A Travellerspoint blog

One Last Word

The end is really the start.

-17 °C

This blog was created while on route so the entries are ordered starting with the most recent. This means that you'll need to read the entries backwards. And if you've just now come to this blog, we'd encourage you to start at the beginning. Scroll down and click the May 2006 archive entry located on the right side of the page. When that page loads, scroll to the bottom of the page. You're now at the beginning. Scrolling up gets you to the next entry. Do the same thing when you get to the June entries, except that you'll need to additionally select the oldest set of entries (at the bottom, start with page 5, then 4, and so on).

The crew of Soul Healer hopes that you enjoy our adventure. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at mlahrkamp@bitstorm.com.


Posted by Ali-Mike 06:30 Comments (0)

Back Home In Toronto

Can't Believe It's Over

Mike: Alison and I are now home in Toronto and getting the last arrangements made to have our boat trucked up.

We've added a few more pics to the blog and will post a few more when we've organized the 600+ photos and get the 35mm ones developed. I tell ya, when you have a digital camera, one can get pretty snap happy.

We hope that everyone who followed us has gotten at least a chuckle and maybe we've even sparked a bit of interest for the sailing life in our landlubber friends (maybe they'll even come out for an afternoon sail now).

Alison and I would also like to thank everyone who offered suggestion as to what to miss / not miss and everyone that offered some heads up on weather. Your interest in our adventure and safety was truly appreciated. We're now looking forward to getting together with our friends and boring everyone with our numerous pics.

Posted by Ali-Mike 09:42 Comments (0)


The End Of Our Adventure - 29 Jun

Mike: Soul Healer arrived at Port Everglades in the early afternoon. She stayed offshore for about 1/2 hour to allow a thundercell to pass and then proceeded to the 17th St. bridge. The clearance is reported to be about 55' which is what we figured our height, not including VHF antenna had to be close to. The bridge will open on demand on the hour and half hour. Calling the bridge at 1:55pm got the lady operator to insist we come closer and read the bridge height from the scale provided at the bridge's base. It showed between 53' and 54', so again the request was made to open the bridge. Now she came back with that the next opening would now be 2:30pm.

Continuing on to Hall Of Fame Marina and our slip was straight forward and didn't really cause any difficulties, save for not really knowing where it was. There's a lot of docks in those waters on the intercoastal. We asked for directions and they provided some guidance by having someone stand at the end of their dock waving their arms. Anyway, boat's safely tied up and the packing begins for our crew.

It's been an exciting month. It seems that we were leaving the BVI only yesterday, but looking over our log shows all the places that we've been to. And all of the incredible places visited during our approximte 1100nm voyage.

Posted by Ali-Mike 09:03 Comments (2)

Blue Water Resort, Alice Town, Bimini

Last Day In The Bahamas - 28 Jun

Mike: Bimini came into view over the horizon just before lunch. Coming around the northern point now required heading south toward the channel shown on our chart. We had talked with the flottila out of Ft Lauderdale and they'd told us that Bimini had been dredged and they've created a new marked entrance channel. Since some of them were on 46' boats that draw more than ours, we got on the sat phone and reserved ourselves a slip. Good thing too, since they're expecting a full house due to the upcoming 4th of July weekend. Sure enough, there was the new channel all staked out, so we turned in and enjoyed about 15' of water all the way in to the slip we'd reserved at the Blue Water Resort. After fueling at the fuel dock, we backed our boat into our assigned slip, and then it was time to try their pool... very refreshing and greatly appreciated.

Bill, Ann and Brian decided to rent a golf cart and tour the island. It's a small place so it wasn't surprising to see them back in about 1 1/2 hours. Alison and I strolled around Alice Town and later dock talked with others in the marina. There were a number of boats getting ready to jump the gulf stream to Florida, so boat names were exchanged and plans made for meeting on the other side.

Later on, just after sunset, another sailboat came in and not seeing the sand bar, drove up on it at high tide... not good. A number of people assisted and with everyone's help, got him off and tied to a dock. An arguement ensued because a power boater with his 50+' trawler didn't like that he had to share the 100+' T dock with a sailboat. Of course, he didn't assist. You just gotta wonder.

The weather looks good for the crossing tomorrow with forecast light winds (which we've had now for a number of days) and a relatively flat seas. We'll be leaving at high slack tide which should be about 6:30am and getting to Port Everglades in the early afternoon where we have a slip reserved at the Hall Of Fame Marina.

Posted by Ali-Mike 08:42 Comments (0)

Banking in the Bahamas

Mike: 27 Jun
Ok... so you're probably thinking that we're talking about trundling over to some banking branch and making a deposit or withdrawal, or something like that. Actually, we're talking about being anchored smack dab half way across the Grand Bahama Bank. The water depth is 18 feet and the only thing in sight is miles and miles of boundless ocean. That plus one other boat that chose to drop the hook near where we are. I guess that there's safety in numbers. There's hardly a breath of wind and the water's flat calm... and it's expected to stay that way for the next number of days. Tonight, we've fired up the barby and will be sizzling up some steaks, with fresh garlic.

So yesterday, we decided to stay another day in Nassau. We had a flex day still left on our schedule, and we decided that we'd rather spend it in Nassau instead of the middle of the Bahamas Bank. I figured that I may as well take the opportunity and try to get our brand new 40A battery charger replaced since it had gone DOA on us. I also figured that Nassau would have a facility for the replacement of the charger, so I climbed down into the bowels of the aft fender locker, removed it and with charger under arm, Alison and I took a walk from each chandlery to every marine store. And were totally out of luck. We returned to the boat dejected, with the inoperable charger still under arm. As we passed some new friends on their boat a few slips down that we had met earlier in the day, Dave recognized what I had and asked what was up. I explained that we had a new charger that had gone toes up, and he said to wait right there. He opened his locker and after rummaging for a few moments, extracted an almost identical unit and said it was ours if we wanted it. He had upgraded and removed his unit but had never taken it off the boat. We were speechless. What are the chances that someone almost in the next slip would have the exact charger that we needed, didn't want it anymore and felt that we were worthy enough to offer it to. Unbelievable! We were dumbfounded at the generosity! I installed his unit and it worked like a charm. Later, we made sure that his generous nature was rewarded with a big bottle of rum. Top class people.

During the afternoon, a contingent from a Ft Lauderdale yacht club descended on the marina. Two of the boats we recognized from Normans Cay, where they had anchored beside us and dinghyed over for information about what we had found while exploring Normans Cay. We helped tie a number of boats up and just dock talked for awhile. Great people. We had a few people over to our boat for 'afternoon tea' (generously proportioned rum concoctions for those not familiar with my ways). This life style is sure tough.

Later that night, Alison and I checked out this new restaurant called the 'Jumbey Cafe' which is located in an authentic Bahamian home. It's right across from the Nassau Yacht Haven where we were docked and had only been open for 2 weeks. Well, we walked through the door and about 20 people all shouted 'Soul Healer' at the same time. It was everyone from the Florida flottila. More drinks, more laughs and good times. The food was out of this world and reasonably priced. I insisted on thanking the chef personnally and then spoke with one of the owners, Jennifer, and said that she needed to give the chef a raise. We'll certainly make a point of returning there the next time we're in Nassau and I'd highly encourage anyone else to check them out. And next time, we're gonna save room for their Pineapple Bread Pudding!

So now the plan is to get to Bimini tomorrow sometime by the early afternoon, refuel and launch for Ft Lauderdale on Thursday.

Picture5 055a.jpg

Posted by Ali-Mike 18:45 Comments (0)

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