January 8-9, 2010... Night Passage

First thing Friday morning John checked us into Bahamas customs and immigration; cruising permit good for 180 days; we're good for 90 days. Checked the weather and saw that another cold front was going to be making its way from the Arctic on Saturday, so we decided to run in front of the front to the Berry Islands. Left Bimini for the 95-mile passage to Devil's-Hoffman cove. Daylight sailing was good, but we decided to speed it up with the motor, to stay ahead of the weather. Crossing the Great Bahama Bank was really calm; no waves. We started 2-hour shifts at nightfall so that everyone could get some sleep. Again, Jay is our lucky charm. We had such a good run, we had to take one of the sails down and cut off the engine after Great Stirrup Key. We are the only people we know who intentionally sail slow -- we didn't want to arrive before daybreak to make the entrance into the cove. Not much sea life on display -- flying fish every once in a while, and beautiful phosphorescence in the water. The clear sky was a treat -- we saw every constellation we knew and then some.
Overnight highlight: tracking the location of the cruise ships is the task of the night watch. When Patti and Jay were on, we had the honor and privilege of encountering the largest cruise ship in the world, the Oasis of the Seas. Patti hailed the "cruise ship with the blue lights" to make sure we weren't on a collision course. Well, the Oasis officer on duty couldn't have been nicer, asking our location and confirming that he had us on radar. He also said we wouldn't be any trouble to him as he was 10 miles away. Well, they looked huge and seemed much closer!
We are now sitting in a beautiful turquoise water cove, surrounded by uninhabited islands, waiting for the front to pass. The winds are threatening and the skies are dark. We are depending on the Rocna tonight!
Devil's-Hoffman Cove, The Berrys: +25° 36' 22.68", -77° 43' 56.34"

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