It’s not easy sitting here in the Outer Banks when the autumn breeze starts to brisk up and all the birds start flying south. It’s even worse when everyone I know with a boat is talking about sailing to the Bahamas in November. I mentioned as much to my “admiral” the other day and to my surprise she said, “Go for it.”
“But I’ve got bills to pay and some things to catch up on,” I protested. “Maybe I should put it off until next year.”
“I don’t think you should put it off,” she said.
“Do you know something I don’t?” I asked suspiciously. “You been talking to my doctor?”
Well the upshot of it all is that I’m seriously contemplating an early November departure for the Abacos and it would assuage my conscience if I could take on a few paying passengers to justify the expense.
Over the years, many of my day passengers have commented that they would like to make such a voyage in whole or in part, so I’m putting this out there in case any such folks are reading this blog and might be serious about such a venture. I’d be leaving Ocracoke during the first week of November and heading down the coast to Ft. Pierce or West Palm (which can take between one and two weeks depending on weather and fitness of the crew for offshore passage-making). The next several days would be spent crossing the Gulf Stream and island-hopping to Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay or Man-o-war Cay where we’d leave the boat and fly back in order to be home for Thanksgiving.
The schooner, while rather small, has most of the amenities generally found on cruising boats: hot shower, refrigerator/freezer, Bimini awning, cockpit table, autopilot, chart plotter, 10’ inflatable dinghy with outboard. While there are numerous larger charter boats available for such a cruise, only a very few have skippers with as much experience.
I’ve been cruising between N.C. and South Florida since 1974, made my first of many crossings to the Bahamas in 1979 and have held a U.S.C.G. captain’s license since 1978.
I’ve made well over fifty passages through the Intracoastal Waterway during that time and consider myself as knowledgeable a tour guide as any.
The ideal passenger for this trip would be someone who has long been contemplating a trip like this on their own vessel and wants to learn as much as possible about sailing and cruising beforehand.
If interested, send me an e-mail and we’ll explore the possibilities further.