Dec 7 & 8: About as good as it gets

Sunrise over Great Sale Cay 7am

Sneak peek sunrise over Great Sale Cay Thurs Dec 8th

As crossings go, I don’t think anyone needed weather guru Chris Parker to say “favorable for all interests.” Tuesday was spent in last minute preparations, like calling AT&T to get this year’s scoop on temporary rate suspension. This is never an easy call; usually the help person has no clue what this is, but this time she did and Russ navigated his way through with the help of last year’s notes. We even received a $60 refund of erroneous charges from last winter.  We don’t make the suspension official until we are past the inlet and on our way. Then Russ calls and can wrap things up very quickly thanks to documentation in our AT&T file from the prior call.

I’d balked at leaving from Ft Pierce because, “I had a bad experience.” (you must say those words slowly, a la Italian Job)  However the winds were right, the current was ebbing out but not at max and well, we really didn’t have much choice! A couple of other boats were around but not going east, so it was just ‘lil ole Twin Sisters by herself in that big ocean.

Seas were pleasant at 1-2ft but more in the Gulf Stream, as expected, but not awful by any stretch. The worst was the wake from a huge container ship heading north to Norfolk. Miles of ocean and we have to cross paths. We’d slowed down for a few minutes, crossing well astern and at least one mile away, but that wake was monstrous and Russ said we came within inches of burying the bows.(not a good thing) I was bracing myself down below; my clue that something was up was that we’d slowed from 12ts to 3kts in a heartbeat. Yikes.

As sunset approached we raised our yellow quarantine flag, snapped a few photos and ate our chicken salad dinner. The moon would light our way until we anchored in a few hours.

Two and 1/2 hrs from Great Sale. Dinner time!

Two and 1/2 hrs from Great Sale Cay. Dinner time!

Exactly 12 hours after tossing off the mooring lines we dropped anchor on the west shore of Great Sale Cay, an uninhabited cay that is highly used as a stopping place. Yes, it was dark, or nearly. The ½ moon provided enough light to see and we got settled without any shouting, one sailboat neighbor near us; the other 5-6 anchored up inside Northwest Harbor. Yep cuz it’s going be windy tonight- not.

We’d gone 130 nm today. Felt fortunate and very blessed. A little relieved too, because Thursday would be only 54nm and then we’d be in a safe harbor for the nasty winds.

Sunrise was a delight, the virtually non-existent breeze allowed the water to lie flat and reflective. Was perhaps the best sunrise and travel day ever.

Where sky meets water at the peaceful time of day in paradise

Where sky meets water at the peaceful time of day in paradise

 

Peek a boo, I see you Mr Sun

Peek a boo, I see you Mr Sun

I don’t recall very many days like this one, where the morning sky and water are one. Being on the open water helps. 🙂

boats several miles behind us- water was truly that flat

Boats several miles behind us- water was truly that flat

Light and variable; ideal conditions for anchoring anywhere, for motoring effortlessly and as a precursor to a cold front, aka Norther. But the crappy weather was a day away, today we are loving it. Calmer than calm. Gail of m/v Orient Express would say, “a toe nail painting day.”

Our destination: Green Turtle Cay and a mooring in Black Sound, then clear in!

P.S.- be sure to say Cay as if spelled “key”. 🙂

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