We finally got the weather window we were needing. It wasn’t ideal because the wind was suppose to drop off and once again we would have to motor. However, it would be safe and since we were planning to spend the night anchored at Mackie Shoals in the middle of the Bahama Banks, it was a good choice for us.
We left Miami at first light and navigated through the channel at Biscayne Bay and were able to put the sails up once out of the channel. We started out sailing and got an extra 3 knot boost once we entered the Gulf Stream. With the Miami skyline just about out of sight, the wind shifted from the north rather than just drop off. It was only around 10 knots so not a big deal but did create larger seas than were predicted. Since the Gulf Stream runs south to north, a north wind will create larger waves since it is blowing from the opposite direction. The good news is that since the wind wasn’t strong, the effect on the waves was minimal.
We anchored on the shoals around 22:00 (10:00pm) and had a restful sleep. We decided that we would push on at first light and were thrilled to once again be able to see our anchor and chain on the sandy bottom through Gin clear water. The wind was light as often is the case in the mornings but became stronger as the day went on. Since we still had 50 nm to go in order to reach the anchorage at Morgan’s Bluff and we wanted to arrive early enough to clear customs, we decided to motor sail. This worked out well because with just 1,500 RPM’s we were able to maintain 6.5-7.4 knots of speed through the water. We arrived at Morgan’s Bluff around 14:30 and went ashore to meet customs and immigration to take care of the paperwork.