The past three weeks have flown by as we enjoyed having friends aboard and we continue meandering our way from USVI to Puerto Rico and now into the Bahamas.
Picking up where we left off in the last update, we were in St. Thomas USVI after a super fun week with our Grandson Liam and his Mom & Dad, Ashley & Tim as we sadly took them over to the airport to fly back to Florida.
We then anchored Möbius over on the East end of St. Thomas so that we could pick up our very good friends Bob & Sue from Victoria BC when they flew in a few days later.
We spent the next few days moving Möbius along similar routes to the ones in the map above to show Sue & Bob around St. Thomas and St. John Islands.
Bob & Sue were keen for some passage time aboard Möbius so they set up their return flights out of San Juan so they could join us on the relatively short trip from USVI over to Puerto Rico.
So we moved over to Brewers Bay on the West end of St. Thomas for the last night in USVI before making the short jump over to the small island of Culebra that is part of Puerto Rico. The RED route on the map here. (click to enlarge)
Christine & I had been to Culebra doing delivering a catamaran for some dear friends back in 2017 so it was fun for us to be back in this small island again as well.
Next hop was over to Salinas on the South coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, GREEN on the map above, which was another spot that we had been to previously on that same delivery.
Timing also worked out just perfect as some long time sailing friends of Christine were spending their last night on their sailboat in Salinas before sailing off to Antigua the next morning. We joined Willie, Mark, Dick & Deb for a fabulous group lobster dinner in the small restaurant at the Salinas Marina to send them off in grand fashion.
Mark kindly extended the lease on his rental car so we enjoyed that luxury to spend the day on the road with Sue & Bob seeing more of Puerto Rico including a stop for some delicious lunch at a roadside pig roast spot that was a favorite of Willie’s and then dropped Sue & Bob off at the San Jose airport. Bon voyage nos Amis, thanks for the memories.
And !poof! just like that everyone was gone and it was back to just the two of us on Möbius as the Captain took us out of Salinas Bay for our next leg of the journey.
We needed to check out of Puerto Rico so we moved over to the small anchorage in Puerto Real on the far West end of PR. WHITE on the map.
We stayed in Puerto Real for the night and enjoyed a good dinner out at the local restaurant by the marina. This was our first time in a marina this year, last time was in the Canary Islands in December before heading out on our Atlantic Crossing. Solar panels are working eXtremely well and we have not needed shore power since we left Greece back in October nor most of the past year but being on the dock was convenient for doing the check out and a date night before heading off for the Bahamas.
More and more countries are automating their marine check in/out process to be done online and this is working better and better but still has some odd bugs in the system and took us a few hours to complete but all went well in the end.
We anchored outside the marina for the day and left later in the afternoon to time our arrival in the Bahamas to be in daylight for good visual navigation. This would be about 600 nautical miles (690 miles/1,110 km) passage and would take us a bit less than three days.
We decided to head for Clarence Town to check into the Bahamas, a favorite of Christine’s from her many years sailing the Bahamas in her previous boats years ago. You can click to enlarge this map but it is challenging to show the Bahamas on a map as it consists of more than 3,000 islands, cays, and islets and most of these only show up when you zoom way in. But the RED line in this map will give you a rough idea of our route.
It is estimated that the Bahamas’ territory encompasses 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space with a total population of 400 thousand people spread across this area.
As usual, Weather Wonder Woman Christine found us another great weather window with very calm wind and seas making for smooth sailing as we settled into passage making mode for the next three days.
For those interested in the boat’s performance, I’ve highlighted some of the key stats on our Maretron N2KView screen here. I’ve set up two different SOG Speed Over Ground SOG meters, the one in Green is showing 9.5kts SOG averaged over about 3 minute intervals to give a better reading vs the one in Yellow showing 10.6kts which is the instantaneous SOG at the moment. When calculated for the entire 560nm passage our average SOG anchorage to anchorage was 8.5kts and our overall fuel burn average for the passage was 1.7 L/NM or 2.2 NM/USG.
The RED circle is the EGT or Exhaust Gas Temperature showing 359 degrees C / 678 F which translates into about 80% load. We keep the EGT between 330-360C most of the time as this seems to be the best combination of ideal load, fuel burn and speed. We will continue to try out other settings and report on the results in future updates.
As you can see, conditions were ideal for power boating for most of our three days at sea and we only put the paravanes out for one night to reduce the roll when we encountered some larger swells out of the NE.
The canine crew seemed to approve as well.
We pulled into the well protected bay just off of Clarence Town on the North coast of Long Island and had the anchor down just after 10am Thursday, 13th of April. As you can see depths in most bays and cays in the Bahamas is very shallow, averaging about 2.4m/8ft here and will help you understand why we worked so hard with Dennis to minimize our draught which is about 1.4m/4.6ft.
This is a relatively remote Port of Entry for the Bahamas and we had checked in online before arrival and then spoke with the agent by phone when we were anchored. He is based over in Stella Maris on the other side of Long Island but he kindly offered to make the 90 minute drive and met us at the Government Wharf I’ve pointed to above and we completed the paperwork and got our passports stamped there and we were now officially in the Bahamas!
Christine went ashore the next day to stretch her legs and got a kick out of the slightly dark humour of the location of this Covid Test center from months previous. Fortunately she reported no dead men sighted.
We had a good night’s sleep and woke up to find over 10 other boats anchored around us, the nerve! So we pulled up anchor and headed up to the very North end of Long island Green route here.
Christine had picked out a lovely little bay just around the Northern tip of Long Island at Cape Santa Maria and she maneuvered us in and I dropped the anchor onto the sandy bottom in about 2.5m/8ft of water.
This is the view looking South as we enjoyed sundowners just the way we like it; the only boat in the bay.
After enjoying the tranquility of our private anchorage, we continued to follow our previous wakes through many of the small Bahamian islands and cays and yesterday morning we made the jump North to another favorite anchorage at Rudder Cut Cay. This photo will help you see how thin and small these cays are.
This spot is quite famous amongst cruisers as it has a sunken statue of a mermaid playing a piano in the shallow waters here. I went into our archives and dug up this photo from May 8, 2017 with me checking it out. The mermaid said that she was working on her next composition and didn’t need any of my help so I let her be.
There are also several of these large caves carved into the shore just beside us here and are large enough to take your dinghy inside of and make for some fun snorkeling.
And that’s a wrap for this Mobius Update folks. We continue to live and move on The No Plan Plan but in general we will continue to enjoy our time as we wander through the Bahamas and make our way North up to the East coast of the US. It is looking most likely that we will spend the summer months up in the Chesapeake Bay area where we can stay put for several months so Christine can have the time and quiet to focus on writing her next novel. I will continue to post updates along the way once or twice a month with some brief updates on places we get to and things we see. Hope these travel logs are of some interest and please let me know what you’d like more of and less of as well as any questions you have as we go.