Thursday, May 25, 2017

Crossing Back To Florida From Bimini

Brenda getting one last shelling walk in.

The time had finally come for us to let go of the docklines and cross the Gulf Stream from Bimini back to Florida. We celebrated one last time at the Thirsty Turtle with pizza and drinks. We were joined by Don and Gail (Island Tyme), Rick and Candice (Wings) and Billy and Kathleen (Efandee). We made plans for a 6 a.m. departure anticipating low winds and 2-3' seas. The early departure gave us 14 hours of daylight to cross over to either Key Biscayne or Miami. We (Wrinkles and Island Tyme) hoped to be able to reach No Name Harbor (Key Biscayne area), but it all depended upon the speed of the Gulf Stream current.

Island Tyme under full sail crossing the Gulf Stream

The winds were a gentle 7 knots from the south and the waves flowing north in the current were just what we expected. We motorsailed all day averaging just 4.8 knots. That current can really slow a boat down as our compass was usually 25 degrees different than our GPS heading. There were lots of monster commercial ships going north and south which we kept close tabs on. We only had to maneuver a couple of times to make sure we weren't going to get run over. The sun was shining and the boats were both happily sailing along.

We eventually spotted the high rise buildings of Miami off to the west which truly signaled the end of the Bahamas portion of this trip. The winds picking up to 10-12 knots helped improve our progress. We motored into Key Biscayne and found spots to drop our anchors just outside No Name Harbor. That was as pleasant a crossing as we could have hoped for. We were pleased to have arrived by 4:45 p.m. allowing us time to report to the U.S. coast Guard that we had arrived. We had signed up for the Local Boater Option which allowed us to call in rather than report in person. Well, at least that is the way it is supposed to work. Brenda called in and listened to the automated phone message telling her to select "Local Boater Option participant without a float plan". She selected that option and then was rudely treated by the officer who answered. He claimed she hadn't announced we were Local Boater Option participants even though she did give him Mike's LBO number. The officer refused to take the information and told us we had 24 hours to report in person and then he hung up. Welcome back to the USA.

Anchorage near No Name Harbor


We called in again and got a different officer who very politely reopened our file and simply typed in our LBO numbers and said "You are all set. Have a nice day." We wonder what kind of a bad day that first officer was having. OK, a cold drink, a little food and off to bed.


1 comment:

  1. Ah, I suppose even USCG officers have bad days! Good on you for calling in a second time - I don't think I would have thought to try that! Oh, and welcome back!