The week before Memorial Day brought severe weather to the rest of the US, with tornados and violent thunderstorms popping up day and night. The intense weather up north brought atypical fresh ENE winds to South Florida just in time for planned Thursday departures. The wind continued through Monday morning which kept the temperatures at the dock unusually cool and pleasant and also kept the bugs away.
One boat chose not to go to spare their kids a possible unpleasant ride to Bimini. Wisely, Lady Gray caught the tail end of the preceding weather window and left for Bimini on Wednesday and had a wet yet fast and minimally bumpy ride.
One boat departed between 5-6a on Friday and had a tough time battling wind and waves and decided Miami would be a better experience for 4 teenage boys and Facebook photos showed that they made a great decision
Commotion left FLL at 4:30am Friday with an auspicious dolphin escort and reefed sails. It was quite breezy and splashy going over with 3-5 ft waves (and even some 7’s once in a while), but also a really quick trip. With the unusual strong ENE winds the best course for us was to head direct from Port Everglades (HDG of 120-130, COG of 95-100) rather than the usual of going down the coast first and then cutting over. This kept the winds and seas off the port bow and kept us from slamming. As we crossed the stream and the current abated, the seas lessened, and our course gradually corrected to the right; we reached off into Bimini at a high speed. We got there in record time, about 8 hrs. 1 pm was the perfect time to arrive, clear in, wash the salt off and enjoy cocktails.
Cookie Monster departed HISC at 00:18am on Friday and arrived at 11, their ride was a bit bumpy and very wet with no dodger to protect them. But everyone was in good spirits and happy to be in Bimini. Intermission departed FLL 430 pm Friday and arrived 630 am Saturday and were greeted by helping hands and noisy dogs at the dock. With the arrival of the other host boat, the party could begin! Finally, PoPoki arrived from FLL Saturday afternoon after a quick 7 hr crossing and the crowd was complete!
Dingies were deployed, snorkel trips were made or attempted. A dingy ride around S. Bimini was completed. A 2:30 date for conch & lobster salad and Kaliks at Stuart’s allowed time for the crews of Commotion and Lady Gray to see onshore and in the water wildlife!
Saturday afternoon club happy hour was held at the patio of Big Game Club. Everyone brought food to share and BYOB. Lady Gray brought mix-your-own Painkillers which helped dispel any memories of sea sickness. Everyone walked down to the well-attended Bimini Seafood and Bread festival and tried a few bites of local food and then headed off to dinner all over the island.
Sunday morning brunch was served at the south end of Big Game club with everyone bringing food and drink to share and Cheryl from Intermission making an amazing brunch dish.
After brunch, Lady Gray headed home and had a quick 7 hour run home. PoPoki headed to Exuma for a multi-week cruise. Not done with the weekend yet, The crews from Commotion and Cookie Monster headed to S. Bimini for beach time and to do some snorkeling. The crews were thrilled to see sharks, rays, beautiful reef fish and a humongous sea turtle.
Monday dawned bright with a bit less wind and the remaining boats headed home. All the boats arrived between 3-430 pm safely to their docks with another Memorial Day Cruise in the books.
**after our departure there was a large fire at the power plant in Bimini on Memorial Day and the island lost power. It was back up the next day, but with a significant capacity reduction. Not sure of the long-term effects there**