Monday, May 15, 2017

Enjoying Bimini

Wrinkles behind Island Tyme

We arrived at Bimini Sands Marina in South Bimini on Thursday after an 8 hour sail. We like this marina better than the ones on North Bimini because it offers more protection from the current and it has floating docks. In addition it has bathrooms with showers (good but not great), laundry room (currently out of order), restaurant (not open til summer), Ship's Store (not open but being stocked), fuel dock (it works), swimming pool by office (very nice), infinity pool with bar/food service (awesome) and a beach. We keep saying this place has all the pieces and the location to be one hopping place. As it is, not so much. They have just received new management so maybe they will start taking steps to perk it back up.

For our needs, the place is fine. Our boats are safe and we enjoy the pools. We can walk about 1/3 mile to the ferry dock and get a ride to North Bimini for $2 each. The ride is only a few minutes long and then you have all of the shops, bars and beaches within walking distance. Oh, can't forget that Charlie's Bread is within walking distance as well. That is VERY important. The one negative is the blasted no-see-ums or sand flies as the locals call them. Each dawn and dusk they come out and attack. Regular screens do not stop them as they simply crawl right through the openings. We have added some tulle fabric to some of our screens which is a fine enough mesh to stop the little monsters. People use bug spray, Skin-So -Soft, etc. to ward them off, but nothing works for more than a very short time. The best defense is loose fitting clothes, strong wind or a fan.

We have enjoyed the infinity pool and the regular pool already as well as one trip to North Bimini. Yes, we bought two loaves of Charlie's bread on board. One Bimini bread and one coconut bread. Mike made Brenda Bimini bread French toast for her Mother's Day breakfast. Mike also cooked up some Blue Runner using a Long John Silver's type recipe to make fish bites as an appetizer for sundowners with Island Tyme. Yummm. We spend our time reading, doing boat projects, walking the docks looking at all the fish (Mike is constantly telling Brenda to be careful as this is where she broke her arm) and just enjoying our lives.

Fish Bites

We have been watching the weather for a window to cross back over the Gulf Stream. We aren't sure if we want a window to open or not. We enjoy it here.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Back In Bimini

Wrinkles and Island Tyme

After spending a very calm night on Mackie Shoal we awoke by 6 a.m. to be ready for another long day of motorsailing. The forecast was for very light winds which of course meant relying on the motor yet again. It is ironic that we got tired of hiding from the high winds in the Exumas only to be met with a total lack of wind as we motored west. By 7 a.m. we were cruising along with just the genoa and the staysail up which provided us with a little boost. The water was so calm we watched the bottom go by as clearly as if we were snorkeling. We could see starfish, bowl coral and several kinds of fish. Mike and Gail both had lines out, but the barracudas that are in the shallow waters bit through the steel leaders. Guess we'll have to grill the fish from last night.

Wrinkles getting a much needed cleaning.

After 6-7 hours we started hailing Bimini Sands Marina on the VHF in an effort to secure boat slips. We tried numerous times on channel 16 and 68 without getting any response. We decided to just sail into the marina and flag someone down. We entered ahead of Island Tyme and tried unsuccessfully to get the employees' attention. We circled a couple times waving at the dock people who just ignored us. We decided to pull into a slip where Mike would drive the boat up to the dock and then jump out to catch the lines which Brenda would throw with her one good arm. Someone to catch our lines would certainly have been appreciated. No stress here!

Thankfully our docking went very smoothly. Mike ran up to the marina office as Island Tyme continued to do circles in the basin. It was hard to believe no one was paying any attention to us. When Mike got to the office the woman said, "Oh, we are having radio problems." She said to talk to the dock master whose was actually right outside pumping fuel. He had been right outside watching us do circles and waving our arms. I asked where he wanted us to dock and he said, "Right over where you are is OK."

Mike hustled back and told Don and Gail to pick any slip near us. They did a great job of bringing Island Tyme into the slip where we grabbed and secured their lines. Whew! Glad that is over with.

We secured our boats, showered and then walked over to the Thirsty Turtle for their awesome pizza. The waitress/bartender was about as interested in helping us as our dock master, but the food was terrific. Now that we are here we will explore Bimini some more and eat as much of Charlie's bread as we can. When a solid weather window opens up we will cross back over the Gulf Stream to Florida. What an adventure we are having.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

One Of The Most Magical Evenings Of Our Lives

Wrinkles at Mackie Shoal

Enroute from Chubb Cay, Berry Islands to Bimini we arrived at Mackie Shoal after a long 10 hour motorsail. We caught a Spanish Mackeral along the way which Mike cleaned as we made our way to the anchorage. If you aren't a sailor you have probably never heard of Mackie Shoal. It is simply a low water area between the Berry Islands and Bimini that boaters use as an overnight rest stop. The water is only 6 to 12' deep there which makes it a nice spot to drop your anchor in settled weather. Otherwise the sail from Chubb Cay to Bimini is about an 18 hour crossing for slow sailboats like ours.


Island Tyme

We dropped our anchors and made plans for a fish dinner aboard Wrinkles at 6:30 p.m. We picked up Don and Gail and ferried them over to Wrinkles. We grilled the Spanish Mackeral along with Spanish Rice and Green Bean casserole for a very memorable dinner. The sunset was amazing as there is no land within 30 miles offering a 360 degree horizon. We ate our awesome meals and watched an incredible sunset followed by an equally amazing full moon rising.


As Mike dinghied Don and Gail back to Island Tyme they marveled at the moon's reflection of their boat's image on the water. It was a truly magical evening that few people have had the privilege of experiencing.