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Vacation Journal
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The end is near and the end of Berta's Boat Adventure

By: BertaB (View Profile)
Date: 6/4/2007

After our first night in Nassau, I woke reasonably early but didn't feel all that well. I brushed it off as anxiety and went about the day.

We needed to get to the grocery store to stock up for a few more days of food. We would have to go easy on the fruits and veggies since we would be soon coming back into the USA. Customs frowns on bringing those items as I am sure you all know, but they expect boat owners to know it even moreso.

In the middle of the grocery store, I double over in pain.
Hhhhmm, maybe this isn't anxiety. I make my way to the rest room and get some wet tissues on my forehead and neck.
I get sick and then feel well enough to check out and get back to the boat. The truth is, I was in a panic and kept it from Leo and Chris as I did not want them to go crazy as they tend to be bigger dramatists (is that a word?) than I am.

I get back to the boat and the only thing I want to do is call Steve. "I want to come home NOW!!!" I cried. I really did. I was sick of getting sick, I was also sick of thinking about bailing on my captain and crew. I was a wreck.

Steve the poor guy was in a situation of his own. The launch of our boat had been delayed a few days because of some work that Steve had done on on it, and I would call him with my tale of woe as they were beginning the process of launching it.

I told him that I would buck up and make do another week.
At least the call made me feel somewhat better.

I crawled into bed and just took it easy for a few hours.

I started to feel better and decided that I needed to get busy and cook all day so we could eat for the next few days. I made things that were easy to heat up in a crockpot as we were cruising.

That evening I felt much better, but that was because I didn't eat anything all day except crackers. We all went to the straw market for souveniers. I got Tshirts for Steve and Joe and myself and called it quits. Back to the boat we go.

We were sitting there and talking to the crew of the ship next to us. Notice I said ship, not boat? The ship was 110' and just beautiful. Soon enough we all were invited to tour the ship (keeping the name private, sorry). It was stunning. But I kept thinking that I wouldn't want to clean it. On the other hand, if I could afford a ship like that, I would have a crew to do that. LOL I guess I am a "do it yourself" kind of gal and will never have that big of a boat. The one I have is enough work and that would be twice as much work. Thanks but no thanks.

That was my excitement for the day and I went to bed early again. I still wasn't feeling up to snuff and we were heading out in the morning.

We all get up early thinking we would be leaving early.
The tide and currents however changed those plans. The current was much to strong yet and so we had to wait until slack tide to pull away from the slip.

Finally we did and we were on our way to our last island in the Bahamas. This however would be a 24 hour run or so. No sleeping tonight.

The guys decided to give one last try at fishing. Wooooo Hoooooooo! After a few hours we were in luck!

Shawn holding his catch.

That fish fed the 5 of us for two days. Mahi Mahi....I can cook it as many ways as I can chicken. LOL

Time slipped by and soon enough the sun set and we were crusing in the dark. It had been 11 years since Scott had done this stuff and Shawn had yet to do it. Leo paired me up with Shawn to show him the ropes and we did the 9 to midnight watch. I showed him how to enter the coordinates and other info in the log. We also had to monitor several other ships and boats so as not to collide with them. Not so easy to do in the dark, but that is what radar is for.

An hour into our watch, the winds started kicking up and it started to rain and lightening danced off in the distance. It just added to the job, but soon enough our time was up and we handed over the job to Scott who was paired up with Chris.

Shawn and I retired to the Salon (family room for you land lubbers) and passed out on the floor. It is the best place to be if the boat is rocking and rolling.

I wake up at 4:30 am because I hear the engines slow dramatically. Up to the pilot house I go and see on the plotter we have reached South Bimini. We cannot go into Alicetown in the dark as the channel is very tricky, we will anchor here until daylight.

Anchoring was not an easy task as it was still pouring and windy. Poor Scott had to go out on the bow and unlock the anchor and lower it. Once the anchor was down, we all sat around for an hour to monitor our position. This was to make sure the anchor did not drag and send us into rocks or coral or shallow water. Feeling confident, it was set, Leo said we could go to sleep.

We all woke up about 9 am ! This was the latest I slept the whole trip! We scrounged for breakfast and radioed in for a slip at one of the marinas. Because it was still windy and sort of raining, we didn't get a response.

We waited out yet another squall and then headed to Alicetown. It had been 15 years since I had been here with my husband and son, but it became very familiar as we snaked our way thru the channel. Hey?!?!?!?! Leo, why are you going this way and not thru the marked channel???

The way Leo was going was the way I had gone years ago. It was not really marked, you just had to rely on the visual water color as well as the plotter. Tricky. Everyone else coming and going was using the new marked (buoyed) channel.

We made it in and the dockhands were waiting for us here:

We get the boat tucked in and we scatter like the wind. My first choice is to call Steve and let him know where we are. He is happy feeling better and our own boat is just fine and in the water.

After that I started walking and remembering my first trip here with Steve and Joe so many years ago. Joe was only 5 or 6. After 15+ years, the place has not changed all that much.

I get one picture before I run into the rest of my crew.

Its not easy to get away and hide on Bimini, its not that big of an island! Leo and Chris had their fill of walking and decide to spend their day at the pool. The guys and I wander off together again.

We spot this poor boat. Actually, it was here the last time I was.

For those of you that are Ernest Hemingway fans, you know that he spent a lot of time on Bimini. It was also the place where Gary Hart and Donna Rice were said to have met several times during their affair. (He lost his presidential bid because of it) The place to be was the the Compleat Angler. Many a drink and dinner was had here by celebrities and common folk. It had a lot of history and fabulous photos. Too bad it burned down in January of 2006. You can google "compleat angler" using Bimini or Ernest Hemingway to see and learn more about it, but this is what it looks like now. Sigh.

Some folks on the island say that the remains will probably never be mowed over as they think of it as still a historic spot. Others say they want to rebuild it. The fight (what there is of one) will probably never be resolved and the sight will just gtow over with vegetation.

We have reached the end of the world !!!!!!!
Really, we did ! See, I have a picture to prove it!

Inside the End of the World Saloon and Grill, there are hundreds if not thousands of Tshirts and underwear signed by their former owners hanging from the ceiling. We had lunch with the owner and played a dice game with her.

Nobody doesn't like Sarah Lee

We mosey on and discover a nice little beach bar.

Turns out the beach bar is owned and run by Sherry who just happens to be Sarah Lee's daughter.

We head back to the boat to check in and relax. Not much going on until Scott comes out of his room with these undies on. I guess we are going back to Sarah Lee's tonight. LOL

Actually we all had signed the undies somewhere before he modeled them for us.

I fried up the last of the Mahi the guys brought in and then we headed back to watch Scott strip and hang his shorts.

We walked thru town (I use the term town very loosely, its only 5 buildings if that) and laughed all the way. Scott said he would't be caught dead doing this anywhere else on earth. His wife would kill him if he did. Shawn just couldn't help but say he would send a blackmail picture to Scotts wife. It was one of those you had to be there moments.

Finally at the bar, Scott does his thing and "strips"

I had a surprise for the guys as well. I had put my own message on a tank top. The message will only be known by Scott and Shawn, me and Steve when he sees it next year. Sorry folks..........some things I can share, others I can't. Oh, and just so you know, it really was a strip tease, I did remove the tank top, but it was under my regular Tshirt. Tease tease tease......:D

Since we had left our marks at the end of the world, we decided to say farewell to Sarah Lee and let her get some sleep. We headed to Sherry's for a few last drinks.

After a few more beers we called it a night as we had to leave early the next morning for home.

The next morning we were up before the sun and started the process for the trip to Ft. Lauderdale.

I snapped one last picture of Bimini and the Bahama's until I arrive again in my own boat around Thanksgiving.
Sunrise over Bimini

It was a good thing we left Bimini today. We had 8+ foot waves. They are calling for 12' waves tomorrow. We were rocking and rolling. Thankfully the trip was only 50 miles, but it was a long 50 miles.

Poor Scott, he used to crew on sailboats, yachts and ships, and this was the first time he got seasick. I felt so bad for him. I had been sick a few times the last month, but never seasick.

Finally we see land again and it was bittersweet for me.
We get closer and closer and eventually in the ICW. Now that we are in nice calm water, Scott feels better and I am hanging over the side. Go figure. I travel 1200 miles thru all kinds of weather and seas, and I get sick in calm water.

I have just enough time to upchuck and rest a few minutes and have to help get docklines ready. I can pass out later.
Into the slip and tucked and tied in and I crawl into bed.
After an hour, I call home and let Steve know I am in Ft. Lauderdale safely and will be home in just 3 days.

Leo calls in to Customs and we have an appointment at Immigration that evening. The guys wash the boat and Chris cleans the interior and Leo and I go for a rental car.

That evening we all go to Immigration, get our passports stamped and we head to Leo's favorite place for dessert and coffee. He thanks us all for our help in getting LaChelle back to Florida.

We head back to the boat and I call Steve. I just need to talk to him longer than a few minutes here and there. We talk for a good long while about several things. There are issues at home that I need to deal with and he tells me that he has changed my flight from Thursday to the next day. I would be home tomorrow!

Wooooooooooo Hoooooooooo! Now the bad part is I have to go back to the boat and tell Leo. But my family needs me and family is more important to me than staying on the boat two more days.

The next morning we have to do a few more chores on LaChelle and then Leo tells us to get lost for an hour or so while a broker comes to look over LaChelle. Leo is going to sell her. He has had her 18 years and he is tired. He's been as far north as Georgian Bay in Canada and as far south as Venezuela. I am not sure how far east, but he's been West as far as Isla Mujeres !!!

While we are out doing our thing I snap these last few pictures.

Bahia Mar Marina (part of it)

Bahia Mar Hotel

After Leo was done with the broker, we all piled into the car to drive me to the airport. I bid my farewells and walked into the terminal.

I got home about 7 pm and I slept like a rock for 3 days.
I am still sore after being home two weeks, but it is slowly going away. Why am I sore? Boating is a great isometric workout, especially in the sea condtions I had just gone thru.

I am looking forward to the journey on our boat, but the nice thing is, we won't be in a hurry to get anywhere. If the weather looks bad or the waves too large, we just will have to stay put at whatever island we are at.

And so my friends, that ends this part of the adventure.
Till the next one.............


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