Last night we transited the Ft. Pierce inlet just as it was getting dark. On
our way out we had to fight the tide and it was a little rough at the
entrance. A Coast Guard boat pulled into the inlet behind us and followed us
closely, then turned on his blue patrol lights. For a moment I thought they
were going to do a safety check on us in the middle of the tide and the
swells (not good.) I called them on the VHF and they said to maintain our
present course and speed, then passed us and proceeded to wherever they were
needed shortly thereafter.
As we exited the inlet and turned south, the waves were a little bigger than
predicted, but we stuck with the plan to follow the coast. I enjoyed sailing
down the coast after midnight because there was something to watch. When
you’re offshore there’s typically nothing visual to measure how fast you’re
going, but with the hotels and radio towers I could follow our progress on
something other than the GPS. At 4:00 a.m. we were 3 nm north of the Lake
Worth Inlet and the wind was increasing on our nose while the waves were
growing bigger. This corresponded with the forecast that things would be
rougher south than north, so at that point we decided to turn east and head
for the Bahamas.
As expected, the Gulf Stream carried us north, and we weren’t quite able to
sail, but motor-sailing we made acceptable time (around 5 knots for the
trip.) We entered the Little Bahama Bank north of Memory Rock and proceeded
to Mangrove Cay where we’re anchored tonight. I fished as we crossed the
Gulf Stream, but didn’t have any luck. The bright clear waters of the bank
were a welcome sight and it feels great to sit in the sun surrounded by the
various shades of blue and turquoise.
We arrived just as the light was failing and had dinner ready shortly
thereafter. Nermal is excited that he gets to play on deck again, and wasted
no time jumping up onto his normal perch on the bimini this afternoon.
Tomorrow we’re headed for Powell Cay for another anchorage that is protected
from the east winds. On Monday we’ll proceed to Green Turtle Cay to clear
customs we can begin to explore.