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2006 Bahamas Cruise – From the Start June 21, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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Several people have asked me to reorder my posts on our cruise so that it would be easier to read. This should work:

Try this link which reverses all my posts that reference the Bahamas. However, in this order, my first post refers to an earlier cruise. For the 2006 cruise, start reading the second post down and note that when you get to the bottom, clicking on “older posts” will actually continue to the next part of the story.


Also additional supporting photos can be found in my Flickr set here:




Back Home… June 18, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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Skyway Bridge

Thursday afternoon, after a smooth run from Cabbage Key near Boca Grande, we tie up at our home port in Tampa around 1600 hrs.  It has been a great month cruising around Florida and the Bahamas but it was time to get home and the sighting of the Skyway Bridge at the entrance of Tampa Bay was a welcome one.  Our overnight stay at Cabbage Key had been enjoyable and we awoke to absolute calm conditions… so calm in fact that we had no problems continuing our journey in the Gulf thereby saving considerable time on this last leg of our journey home.  Before leaving Cabbage Key though, we had a leisurely breakfast and spent some time enjoying the local scenery.  It was very quiet and we were able to observe numerous good sized snook and other fish feeding under the dock while a great white heron was busy trying to capture some of the bait spooked by these fish.  Several ducks also wandered the docks ignoring us as we just enjoyed the early morning activity.  The trip home was uneventful.  While it was very calm, the water was still cloudy and as expected, we saw no feeding fish.  We did observe a pod or "ring" of tarpon offshore from Boca Grande that was interesting.  There must have been a dozen or so fish in it and we were able to bring the boat right along side with bothering them.  We did not bother them but continued our journey home.  I suppose we were just fished out; until next time that is…

Just a reminder – Additional photos of the entire cruise can be found in my photo archive at Flickr also accessable from my sidebar.

Cabbage Key June 14, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cabbage Key

Today the storm conditions seem to be better so we will continue our trip home. It is still cloudy and a bit breezy as we leave the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin a little before 1000 hours but nothing to worry about. We are in no hurry as we don’t expect to reach Tampa before tomorrow. By the time we reach Pine Island Sound, the sun is winning out over the clouds and patches of blue increase. Shortly after noon, we approach Cabbage Key and decide to dock for lunch. It has it’s normal lunch crowd but we are able to get a slip and walk up to the Inn and get a nice table on the screened in back porch under a giant white mangrove tree. The dining room and porch are crowded and we have to wait a bit for service but we don’t care… It is pleasant and when we finally do get the food, it is good. Tommy and I have the rubin on rye and Ralph has the hamburger. Tommy and I also have key lime pie for desert. Cabbage Key is so pleasant, we decide to stop early today and dock here for the night. It’s almost 1500 hrs now and the rest of the crew is napping while I write this.

Foiled by the Weather June 12, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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Storm over Lake Okeechobee

            (Storm over Lake Okeechobee)

We are sitting at the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin where we will spend the night.  It looks as though the storm will go in somewhere north of Cedar Key tomorrow so we will decide in the morning whether to remain another day here or head north in the ICW.  Here are some notes I Made over the past few days:

Saturday, 10 June 2006

Lets see…  where did I last leave off?  Oh yes, our journey home had just been delayed by the closure of one of the Locks on the Okeechobee Waterway and we had decided to wait it out in Stuart instead of traveling back south around the Keys and then up the West Coast to Tampa.  As it turns out, that was probably a wise choice though we couldn’t have seen it at the time.  We spend Wednesday through Friday nights in Stuart at the Pirate’s Cove Marina.  It is located in what the locals call the “Manatee Pocket” in the company of quite a few other marinas.  One of our cruising guides describes the place as being more like a series of New England maritime villages than the typical grouping of marinas in Florida.  The Pirates Cove had all the necessities to make our stay as comfortable as possible including swimming pool, restaurant, ships store and even provided complementary continental breakfasts during our stay.  Friday, we decided to try our luck fishing offshore part of the day but to no avail.  While we saw several “billfish” (even one swordfish, we think), we didn’t even get a strike.  Its being very calm and an almost full moon the night before might have had something to do with our success.  Anyway, when we returned, I made a call regarding the status of the Lock and was told it had been repaired ahead of schedule and that it would be open for business at 0600 in the morning (today).  We also learn that an area of unsettled weather was moving from west of Cuba into the Gulf and could be expected to intensify… possibly into a tropical storm.  We decide to leave this morning and at least try and get across Lake Okeechobee before the weather gets bad.  I am writing this from Moore Haven (Riverhouse Marina), west of Lake Okeechobee and about halfway across the state.  Our latest weather report indicates the storm has moved into the Gulf and is expected to reach tropical storm force in the next several hours and, if it does, will be named Alberto.  Projected path has it heading north along the west coast of Florida sort of aiming for the Cedar Key area sometime Tuesday.  That being the case, we will have to check the weather very closely in the morning and decide if we want to try and make it in to Ft. Myers or not…  No Wi-Fi so I can’t post this evening.

Sunday, 11 June 2006

Well, the latest report this morning states that the storm has yet to reach tropical storm strength and remains unnamed.  However, what ever you might call it, it is still heading north in the Gulf and we need to keep an eye on it.  As I write, a feeder ban stretches from between Naples and Ft. Myers across the state and as far east as Grand Bahamas.  This band is moving in our direction and we expect to get some weather sometime this morning.  For the time being, we will probably stay here at the docks in Moore Haven.  The cost is reasonable ($1/ft/night) and comes with free electricity, free ice and clean restrooms with showers.

Non-Weather Hold June 8, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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We are on hold again but it's not the weather this time. We arrived at Stewart, FL day before yesterday afternoon after crossing and cruised up the St. Lucy Canal to Indiantown Marina near Lake Okeechobee to spent the night expecting to leave early yesterday morning for a day's journey to the Gulf before sundown. Not to be… As we approached the last lock on the east side of the lake and asked for it to open, we were notified that the Franklin Lock (on the west side of the lake)  was closed until next Monday. Ouch! Alternatives are (1) – backtrack then swing south around the Keys and then back up the West Coast to Tampa. This would add over 400 miles to our trip plus take several days… or, (2) – to hang around and wait for the lock to open again on Monday. We decide on the 2nd option but did travel back to Stewart for better accomodations. We will spend a night or two at the Pirates Cove Marina, get some laundry done and just kick back. We might also get some fishing done out in the Atlantic here. Kingfish are supposed to be running and some Sailfish are being caught. I will keep you posted.

Weather Hold… June 5, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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Storm at Fresh Creek

                  (More photos on my Flickr sidebar link…)

Yesterday, we ran from Fresh Creek on Andros to Port Lucaya in Freeport, Grand Bahama.  We were dodging ahead of weather all the way.  The photo above, taken as we left Fresh Creek, shows the storm we were interested in getting ahead of…  Our first intintion was to go into Great Harbour in the Berries but, as we approached, another storm head prevented us from attempting to navagate its shallow water entrance .  So, we headed on to our alternate, Port Lucaya, and clearer skys.  We arriving around 6:00 pm missing all the bad weather.  This morning we woke to a heavy downpour and a weather report that suggests we may be holding up at Port Lucaya for a day or two.

Back to Nassau June 2, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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Highborne Collage

Yesterday we returned to Nassau.  Our game plan was to spend the morning trolling where we had caught the four Dolphin the day before to try for some more of those big fish before traveling back to Nassau in the afternoon   However, it wasn’t to be.  We did get out early and start trolling and actually had several hits, but building clouds to the south and west prompted us to cut the fishing short and seek out Nassau before these fast developing storms moved in upon us.  As it turned out, we made it back to the same moorage we had previously just before the rains (and that noisy and flashy stuff) started.  It was a good decision though it didn’t add to our fish count.

A quick check of the weather on the internet shows bad weather through at least today and possibly Saturday so we elect to spend the day in port.  We will check the weather again later today to see if tomorrow looks any better.  The above photo stack is some of the shots I took at Highborne Cay.  The actually photos can be found at my Flickr link on the sidebar.