After a week and a half of waiting for a weather window, we made our first attempt to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas on Tuesday, January 28. We departed Lake Sylvia at 0200, made the 0230 opening of the 17th Street bridge, and were out of the channel into the Atlantic 15 minutes after that. Unfortunately, we found ourselves driving into a strong easterly wind and pounding into steeper-than-forecast seas. Not sure if these were the result of the outgoing current going into the wind, but at times we were making less than 1 knot over the ground and the whole thing just didn’t feel right. We decided to turn around and, after going back through the 17th Street bridge, anchored in the exact same spot from which we’d departed just two hours earlier.
Inventorying provisions in advance of our departure.
One of our Bahamas cruising guides characterized the Gulf Stream crossing as “a board game with squares marked ‘THROW A SIX TO MOVE ON’”, and that resonated with us. We were content to wait to roll a six. Luckily, our next window came only two days later.
Tomorrow morning, at around 3 am, we will be going on an 11hr passage to the Bahamas. It’s taken us 2 months to get to this point, but now we’re here. As I write this, I am roughly 27hrs away from the Bahamas. It would be a lot better if all of my friends from Mountain View (e.g. Ronan) were here too, but that’s what planes are for. Hopefully, some of you can fly over and visit us, because that would be fun. Also, stay tuned for: THE BAHAMAS PASSAGE: PT. 2
What was originally anticipated to be a one-week stay has now stretched to at least two. As planned, we used our time in Fort Lauderdale (self-proclaimed “Yachting Capital of the World”) to do some boat projects: Rebuilt our fuel pickups, installed an Iridium GO! satellite hotspot and external antenna, re-rigged our radar-reflector and courtesy-flag lines, changed various oil and fuel filters, replaced worn belts, and gave the boat a thorough washing. Have been impressed by the quality and extent of the marine-related providers here.
We took a short day trip to Miami yesterday, and the definite highlight* was visiting Wynwood, a formerly run-down, crime-ridden neighborhood that’s been transformed into an arts center. Once upon a time it was Miami’s garment district, so it’s filled with large, windowless buildings — perfect for art galleries and studios, who started to move there in the nineties. Then followed all the attendant hipster stuff like funky restaurants and artisanal bakers.
But the really unusual thing (and the reason we went) is the art out on the streets. Tony Goldman, a local developer, looked around at all the graffiti in the neighborhood and decided to make a mecca out of it. He invited 30 graffiti artists from around the world to paint murals in what’s now called “Wynwood Walls,” and many more have since followed. Wynwood now has more street art than anywhere in America. Clothing stores, abandoned lots, auto body shops — anything and everything is painted in the most diverse array of styles you can imagine. Beautiful.
“Alice” and “Joel” from Youth.
While on this trip (and while on our June trip to Denmark), we’ve been renting out our house back in Mountain View to a mix of short- and medium-term tenants. Our friend and neighbor Mike Murphy has been doing an excellent job of handling the business end for us and the mix of renters that we’ve been getting via Airbnb has been interesting. Here are a few of the cameos that our house has made so far: