Crossing the Gulf Stream

Wednesday February 8th, 2017

We arrived at Great Sale Cay after an overnight crossing of the Florida Straight and the Gulf Stream. I’m not sure how quick the Gulf Stream was flowing but it was substantial. To get to Memory Rock, we had to set the boat about 30 to 35 degrees off our GPS course. This meant we were sailing tighter to the wind to get where we needed to go. It slopped us around some but Last Mango, being a tad shorter had a rougher ride. Even with the slop we made good time, we left Lake Worth about 17:30 Tuesday and we were on the Little Bahama Bank by 01:00.

It is a bit unnerving to watch your instruments struggle with this apparent leeway. Ed, our new autopilot performed stoutly and he has been promoted to full time crew. It holds the boat pretty steady even though we have not yet completed the sea wizard set up to calibrate the unit completely.

On the Little Bahama bank, we encountered a few scattered squalls. They were small and not very strong and we were only pelted with some large rain drops a couple of times. There was some lightning around but it was in the distance. There was very little traffic along the entire trip and other than being slopped around it was a nice crossing. We also had a good moon for most of the trip. We arrived and dropped the anchor at Great Sale Cay about 08:30. Our crossing to GSC took about 15 hours. Mango arrived about 90 minutes later. Once we were on the bank we let FRACAS have her way and left them a little further behind. Even at 16.5 hours for Mango, they made good time for this extended crossing.

We slept for a few hours after Mango arrived then dropped the dinghy and did some exploring. The main harbour at Great Sale Cay is huge. It offers good protection from WSW through ESE. There is a ketch beached on the South-East part of the island. We of course went over to explore this old girl. She had been plundered and her interior was full of engine oil and sea water. There was a sharpie note written on her cabin that the owners were coming back for her but that is unlikely. She will remain there until the sea completes her dismantling.

In the evening on Wednesday the wind clocked more to the west and it was a comfortable and relatively quiet night.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.