In the end, our watermaker made the decision for us to head back to the States with a high pressure pump acting up.  What a way to end our time there, by spending the last few weeks in the Bahamas underwater.  Going nuts with my new camera, I still have tons photos to review with lots of exciting sightings… stay tuned.  

Gabriel & Monica (Maracujá) were game to go out snorkeling for hours at a time with us for excellent reef access in calm weather, including a few return visits to a pristine elk horn coral reef.

The guys kept our fish dinners coming with ocean triggerfish and grouper sliders on the menu.  

One of Gabriel’s Nassau groupers came with an appetizer fish in his mouth!

A few fish did get away, hiding deep in the caves despite the tag-team effort.

A few more boats arrived in the Ragged Islands to share the peaceful beauty.  We got to admire Nighthawk in our Hog Cay anchorage next to a convenient snorkeling reef right off of our sterns.

Ray & Genna (Nighthawk) were in their element, chilling in blue waters again.   

We even got in a little guitar-time with them one evening, taking us back to Cartagena nights playing in Club Nautico.

We also reconnected with John-Michael & Kimberly (Pura Vida) whom we briefly met in Long Island.  

They just sold up and sailed out last fall and are making the most of every moment in their new life on the water! 

Equipped with an air compressor, they get to dive at will (thx for the tank refill guys!).

For a few weeks by now, our boat project list was starting to creep into our consciousness along with a pending haulout.  After our watermaker sprung a leak and started misbehaving, we knew it was time to head to Florida.  We took a decent weather window, threading the needle between a few weather systems for a three night trip across the Great Bahama Bank.  It was our first time traversing south of Andros with 15-20 ft of flat sand all the way, avoiding the reefs at Cochinos and the Bricks as well as the constant cargo traffic in the Old Bahama Channel.

It was a full moon passage.  Watching the sun set and then moon rise felt almost as bright as daytime ~ an easy way, with radar, to avoid scattered squalls.

It’s not easy to photograph the rising moon from a moving boat, but if you take enough pictures you might get lucky...

Mars, Saturn and the Cancer constellation were still visible next to the full moon, along with a sparkly Betelgeuse off to port.  

I used the Sky View iPad App to help identify what I was seeing in the night sky.

On the fourth morning, we saw and smelled land and timed our favorite Ft. Pierce inlet at slack tide.  We took our chances at stopping by Riverside Marina to see if they could haul us early and were pleasantly surprised to squeeze into their schedule… & boat well.  Time to gear up into work-mode.

© M&M 2016