Apr 082022

The wreck of the Sapona is about 5 miles off the west coast of Bimini. The winds this morning are not favourable for a visit but are to lie down a bit by this afternoon.

Assessing the winds are favourable we jump in Heliopause with Patti and Todd from Alcyone and venture out to see the famous cement ship.

She was purchased and moved to Bimini, using it as a warehouse for alcohol during the era of Prohibition The owner also intended to use the ship as a floating nightclub, although this plan never came to fruition. In 1926 the ship ran aground in a hurricane and broke apart during a rum run.

During WWII the wreck was used for target practice by the US Army and Navy. Flight 19 vanished while returning from a bombing run to the Sapona.

The wreck lies in about 15 feet (4.6 m) of water, the stern broken off and partially submerged by hurricanes that struck in 2004. Little concrete is left on the hull because of the effects of bombing and weathering.

It is a great space for snorkeling and fishing as well. Scott quickly jumps in the water and checks the anchor hold. He snorkels around the wreck where people are swimming in the crevasses and jumping from what is left of the deck. As the engineer scans the wreck he quickly realizes that no one should be anywhere on or under the remains. It is barely being held together and will fall at moments notice. He only swims at a safe distance from what is left of the hull.

Coming back to the boat he notices the grasses move and determines there are conch living here. We are allowed 6 conch per day per boat. He only takes 4 and the larger ones of the lot. Conch in The Bahamas is a staple for the locals. We foreigners have restrictions but it seems the locals do not based on the amount of thrown out shells we see.

Heading back before the winds pick up yet again Patti and I contemplate how to cook this delicacy. Scott researches the internet to learn how to shuk the conch properly. He does figure that part out but the cleaning of the conch is more difficult. A local watches him struggle and comes to the rescue. He shows Scott how to do it properly but I think those skilled hands won’t be happening any time soon.

 Posted by at 1:55 PM
Apr 022022

The winds were calm for the night for a good night’s sleep here at Pumpkin Key. In the morning 5 boats head out Angelfish Cut on route to Bimini. The cut is a narrow well marked channel to the Atlantic. We did not see less than 7 feet at high tide. As One Eye Dog and another Catarmaran, Queen of Virginia, make their way across at 15 knts, Alcyone, Santosha and ourselves take the slow rate of 9 knots across. The crossing was amazing with only 1-2 foot seas with rollers just off our beam. Winds were calm out of the south. The amazing royal blue colour of the Atlantic Ocean is fascinating. The colour is such a deep royal it mesmerizes you as you cross into the Gulf stream and have an extra couple knots of push. Scott takes advantage of the push and sets a heading so the boat will follow the heading but not have to compensate very often for the extra push on the beam.

Getting into The Bahamian waters we put up our yellow quarantine flag. Not for covid, but a custom of going into another country by boat, until you clear customs and immigration. The Captains hop in the jelopy, where Scott pulls the door closed and the entire door skin and handle fall off, and there they go to customs at the airport in South Bimini. Bahama style. The fellas get through all the government regulations and we are now legal in The Bahamas. They are chauffeured back to the boat and we replace our yellow flag with the flag of this new to us country.

We are slipped in South Bimini at the Bimini Cove Resort Marina. Water is metered as is power. There is an infinity pool that is the same colour as the ocean. Beach and snorkeling on premises and the ability to fish in the marina. Our fishing licenses come with the Custom fee paid online and our cruising permit. There is lots to see but our first priority will be SIM cards for our phone. Too late in the day to get that now so we head off to the pool where we meet our You Tube Channel Canadian influencers, C-Shels. We have been watching their videos for years. We spend about an hour with them at the pool and head back to the boat for dinner as the noseeums begin to appear.

 Posted by at 4:28 PM
Apr 012022

We have reservations at Marlin Bay until April 14 however when the weather aligns for a crossing to the Bahamas you take it. They are few and far between, especially this year, with these crazy winds we have been having. So we choose an anchorage north of Key Largo and begin our day with at least 5 other boats heading out. Some are continuing north and others are crossing. There are some shallow waters we will traverse today however those will be done at high tide. Always watching tides, weather, winds while traveling is a must. The channels are narrow in parts as well but large enough for us to still enjoy the sights. We pass Islamorada and Key Largo. Along this trek we are welcomed by a family of dolphins who give us a show for about 15 minutes. I did manage to take some video. This experience is such a wonderful experience that it is hard to put into words.

Approaching the anchorage our friends One Eye Dog are there along with 2 other boats. This is a large anchorage and a good 10 foot depth for a longer day of travel from Marathon. It took us the better part of 8 hours and 75 miles behind us.

We are so excited for the next part of our travels to the Bahamas.

 Posted by at 12:28 PM