Please note: now that we left mainland, we don't have cell service unless we go for a beer or a meal in a bar, restaurant or hotel. So I need to plan more carefully to catch opportunities to post my blogs. Therefore, pay attention of the blog date as I might post more than one at a time. This also means that it will take a few days for us to be able to read your messages sent from our website. We hope this new situation will not deter you from writing to us. We love reading your news.
For a couple of weeks now, I started to relearn Spanish. I had learned Spanish in college for 2 years but never kept it up . At the time, I chose Spanish in the hope that it wouldn't require much studying as it is similar to French. This way, I could spend more time on my required courses. My good friend, Sharon, gave me the perfect Spanish-English illustrated book. Guess what!: the biggest section is about food! My favorite topic. So I'm focusing now on everyday vegetables, fruits, proteins and numbers. My parents, who were snowbirds for many years, told me that mom knew enough Spanish to bargain. LOL!
We left Miami Beach on Dec. 22 at 04:00. By the time we reached open water (an hour sail only), we gave way to four huge cruise ships. Obviously, Miami Beach like Fort Lauderdale is very popular. The crossing to North Bimini Island, Bahamas, a 50 nautical mile jump, went very well. The swells were mostly less than a metre. We had enough wind to raise the head sail (the one at the front). And the sun was shining. I couldn't believe how blue is the water of the Gulf Stream, more than 500 feet deep. It's a cross between a blue that is on the Greek flag and a shade darker. It was really beautiful and inviting!
During the day, we spotted at least 6 other sailboats/catamarans aiming for the same channel entrance, all of them with Canadian flags! Due to shifting sand in this part of the Bahamas, the entrance is a bit tricky. So we decided to pay attention to the route chosen by the sailboat about 300 metres in front of us. We see it enter, turn left then stop! It got stuck on a sand bank. Thankfully, the skipper was able to back out of it and chose a route beside the bank. We learned from them and avoided this situation. I stood at the bow as usual when we enter a tricky area and tried to learn water depth based on the colour of the water and how well I could see the bottom. This skill will be useful everywhere we go from now on.
We're anchored with many Quebecers. They're all very social and love to party. Today, we'll celebrate Christmas Eve during happy hour on a catamaran called Sabano. All the other boats in this anchorage are invited. I can just imagine everyone talking at the same time about their journeys so far and their plans for the season. It's very easy to spend hours with strangers when we have so much in common.
We got our first taste of British driving on the island. They drive on the other side of the very narrow roads. The direction of roundabouts is reversed to those in Canada. The good thing is that we were on our bicycles - a mistake on our part wasn't so bad. We learned quickly.
When we had a couple of beers in a bar beside the channel, we saw two bull sharks and stingrays underneath our feet. Wow! According to forecast, our next weather window for a 24-hour trip to Nassau will be on the 31st. We'll see ....