Ahoy from Bimini!
The islands of Bimini are closer to the US than any other part of the Bahamas. Bimini more or less consists of 4 islands: N Bimini, S Bimini, Gun Cay, Cat Cay and a smattering of tiny islands. The vast majority of the population lives on N Bimini in Alice Town. South Bimini consists of private residences and the Bimini Sands Resort/Marina, which is where we're docked.
Out of all of the marinas in the area, the Bimini Sands is by far the nicest. It has floating docks, which is important with the 3' tidal range, and the docks are in nice shape. It's also quiet and secure. Most of the docks in Alice Town have been though several hurricanes and show it. The downside of being on S Bimini is that the shops, bars and restaurants are in Alice Town and you either have to take your dinghy or the water taxi to get over there. After exploring the town a few times, we're not missing much by being here. Some of our fellow cruisers who love the bar life would disagree. (There's a long story there...)
We pulled in a week ago and have been stuck here ever since. We crossed with a bunch of boats that we had met on the trip down to FL or while waiting to cross. Sue gets along well with some of the women and really wanted to spend some more time with them. The problem is that most of them don't have much experience cruising and understanding that you *need* to move when the weather lets you. We had NW winds the day after we arrived in Bimini and I tried to convince people that we needed to move. NW winds are rare and since we were headed E, they were just what we wanted. No one else wanted to move, so I agreed to stay and now we're stuck here.
The normal winter pattern is for NE to E winds and that's what we've had. The winds have been blowing a steady 20-30 kts out of the E to NE and the seas are 8+ feet. Our next stop will be at Chub Cay, which is 80 miles to the E, so these conditions make it very hard to leave.
The good news is that there is reasonable diving in the area and BJ from S/V Unicorn likes to dive. He and I have been diving daily and the dives have been getting better. It's certainly no Lighthouse Reef in Belieze, but it gets me into the water. In Belieze would dive in just a tee-shirt, but here I'm in a full 1 mm wetsuit and even then I get chilly. Oh, did I mention the 20-30 kt winds? Well, they make for a wet, bumpy dinghy ride. But I can't complain too much and I know that I wouldn't get any sympathy from back home where they got a foot of snow last weekend...
Believe it or not, I've got lots of boat projects to keep me busy. Yesterday I decided to revarnish parts of the companionway (entrance into the boat) and polish the acrylic slats that go into it. That turned into an all day project which will take days to complete, but it's looking good. We also have some sewing projects and waxing projects, so we're keeping busy.
I'm not sure when we're going to be able to get out of here. The long range models don't show any change for the next week. I'm just hoping for a 1 day break to make our run. Right now it's looking like the middle of next week. I'll keep you posted.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
Bimini Sands Marina rates: $1.10/ft (10% discount after 1 week), $10/30A, $0.20/gal
Bimini Big Game Marina: $1.75/ft, $15/30A, $0.50/gal
Weeche's Marina & Bimini Bluewater Resort: $0.75/ft, $15/30A, $0.50/gal
Log ID: 941
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