Posted by: bearcruzer | December 29, 2009

The Crossing

Dec 25, 2009

We had been anchored in Angelfish Creek for 3 days watching the weather and waiting to cross to the Bahamas.   We had a window on Christmas day.  It was a small window but we thought if the weather does what they are predicting the winds should switch from the North to the E or SE and diminish somewhat and the seas should in turn also decrease enough to cross.   We set the alarm for Midnight.   I couldn’t sleep so I stayed awake till Mike got up at midnight to check the conditions of the weather.  The winds had switched to the East but had not diminished.  Mike and I decided to wait a few more hours to see if the winds would calm a little bit.  He told me to catch some sleep and he would wake me if a few hours.   At 2:30 am Christmas Day, we began what was to become one of my most memorable Christmases ever.    The winds had calmed to a gentle 17 kts from 20 and so we traversed the narrow channel from Angelfish Creek and made our way out into the Atlantic.   The waves had yet to decrease and once we left the shelter of the reef we were met with 5-7 ft seas.   We continued on, hoping that the weatherman’s predictions would somehow come to pass.   Unfortunately, when we reached the Gulf Stream the waves increased to 7-9 ft and were very confused in their presentation.  Mike asked me twice if I wanted him to turn back but I told him,” If he was OK than so was I.”  He told me later he was hoping I would just say, “Yes let’s turn around” No such luck.   We rodeo’d the 52 miles across to the Bahamas and arrived at 2:30pm on Christmas Day.  For several hours, Dancing Dolphin took quite a few of the larger waves over her bow but handled them well.    The waves did finally calm to 5-7 ft again just before we reached Gun Cay.   Exhausted but happy that the ordeal/Adventure was over we made our way through the cut and anchored behind North Cat Cay off the end of their Airstrip.  We were met by the official greeter at Cat Cay, a brown pelican who swam around the boat a couple of times before deciding we did not have much in the way of a fine Christmas dinner or bait to share with him.   We showered and I took some photos,  for my Dad, of Aircraft that flew over us just before landing at the small Airstrip.    We then opened a bottle of wine, toasted our crossing and opened our Christmas Gifts to each other.    Michael said that of the 5 crossings to or from the Bahamas that he has made.  This one was definitely the worst.   We both had suffered from mild seasickness during the crossing but neither allowed ourselves to succumb to it.  We made it through thanks to our wristbands and Mom’s candied ginger and keeping our eyes on the horizon.   We both went to bed shortly after sunset and except for Mike getting up to check the anchor when the wind shifted, (back to the North) we both slept for the next 12 hours.

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