Fleming 55, A Great Bahama Trip Thanks to Your Advice

We first met Joy and Steve at TrawlerFest in Baltimore’s University class “Building Cruising Confidence As A Couple.” Since then they found their Fleming 55 and have started living the adventure. Here’s their latest cruise to the Bahamas…

I just wanted to let you know that Meandering Joy is safe on the dock at Isle of Hope Marina in Georgia.  We had a wonderful trip base on your advise from your seminar at Trawlerport at the Miami boat show.  We spent almost two months in the Bahamas.  We planned our route based on your advise.  We left from Port Everglades and had an easy run over to Bimini.  We cleared customs there and spent one night at Browns Marina.  Our 11 year old Lab, Piper enjoyed her first run on the beach at Bimini.  From there we ran over to Cat Cay via the Sapona wreck and then ran across the bank to Chub Cay in the Berry’s.  The water was like glass and allowed me to do all kinds of other things while under way.  We really did not care for Chub.  It is run down and the customer service was terrible there.  We became worried here that this was going to be the way we would be treated all through the Bahamas.  Fortunately Chub was the exception, not the rule.   

We had a rough night while anchored somewhere off a desert cay in the Berry’s.  I thought I was in protected waters but as the night progressed, rollers came in and really rocked our world.  I put out a second anchor during the night but it did almost no good.  I could not keep the huge rollers off the beam and we had a miserable sleepless night.  The next day we ran up to Great Harbour Marina to get some r&r and wait out a storm that we knew was approaching.  Everyone was nice there and the experience here was a precursor to how we would be treated the whole rest of the trip. 

From Great Harbour we ran the 70+- miles around the hole in the wall and in to Little Harbour in the Abaco’s.  I was not as patient as I should have been.  I should have waited at least one more day as I ran in to 8 to 10 foot seas with an occasional 11 footer.  Though I never worried about our boats ability, it is just no fun for us to get beat up at sea.  There was also the worry of the rage when we came in to Lynard Cay but we had all eyes focused on the best route and came in fine. From this point forward our trip was all fun with no scary seas or storms.  We enjoyed the Abacos from end to end. Piper did too.  She was able to go almost everywhere we were including restaurants and stores.  There was only one restaurant in Man of War that did not allow dogs.  Otherwise she was welcome everywhere.   The people, marinas, food, and everything else were fantastic.  I would have enjoyed more time at Green Turtle but we had waited to go around the whale until we were headed in the direction of home.  We had no issues with the whale because we carefully watched the weather.  From Green Turtle, we ran to Great Sale.  We arrived just before dark because we did not leave until after lunch sending our daughter Caroline off on a ferry to Treasure Cay for her flight home.  We left Great Sale at 3:30 am and were at the dock in Ft. Pierce before 4:00 pm.  It too was a great crossing. 

The trip was fantastic.  We had family and friends aboard from time to time and it is easy to meet up with them with the flight and ferry system in Abaco.  I do agree that if you stay too long that you will start to lose IQ points.  Life is too laid back.  What you left out of your seminar is this.  Yes you do need to clear customs when you get to Ft. Pierce.  From customs, however, you need straight to De-Tox and from there to Re-HAb.  I think I can go the rest of the year without a drink and still be over the annual alcohol allotment.  

Thanks again for the great advise.  I hope we get to meet up at some point on the water.  If you want any of Joys pictures, please let us know. 

Steve and Joy