Crossing to Bimini ... Pen's account ...
Well, here we are, by God, in Bimini, and it looks like we'll be here for a couple of days until another front passes. It turned out to be an uneventful passage but physically uncomfortable because of the wave motion and little wind to help the sail steady the boat.
We left No Name Harbor at 0345 and wafted through the South Florida Channel in the mist illuminated by the lights of greater Miami. A couple of hours out and the motion got to us. James was over the rails, heaving his little guts out and I was splayed out in the cockpit trying not to feed the fish. I so wanted to go hold his head and hand him a towel. He just seemed so vulnerable. Of course, I was also thinking, omigod, what will happen if neither of us can function? What if he falls overboard? What if, what if? I am not cut out for adventure, I guess.
But once our tummies quieted down and the sun rose directly ahead of us, I was refreshed and comforted. It's the dark that feeds the fears. Having slept a few hours myself, I relieved James at the helm. I was really enjoying the ride and listening to my I-pod as we motored sailed. Then I looked up at the mainsail and saw a batten sneaking out of its sleeve ... well, more than sneaking out ... it was on the march. I hated waking James but knew we had to get that sucker back where it belonged, which required lowering the main and wrestling with it amidst the rolling swells. When the batten was finally back where it belonged, we secured the main and rolled out the genoa. James is not happy with the sail maker who refurbished the sail and did such a poor job of securing the battens. Another batten is trying to work its way out, as well, and we don't have the proper tool to really get them back in tightly. Oh well, we'll figure something out.
We arrived around 1300 at Alice Town harbor in North Bimini and by the time we got to the slip Blue Water Marina, we were exhausted by James was beyond that. He checked in at immigration and through customs while I straightened out the mainsail and chatted with a couple of good old boys on a boat next to us. Then we took showers and explored greater Alice Town (it took ten minutes) and had lobster and fries at C J's Deli on the hill. It stretches the definition of "deli" to the nth degree. It was an L-shaped counter. The one part had two or three stools, and the other section separated the cooking area. The third wall held a cooler with soft drinks and beer. Room enough for five people at the most, James and I and three Bahamian women, all friends, but I couldn't tell who were actually employees. How more than one could operate in the kitchen was beyond me. But we had our lobster and fries and shared a Kalik beer (our islands favorite) under a tree overlooking the beach and the Atlantic, sitting on an auto seat and eating our food on a table that slanted so much down toward the sea that we had to be careful to catch our sliding plates and beer. Idyllic as the sun waned in the western sky. Here at last!