Wednesday, August 29, 2007

West Palm Beach, Florida (Lake Worth)

We arrived at Lake Worth in West Palm Beach on Saturday, May 12, 2007. We were right behind Two Pelicans but we had lost contact with Lindsay Christine who had taken a little different route. We had planned to go to a Marina so we could easily check in with customs and get some shopping done but the one we thought we had reservations with said we didn't.....we were tired and headed straight out to the anchorage and dropped the hook!! After getting our dinghy down we headed over to pick up Jeremy and Cliff on Two Pelicans so we could check back into the USA. We went to the Customs office right next to the docks, but being Saturday they were closed. We were told we could go to the Airport and check in, so we got a taxi. Once at the airport we knocked on the door to immigration and they said we had to call customs first and then
they could help us. Thank goodness there was a pay phone right there. So Kim calls and talks to one of the agents who is getting very frustrated because Kim can't hear him and keeps asking him to repeat himself. Finally Kim says, hey I'm sorry, but I am at the Airport and the noise from the airplanes is very loud. There was a very uncomfortable period of silence....then he says....WHY ARE YOU AT THE AIRPORT? Uh- oh...Kim tells him, because were supposed to check in as soon as we get here, the man was not a happy camper and proceeded to chastise Kim completely. It turns out that you are just supposed to go to the closest pay phone (on the dock) and call customs, then you can leave and go to immigration, well excuse us!! Anyway, he decided he would accept our apologies and check us in. As he was about to hang up, I mentioned that we had a friend with us who also needed to check in, and he was a Canadian Citizen...another long uncomfortable period of silence, but by that time Kim had handed Jeremy the phone and said good luck! :)...All went well with Jeremy, and we were soon on our way back to the docks to get some good ole American food.

I think we slept the rest of the day, and went to get some boat supplies the next day. We stayed a couple days, then said good-bye to Jeremy and Cliff who had to get Cliff back to an airport and home. We motored over to North Palm Beach and anchored out for a few days so we could stock up at groceries and go the West Marine store. We also needed to plan our strategy for getting up to coast. It looked like the weather was against us and we would be doing much of our travels up the ICW. These pictures show the anchorage around North Palm Beach.

We left North Palm Beach on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 heading for an overnight anchorage in Jensen Beach. We had to go through 10 bridges that day, the kind where you have to wait around and have them open them, while you wait with a bunch of other boats....Captain Mike had thought it a good time for First Mate Kim to work on here manuerving skills...It was a loooooonnng day. The trip was 30.2 nautical miles. The ICW was very beautiful. At times there would be houses lining the waterway and other times there were marshes and beautiful trees. It wasn't as relaxing as sailing in the ocean, you had to hand steer and constantly be on the look out for other boats, shallow spots and make certain you were within the marker range. If you went outside the navigational markers you would probable run aground. There were a lot of dolphins along the way, although they were not as friendly as when we see them in the ocean. They are basically just feeding and don't even bother coming near your boat. We also saw a few manatees and one water snake.

All in all we had a great travel day, and were glad to get through all those bridges. That is the most we would have to go through in one day. For the rest of the journey it would only be about one or two a day.

We arrived in Jensen Beach at about 2:24 PM and anchored in 7 feet of water. The anchorage was very shallow and we did touch bottom once, but found a nice little spot and spent the night. The next day we would head for Vero Beach.

Cheers and Ciao from Ka'imi, Mike and Kim

Working Again

Well we have finally gotten completely back into the mainstream by getting ourselves J-O-B-S. Kim wears an apron and Michael wears a collared shirt. Kim's apron is orange and has Home Depot written on it, she works in the Paint Department. Michael's collared shirt is blue and has the Landings written on it, he is the new golf cart attendant for the Plantation Club.

So if you are ever in Savannah you can stop by and see Kim in the Paint Department or go play golf at the Plantation Club and be sure to rent a cart from Mike:)

Cheers Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Video

Click here for a video of Ka'imi sailing to Venezuela. The video is courtesy of Ken and Roberta on Second Wind. Cheers Kim and Mike

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bimini, Bahamas

We previously did an update on Bimini (click here to read that section) but we had a little more to share. We wish we were there, we had such a great time and met alot of good people. Plus the water was crystal clear and warm and there were no alligators in it! Here we are on Weech's Dock in Bimini, very peaceful and beautiful. (You can click on any picture to enlarge.)

In 1919 Arthur Pappy Chalks began his seaplane service to Bimini. He flew rum runners and US undercover revenue agents to the Island, he even flew Al Capone. Pappy Chalks would visit Bimini and Nassau to work out liquor deals with Bahamian liquor merchants. Chalks seaplane service stopped after the fatal crash of Chalks Flight 101 on December 19, 2005. Shortly after takeoff from Miami the plan losts its right wing and crashed into Government Cut. The plane was bound for Bimini and all 20 people on board were killed, the majority being Biminites. The NTSB asserted that Chalks failed to identify and properly repair fatigue cracks on the plane, which would have caused the wing to fall off. We were told that they stopped the flights during the investigation and never restarted the service.

Another person to use Chalks to get to Bimini was Thomas Peters. A wealthy farmer and Miami hotel owner, he was fascinated by Bimini and here he built the 3 storey, 100 room Bimini Bay Rod and Gun Club. The hotel included a casino, it was the third largest in the Caribbean. We believe this pool was also part of the hotel. There were beautiful mosaic tile creations of fish, these are the ones we could see.

Another famed hotel was the Compleat Angler, where Ernest Hemingway stayed. He is said to have written a couple of his novels here. As we told you before the hotel burned down recently, so we didn't get to visit it. We did go through the ashes with Jeremy and Cliff from Two Pelicans, we found some tiles and a fish scale weight.

In 1936 Neville Norton Stuart turned a Prohibition-era bar into the Bimini Big Game Fishing Club. This Hotel and Marina seems to be a favorite on the island, the food was excellent. Mike, Jeremy and Cliff even took a dip in their pool after lunch one day, Kim didn't bring here bathing suit :( ........ It had a great atmosphere, lots of pictures and history on the walls, and a whole bunch of boaters and fishermen. This was a quiet day.

Some scenic beach pictures from our tour around the island in the golf cart.

We found this lizard living in the cannon, he was not intimidated by us at all!

Here is another graveyard by the sea and a truck that should probable be buried as well, why was it just left there to rot away??

We were in Bimini during election time. The red party pictured here were very boisterous and the controlling party, they did lose however, to the yellow party. We saw these local girls playing hide and go seek.

The picture on the left is the water taxi that goes to South Bimini and back. It shuttles locals back and forth and brings people from the airport located on South Bimini. The picture on the right is one of the many live aboard dive boats that come to Bimini.

We finally got our weather window to cross the Gulf Stream on Friday, May 11, 2007. We left about 4:15 PM along with Jeremy and Cliff on Two Pelicans and Gene and Edi on Lindsay Christine. It was pretty uneventful as the conditions improved along the way. We arrived in Lake Worth, West Palm Beach at 8:00 AM the next day, back in USA.

We'll update next with our East Coast travels. Cheers for now Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Today is Michael's B-Day

Happy Birthday Michael - and many more!!!!!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Berry Islands, Bahamas

Thirty-five miles northwest of Nassau lie the Berry Islands. There are 30 mostly uninhabited islands and cays with the largest being Chub Cay which is 10 miles long and 1 mile wide. Birds outnumber humans in this string of islands and cays and many are privately owned by individuals or cruise ship companies.
Bond Cay is one of the privately owned islands and is now a bird sanctuary so we were not allowed to go ashore and had to settle for a dinghy ride to get a closer view. The waters were beautiful and we saw many stingrays swim by, boy are they fast. We also saw a variety of fish and some turtles but no sharks here.
We did see some interesting stuff happening here. First a water plane landed and a power boat met them at a little cove along the shore and in the same spot the next day a helicopter landed on the island and was met by a power boat. Hmmmmmmmm............We don't know what was going on.....what do you think?
Alder Cay is also privately owned. Mike and his friend Tim McCurdy had been here 19 years ago and Mike says this was their favorite anchorage. Mike said it was much prettier back then having more beach area. We're thinking maybe some bad storms washed a lot of the sand away. We saw three houses on Alder Cay and Frozen Cay, which is right next to it, hiding in the palms and trees and not much else.

We left Bond Cay Friday, April 27, 2007 and sailed to Hoffman's Cay. This was an anchorage that Mike and Tim had also visited. We had an extremely difficult time setting the anchor because the ground was as hard as a rock or covered with turtle grass, neither of which our anchor holds well in. For the first time we ran the boat aground, err, rather Kim did, argggghhhh, very briefly we touched bottom, it was very shallow, very, very shallow, it could of happened to anyone :)))) To move past that subject we finally threw out our 25 pound danforth in the turtle grass. Twenty-five pounds is not a lot of anchor for our 18 ton boat, our CQR anchors are 45 pounds. We were sitting there watching the anchor feeling very insecure when Richard from another boat came over to talk with us. They were anchored on the other side of Fowl Cay about 200 yards from us. He was traveling with his wife and twin, 13 year old daughters. He suggested that we try to anchor over where they were. He said they had a nice sand patch and there were other sand patches that way. We did move over there and we saw sand patches, but those sand patches were hard as a rock!!! We drug all over the place, but the danforth held us on a rock, then the current switched and the danforth let go, but caught another rock and held us, etc, etc.......aaaaaayyyyy....we had a sleepless night. We did go see a blue hole on one of the cays that Mike had been to 19 years ago, we didn't get a picture, but here's what it looked like back then, yep that's a much younger, thrillseeking and yes more skinny, Mike. Well we wanted to stay and explore more, but we just couldn't get a good anchor hold so we left the next day for Great Harbour Cay.
Along the way we passed Great Stirrup and Little Stirrup which are now owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. They bring their passengers for a day of play. This is where Mike and Tim, 19 years ago, anchored and would go over to the island where the Cruise ship passengers were, and got in the chow line to eat and drink for free. Those were the days, huh. They would even get the leftover hamburgers, Cokes and Rum Punch mix. We had wanted to anchor in their old spot and try to get in the chow line again but our draft (the depth of our boat) was to much and Kim wasn't going aground again! As we motored by there were lots and lots of people on the beaches and in the water on jet skies and taking paragliding rides. We had to sail pretty close to the ship so we didn't get too far off course, so the waters got pretty crowded. There was absolutely zero wind and we ended up motoring all day, but look how calm.

Once we passed the cruise ship and rounded the corner we entered the shallows that led to the anchorage at Great Harbour Cay. Mike took the wheel, Kim didn't know why and didn't let it go easily. The only markings to show the shallows were poles that have long since lost their green or red coloring, so we did a lot of eyeball navigation. Thank goodness for the Bahamas crystal clear waters. We found some great sand to anchor in and had ourselves a nice sunset. In the 1960's Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and others made Great Harbour Cay their stomping grounds and created the Great Harbour Cay Club, complete with golf courses, marinas and ocean front homes. The rich and famous such as Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, the Rockefeller family and reportedly mob guy Meyer Lansky were frequent visitors. The club was finally closed and ransacked in the mid '70s.
We checked out the marina and the inner harbor where the Great Harbour Cay Club used to be, not much to see. We found more interesting things on the outside anchorage where we were anchored. Lots of sting rays and spotted eagle rays, another wrecked single engine plan, beautiful houses, broken docks and thrashed houses. We left Great Harbour Cay .....heading for Mackie Shoal to spend the night then head to Bimini.
Mackie Shoal light marks Mackie Shoal which is located at 25.40.55 N, 078.39.27 W. It's just a light marker in the middle of the Bahama Banks. We tucked in at dusk behind the Shoal as far away from the shipping lanes as we could get. We tucked behind the bank so anyone not paying attention would hit the shoal before they hit us. The seas on the Banks that night were about 4-5 feet, so it was somewhat uncomfortable. There is no protection from wind or seas out there. It is an eerie feeling anchoring out in the middle of the ocean. We wanted to get an early start so it was still quiet dark when we got up. We saw a lot of traffic out in the water when we went up on deck. BIG ships and lots of them in the shipping lanes...great....There was also a Mega yacht anchored not too far from us, so it was tricky getting out of there in the dark. Off we went, next stop Bimini, more on that later.

Cheers Mike and Kim on Ka'imi


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