We made it to the Bahamas!!

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 1/3/21 – 1/10/22

Last Sunday was quite nice! I cleaned the inside of the boat, took a nap in the sun and jumped in the ocean while Ray relocated the diesel lift pump for the generator and mounted them on vibration eliminating brackets (he hates anything that makes noise so this was an exciting improvement).

One of the cruisers a few mooring balls away from us stopped by to introduce himself, so we held his dinghy line off our stern in the name of social distancing and chatted for a while. He gave us some great tips on where to go in the Bahamas (he’s been cruising them for years), and urged us to start a YouTube channel so he could follow along with our adventures.

Just before sunset we saw a familiar boat pulling up- it was Jamie! He decided to head down towards Miami from Ft. Lauderdale, so Ray helped him get on a mooring ball by us and we had a few drinks together before calling it a night.

Monday morning we went to shore for coffee + ended up grabbing some- you guessed it- more Cuban food for lunch. If you’re ever in the Coconut Grove/Miami area, you have to go to Versailles and get their chicken and yellow rice or the Cuban sandwich, and thank me later!

After lunch we stopped by the marina office and picked up the last of our packages, then headed back to the boat to get some chores done.

Our Tuesday to do list looked a little something like this: 

  • Get COVID-19 tests
  • Return marina key card 
  • Get cash for Bahamas customs 
  • Refill propane tanks
  • Get gas for dinghy 
  • Pick up boat part for our friends already in the Bahamas 
  • Get eggs and salad supplies from grocery store 
  • Place an Instacart order of beer/wine/liquor 

Luckily, we got everything except our propane tanks taken care of! 

For our COVID-19 tests, we went with Blue Med Consultants. For $250 per person, they met us outside at the marina we were staying at, swabbed us, and sent us our test results via email that night. For us, not having to make an appointment somewhere ahead of time, when we never know where we’re going to be or for how long, made it worth it on its own. Not having to figure out land transportation to an office, or risk missing our weather window because of longer result processing times either was just the icing on the cake! Blue Med Consultants have totally catered to cruisers with their approach, and we had a great experience with them.

I uploaded our negative test results to both our health visa applications Wednesday morning and we were approved within an hour of submitting + paying the $60 application fee.

Once that was finished, we had some breakfast and headed to shore to take our last bit of trash in and top off our propane tanks. Our Lyft driver on the way to the propane place was a Cuban immigrant who told us about his 3 day journey to the US with his family in a RAFT when he was 17. He talked about how scary it was, and how he lost a lot of his friends to big waves and sharks on similar trips. He said he arrived in Key West in 1994, and waited a year to get his green card. Can you even imagine what that would’ve been like? 

Anyway, once we got back to the boat we decided to head back to the anchorage we were at last week just outside of No Name Harbor in Key Biscayne so that we wouldn’t have to worry about navigating the shallow mooring field at low tide before beginning our passage to the Bahamas. So, we hopped off our mooring ball and motored for about an hour.

We dropped anchor around 2pm and spent the rest of the day trying to understand what was going on at the Capitol, the meaning of it all, and how it’s being reported… all while admittedly feeling grateful to be leaving the country in the morning. We enjoyed our last sunset in the US, made some dinner, and called it a night. 

We left at first light Thursday morning and motor sailed all the way to the Bahamas! 

We had about 10-15kn of wind coming from the exact direction we needed to go the entire time, so we hoisted the main but kept both engines on in an effort to counteract that and the Gulf Stream. We moved pretty slowly, with our SOG averaging about 5kn, but it was sunny and warm out so we couldn’t complain! I pulled out the camera and filmed, but there wasn’t much going on honestly. So, we chopped up the footage and made a short little video- just a peek into our Bahamas crossing- and posted it. Did you see it? 

I’m new to filming and editing so I learned a lot with how this footage turned out, and hopefully my next try will be better. 🙂 If you missed it, you can watch it here, and let me know what you think! 

We arrived in South Bimini around 3pm and tied off in an empty marina. 

This marina is in the center of a condo complex/resort, and we have the whole place to ourselves because of the decrease in tourism because of COVID-19. It’s a bit sad and eerie, but we definitely feel safe! 

We checked in and cleared customs that evening, and ventured out the next day to North Bimini. We picked up an Aliv 4G hotspot, which is like a battery operated portable WiFi hotspot that we can use when we’re in less-remote places. We grabbed some fried fish and chips for lunch from a place a local recommended, then took the ferry back to South Bimini. There’s a cold front passing through (by cold I mean mid 60s), so we haven’t explored the beaches yet, but it’s supposed to warm up again in the next few days! 

Saturday morning was the first day we received a link via email for the health survey- a short questionnaire we’re supposed to fill out and submit everyday for the first 14 days we’re here. It was pretty straight forward, it asked if we were showing any COVID-19 symptoms or if we’d knowingly been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for the virus. We filled it out and spent the rest of the day relaxing at home, editing footage, and looking through charts to help us decide where we want to go next. We have to get another COVID-19 test on our 5th day in the country, so we’re planning on hanging out in Bimini until then so we can get that taken care of easily, but after that we’re itching to anchor out somewhere more remote, and farther South. 

Today is chilly but sunny, so maybe we’ll go explore a bit more. 

That’s all I have to update you on this week! I hope you had a good week and are finding some personal peace and joy, despite all the craziness in the news. ❤️

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