Sailing the Bahamas Blue
TSS flagged boats sailing the Bahamas in 2022-2023
March 1, 2023
Three boats left the Tampa (Tampa Sailing Squadron sailng club) docks late in 2022 heading to the majestic waters of the Bahamas; the ultimate long cruise. Andy and Loretta Tucker on Geodesic2 a 37’ Endeavor in mid October, Chris and Diane Eggert on Makai a 34’ Beneteau Oceanis in early November, and Jim and Terri Alley on Danny Boy a 27’ Com-Pac in early January. All three boats planned to meet-up and buddy boat at some time in Key Largo on the way, in Bimini, and in Georgetown in the Exuma’s. As you find out about the challenges of these three boats, you will see that sailing plans are written in sand on low tide. Sailboat parts break, weather windows don’t match your expectations, health issues arise and families suddenly need our support bringing us back to our home port. These things happened to all of these sailing couples and their vessels.
Geodesic2, crew of Andy & Loretta, got an early start in October and made it across the Gulf-stream, on to Bimini, Nassau and ultimately to Exuma’s Georgetown. Unexpected health concerns and family illness put a temporary halt in this sailing trip. Geodesic2 was positioned safely in a hurricane hole mooring field in Georgetown for 6 weeks.
Makai, with Chris & Diane, set out a few weeks later. They made it to Ft Meyers only to learn a brand new watermaker was not functioning. The saga continued throughout their passage to Miami. Then learning mom was very sick, two new granddaughters born, a failed initial crossing due to a fouled prop, and waiting out hurricane Nicole (you know there are never hurricanes in November, right?) They made the decision to put Makai in a mooring field in Miami for a month and drive home to take care of family and sort out business. After returning to Makai Chris & Diane crossed the Gulf-stream from Miami and on to Bimini, Nassau, down the Exuma chain of islands to Georgetown.
After crazy obstacles and over 900 nautical miles Makai and Geodesic2 finally got to sail together in late January. They buddy-boated to Long Island, the very remote Jumentos Cays and Ragged Islands for 5 weeks. Makai and Geodesic2 spent many days sailing and anchored along side of each other in the crystal clear bluest of blue Bahamian waters. In late February Geodesic2 sailed back up the Exuma's to Nassau to meet up with some new crew and Makai sailed back to Long Island and to Georgetown.
Meanwhile Danny Boy, with Jim & Terri and companion, Sophie their fun loving sheepadoodle, left Tampa in mid January with a final destination of Georgetown Bahamas. Their adventure began after a major re-fit consisting of a new fridge, dinghy davits, solar arch, and watermaker. They made the trek to Key Largo, Miami, and crossed the Gulf-stream to Bimini. They waited out some bad weather in Bimini and resumed their sailing trip down the Exuma chain of islands to Georgetown arriving the first week in March. They made the difficult 750 nautical mile trip and in a 27’ sailboat to boot. Makai and Danny Boy finally got together in Georgetown anchorage as buddy-boats March 3rd. It was really great for Makai to be anchored next to Danny Boy after all that time.
It would be an understatement by saying all three sailboats and sailing couples had a lot to deal with. To have met their sailing goals, these sailors displayed great determination and perseverance throughout their journey. They set out to sail in the Bahamas, meet-up and buddy boat together and for the most part accomplished this. They have truly enjoyed a sailing adventure of a lifetime.
Oh yeah, now all three boats will sail back to Florida. Well, more on that next time.