D41: Crossing the Stream to Bimini - 12/11/2020

On Wednesday 12/11/2019, we rose early and pulled up the anchor at 5:45 am.  Cathy was at the helm while I hoisted and cleaned up the anchor.  Wearing our headsets, I could help guide her through the other anchored boats.  We headed SE out of the anchorage toward Cape Florida Inlet.  We had to jump in from the side.  Navionics seemed to be pretty accurate, at least about the deep places.  I did not test out the shallow ones. 

We noticed a few white lights in front of us and realized that two pleasure trawlers were also heading the same way.  We merged into the Cape Florida Inlet without any problems when the waves started growing.  We started to wonder what we would face in the Gulf Stream.  We exited Cape Florida Inlet at 0605 and turned SE.  Although Bimini was due east at 90 degrees, we had to compensate in advance for the Gulf Stream's 3-4 knot current.  NOAA weather stated that the Gulf Stream west wall was located 19 miles east of us.  The waves were a bit bouncy but not intolerable given that we were motoring into the wind and waves. 

We did start to wonder what the Gulf Stream would be like.  After motor sailing along at about 6 knots, I noticed that we already had a 3.7 knot current pushing us northward.  We really got concerned about what the current would be in the Gulf Stream.  At 0900, we were 30 miles from Bimini with no increase in the current or degradation of conditions.  Even heading SE, I was making 90 degrees and pointing to Bimini before ever getting to the Gulf Stream.  

As we got closer and closer to Bimini, we wondered if we missed the Gulf Stream.  In the end, I think we were in the stream the entire trip starting at Cape Florida Inlet.  I don't think western wall meant much.  So, we just kept on trucking along at our current heading and speed.  We arrived at Bimini channel about 1 pm and were docked about 1:30 pm.  It was actually a very easy trip.  We were lucky I guess.  Going through customs and immigration were much more painful.  Even that was not bad.  Just lots of duplicate forms to fill out and the people were all very nice.  

Our track across the stream

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In