Sailing to Bimini, Our Experience Crossing the Gulf Stream
Why is it so hard for me to sit down and write? Geesh, worst blogger here.
I’m months behind on sharing experiences with you guys because I can’t just sit down and focus. I recently watched a Netflix documentary on Adderall, which was shocking and sad at the same time, and made me realize how naive I am to drug abuse. Although, I’ve never had an Adderall, I now think I need it in order to write. J/K J/K but maybe…
Ok, so…I want to share our experience crossing the Gulf Stream from Miami to Bimini, Bahamas! It was one of the, if not the, most memorable moments of my life, and I think Tye would agree. (Watch our video below!)
When we first set out on this adventure, I was most nervous for that crossing because it’s notorious for being difficult. The Gulf Stream current runs from South to North and the prevailing winds during the winter come from the Northeast creating steep, choppy waves with a short interval. It was also going to be one of our longest offshore crossings. Because of all that, we were being particularly careful watching for the perfect weather window to make the jump.
At the time, weather wasn’t looking great for 2-3 weeks out so we thought we’d be stuck at the Coconut Grove Marina for quite some time. But miraculously a three day window came out of nowhere and we had to make a quick decision to take advantage of it. There were three other boats ready to make the crossing with us but they ended up going the day before because we were still waiting for a generator to arrive in the mail.
We waited an extra day to get our generator and then departed at 1:30 am in order to take advantage of the best weather during that window, and arrive in Bimini during the daylight. It ended up being an 8hr overnight sail and one of the most amazing experiences of our lives.
We set out into the blackness leaving the lights of Miami behind but we never felt too alone. Many colorfully lit cruise ships passed by in the distance and we were able to see the Miami skyline up until sunrise! It’s amazing how much light that city produces!
Tye and I took turns sailing every couple hours while the other one caught some zzz’s. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions because there were no conditions. There wasn’t a breath of wind and hardly a ripple on the glass-like water. Because of that, we had to motor the entire way, unable to raise the sails, but that’s OK with us. I wouldn’t call us hard core sailors, we actually prefer to go out with less wind and waves due to our comfort level and seasick aversion.
It was pure magic. I felt like we were crossing into another world as the rising sun turned our surroundings into sherbet ice cream mixed with cotton candy, fading form orange to pink and blue. To be in the middle of the ocean and find such calmness was absolutely moving. I couldn't take in enough of it. It was otherworldly and we were on cloud 9.
It was one of those moments that takes your breath away as you realize how beautiful this life can be when you remove all distractions. I’ve never experienced a stillness, quietness or remoteness, like we did that morning in the middle of the Gulf Stream.
If this would have been the only experience I took away from this trip, it would have all been worth it.
We arrived in Bimini at 9:30 in the morning and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Tye so excited! He couldn’t get over the Blue Gatorade water we had transitioned into. The waters around Florida are pretty brown compared to the Bahamas and it fell like that turquoise blue was a long time coming.
We met our new cruising friends at Brown’s Marina and spent the day in awe over the abundance of marine life, setting up our SIM cards at the BTC, touring the Dolphin House (more on that later), and enjoying the beach. Browns marina was full of bull sharks, colorful fish and massive sting rays. So far, we’ve seen the most marine life near Bimini and the Berry Islands. We saw multiple rays as big as a dining room table, some spotted like leopards, breeching out of the water belly flopping for show. While we were swimming at the beach a massive dark shadow with two fins swam up to the guys and we ALL thought SHARKS! But it ended up being a huge sting ray that was lifting it’s wing tips out of the water, stopping by to say hi, maybe a little too close for comfort!
That evening we had drinks on the sandbar, purchased lobster from a local, and joined the other cruisers in the marina for a lobster potluck dinner.
We really enjoyed our new Canadians friends and decided we’d all continue traveling together. Our next move was to set out for the Berry Islands the following morning. We had a short but adventurous stay in Bimini!
Check our our video showing the crossing and our time in Bimini!