gone and she sparkles again.

This morning, the entrance to Bimini is awash with breaking waves – wind is 25 gusting 35 knots from the wrong direction to allow us to move on further across the banks and closer to Nassau and the Exumas. 

What a difference 24 hours makes ... ugh!
The beach view towards the gulf stream

Joe's Conch Shop
It will be Thursday before our next opportunity to move. So Maryse and I set off for a walkabout and stopped at Joe’s Conch Shop for our first Bahamian conch salad – for those that have never had one – you don’t know what you are missing – chunks of raw conch served in a bowl with chopped onion, tomato, bell peppers lots of lime juice and orange juice – chased with a very cold Kalik beer … oh life is good! 


  1. Hi guys,
    Nice to see the trip was uneventful. One thing though, your AIS track on the website stopped showing any movement about halfway to Bimini…Very nice photos - keep them coming- with the kind of winter we're having it's nice to look at something other than snow!

  2. I agree with Peter; it is so pleasant to escape our winter for a few minutes to scroll through the awesome pictures