After we said goodbye to Mike and Denise on the 12th we set in motions our plans for our return trip back to the states. We had not been sure which route we would take up to now as it would be heading back through Eleuthera, up to the Abacos and back to the states or opt for the overnighters to Bimini and over. We elected to go ahead and get it over with and make the long trip. But first on the 13th we made one last trip to Pirate Beach to add our boat name. We do this in places we really enjoy.
Dirk hanging our Renegade sign
Me posing with our and some other signs
Leaving Pirate Beach for the last time this season
After returning to the boat we pulled anchor and made the trip up to Normans Cay where we would wait out weather. Seems we were waiting out weather a lot lately. On the way up Dirk actually caught 2 Mahi but elected to let them go as our freezers were pretty much packed. No need to be greedy. We sat in Normans in the cut for the first two nights practically by ourselves and Dirk was able to stock up on the last of the conch that he could. On the final evening we decided to anchor on the west side of the island so that leaving at first light should be easier and it would cut some time off. After setting the hook we walked the beach one more time and picked up another sea bean or two before heading back to Renegade and stowing the Dinghy for the trip back. At 6:30 am on Thursday we pulled anchor and slipped out of the nearly empty anchorage with our sights set on Bimini.
Our last Exuma sunrise for a while
It was a fairly uneventful day and as we were approaching the North West Channel close to Nassau it was getting dark and of course the seas started to pick up a bit.
This was before it was picking up. Dirk and I standing on the bow sprit looking into the water below as the sun rays shot through the water.
Our plan was to anchor on the banks if we got too tired. That is always our plan but it never works out. This evening was no exception. Once it got to be about 11pm we tried pulling into the wind and sat at idle to see how tossed around we would be. Well there wouldn’t be any sleeping anyway so we kept on. Finally at 8:30 am the next morning, 26 hours later we arrived outside of Bimini. We almost thought about continuing on but decided that those decisions shouldn’t be made when we were as tired as we were. We went ahead and went into Bimini getting a slip at a marina. I think it was Browns. We caught a few hours of sleep then went off in search of food. Lucky for us the bar next door had a one year anniversary party going on with free food so we set off to get the first free thing in the Bahamas we ever got. Pulled pork, peas and rice and some white starchy potato like veggie I had never eaten before. Didn’t eat it then either as it had the same flavor as a cardboard box. We returned back to the boat after walking around a bit and turned in for an early evening. The next morning after daybreak we left the marina after having the current and wind try its best to keep up pinned to the dock. No one was there to assist and after almost having the dinghy ripped off the davits and Dirk jumping on board at the last possible moment we finally made our not so elegant departure. Sometimes you are entertained, some days you’re the entertainment. Today we were the latter. As we were exiting the channel we spotted our friends Rick and Audrey on s/v Naked Lady anchored out. They themselves had been travelling several hours behind us so we all headed out together along with one other boat and set our sights on West Palm Beach. The trip took us about 10 to 11 uneventful hours, many of them motor sailing and when the wind completely died, motoring. Pulling into almost the exact same spot as we sat several months earlier before leaving for the Bahamas, we settled in for the evening, after calling customs to let them know we were back in country. The next day was a Sunday and the last thing we wanted to do was to travel the ICW with every Tom, Dick, and Harry out on their go fast boat and Jet Ski zipping this way and that so we elected to hop on the outside and head up to the Fort Pierce inlet, headed north once we were on the inside and took the ICW up to Vero Beach. At Vero we picked up a ball from the nearly empty mooring field close to the bridge and took the dinghy down and headed into the restaurant right on the other side of the bridge for our first meal out in a while. We elected to stay an extra day and had a day of do absolutely nothing which felt good after going, going, going for the last couple. On the 21st we took the short trip up to Harbortown Marina on Merritt Island which we would call home for a couple months.