Oscar saw this on the chart and wanted to do a little exploring, so we altered our course slightly and did a sail by of Cay Sal, the southwesternmost island of the Bahamas.
From about a mile or two offshore, it looked quite delightful. A tiny one half by one mile uninhabited island with crystal clear blue water surrounding it. We decided that we need to visit on another trip when we have time to stop, drop anchor and go ashore to explore.
We’re now about 90 miles from Key West and after crossing the Gulf stream we expect to make landfall there shortly before sunrise.
I heard a noise behind me that sounded different from the usual boat noises. When I turned to look I saw a splash that looked different from the standard wave splashes. A few minutes later I saw the first dolphin and called the general alarm. “All hands on deck. Dolphins!” It was a good sized pod of bottlenose dolphins that swam and played around the boat for 15 to 20 minutes. What a wonderful way to top off a great day of sailing. I shot quite a lot of video. I’ll have to take a look at it when I get home and edit it into a usable video. I’ll post it here when I get that knocked out.
This life’s house marks the edge of the Bahamas bank where the water drops from 10 to 20 ft down to over 3,000 ft in a couple of miles! It also marks a turn in the Canal Viejos de Bahamas which is a regulated shipping channel between Cuba and the Bahamas.
We found a stow away, this little fellow has been hanging around with us for about an hour now! We’re about 35nm away from the closest land, That’s about 39 regular miles for you landlubbers.
Nothing says “I love you” like a busted fan belt! Luckily we’ve got lots of spares and we’re able to get replace this and are on our way.
Clear skies for most of the night with some beautiful views of the Milky Way and some spectacular meteorites last night!
We’re currently just south of The Turks and Caicos Islands, north of Hispaniola which contains the Dominican Republic and Haiti. That puts us a little over 1/3 of the way to Key West, averaging about 6.2kts. With 380nm behind us, we’re looking at about another 615nm to Key West. If the weather continues to cooperate, we may be pulling into Key West on Wednesday afternoon!
Well, we only saw one and I didn’t get a photo, nor do I have any idea what kind it was, but it was definitely a whale and we were close enough to hear it exhale before it disappeared below the surface!
We’re currently about 30 miles north of Cabo Francis Viejo, Dominican Republic, just south of the Silver Banks of the Bahamas.
About 30 minutes later I saw a half dozen whale breaches off at the distance. Way too far to do any identification or get pictures. It was still cool!
We also ran across this interesting buoy for a drifting fishing line a little earlier.
Good news, it looks like the weather Gods are treating us well this week! The storm that we were worried about seems to be weakening enough to allow us to continue our journey without needing to visit a protected harbor. Our current ETA has us in Key West on Friday Dec 9.
After motoring directly into the wind all afternoon, we rounded the Northeast corner of Puerto Rico a few hours after sunset. At 8:15 we were able to turn off the wind. We set our sails and are now flying northeast towards the Dominican Republic.
There's a bit of a storm heading our way, so we rushed up the provisioning and departed Palmas Del Mar harbor at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. Our goal is to get as many miles in as we can before the storm hits, ducking into the Dominican Republic if necessary to wait the storm out for a few days.
We're currently passing Ceiba Bay and Vieques Island that are both known for fantastic bioluminescence in the water during new moon periods!