We have now been home for nearly a week and are still talking about our epic trip to the islands. There were several firsts for us on this trip. First and foremost we took TO Escape to another country; we’ve planned a trip to the Bahamas for several years and finally made it. For one reason or another we were not able to make them. Maybe it was a good thing because those trips would have been much shorter and not nearly as many ports would have been visited. They say things happen for a reason.
Another first on this trip was it was the most consecutive days that we had stayed on the boat at 24 nights in a row. Believe it or not nobody was hurt and it went by like it was only a week. We have previously only been on the boat for about 9 consecutive nights and that now only seems like a few days compared to this trip. It will be hard to top this one but we’re willing to give it a try should we get the opportunity.
This trip had us stopping at the most number of ports, 14, during a single trip. Our previous was 7 when we circumnavigated the Florida peninsula during a cruise with the yacht club and 3 other boats. We wished we would have made a few other stops along the way but maybe that will be for our next trip.
There were several firsts when it came to the water we traveled over. We navigated a total distance of over 750 miles of water during a single trip. We are not sure of our previous total exactly but it did not come close to this distance. We also navigated the deepest water at over 13,000 feet, and probably the shallowest at 4 feet. Well the shallowest could be debated if you include the time TO Escape was grounded; that was less than 39 inches, closer to 24 inches. As we stated, the water is not remotely close to that deep off of the eastern coast of Florida or in the Keys where we normally travel. The 115 miles straight may have beat our previous longest by about 5 miles however we are not sure if it is actually the longest we traveled. We had a stretch where we traveled from Miami to Stuart and that is about 110 miles. And now that we think about it we did travel from Stuart to near Marathon over the course of two days without stopping when we first bought TO Escape and brought her to her new home. That would have been a good 200 miles so maybe that is the longest though we did make some pit stops along the way if that makes a difference.
The water in the Bahamas is as clear as Bacardi rum and just as warm. During our short travels to the outer islands the bottom can be seen almost all the time. The clearest water was probably in Bimini. It was certainly the prettiest of colors where the water went from a greenish turquoise blue to a bluer aqua blue before it dropped off to a deep ocean blue. We tried to take a picture of it but nothing can duplicate the beauty of the brilliant colors seen with the human eye.
The water we traveled was filled with life just about everywhere we went. We started with many variety of reef fish, barracuda, rays and bull sharks in Bimini, saw dolphin, Mahi, Tuna and baitfish during our travels and ended with a pilot whale in the middle of the ocean on our way back to the US. We’ve always wanted to see a whale in the wild and we finally did. The one fish that eluded us was the Marlin; it would have been nice to see one on the end of our line but it wasn’t to be on this trip.
On land the usual suspects can be found like iguanas, lizards, Key West roosters and of course mosquitoes. Bimini once again took the lead with the mosquitoes as we had hundreds of bites on our first night there. We quickly learned our lesson and did not leave the boat without spraying on a healthy dose of Deet to deter them from eating us.
The marinas that we stayed at were all nice with some being nicer than others. Chub Cay was by far the nicest place we stayed and it was by far the priciest placed we stayed so I guess you get what you pay for as they say. All of the docks were good and nothing to really complain about except for the lack of power at some of our stops. It still amazes us how often the islands have power interruptions. If it’s wasn’t a lack of power it was a lack of provisions like when we had to wait for fuel. We were at another marina that sold fuel but were out for over a week with no delivery date in sight. It must be tough not having to have everything that you need at anytime that you need it like we are so accustomed to having here in the states. Another thing to get used to is the business hours of operation. Most places close during lunch time, close at 5p and are closed on Sundays; does anyone remember when it was like that here. We appreciate the accessibility now. Restaurant hours are another thing to get used to. They are not open all day like they are here in the states. Breakfast places close at 11a, lunch places are from 11a to 2p and dinner places don’t open until 5p at the earliest. So don’t get hungry at 3p and expect to go out and get a bite to eat because you won’t find anything open in the islands.
Our journey was one filled with many memories that we will be able to relive and talk about for many years to come. The places that we visited most people will never get a chance to visit in their lifetime unless they island hop like we did. The islanders that we met and talked to on our travels had said that we visited more islands than they have visited and they live there. The people in the islands were extremely friendly and that was a welcoming sight for us coming from an area that always seems to be on the go and doesn’t have the time to be friendly to a visitor.
There are so many things that we know that we missed and we are already planning to return should we ever get the chance. We enjoyed the people and the places we visited. The food that we had and tried was all good as were the new dinks that we tried. This was a dream of ours to do on our boat and we are excited to be able to say that we have been able to check it off of our list.
This will be our last post and we hope that you have enjoyed our journey as much as we have. We have enjoyed sharing our memories with you and we look forward to the next adventure that we may be able to share. Thank you for following our blog, reading our posts and commenting to us! We wish everyone safe travels on their adventures!