We awoke after New Years to another beautiful Bahamian day. Today we were going to cross the Great Bahama Bank, 57 miles of ocean between 6 and 12 feet deep. The Northwest Channel, the eastern most part shouldn’t be done at dark as there is only a small opening between two very dangerous reefs. Most boats end up anchoring somewhere miles from land due to the vast amount of ground that is unable to be covered in one day. I wanted to get going early as we would be slowest boat in our four boat armada. Sirius, Highlander, Freedonia and Bumbre would all be crossing the bank today and we hoped to anchor together for safety sake. After going over and getting the scoop from some dive boats on the “local cut”, the way out of Bimini harbor at low tide we decided to head off. Jen wasn’t to sure about leaving before high tide, but I knew that if we wanted to get across the bank in two day we better get going so we headed out. Everyone else would be following at various times, but we were the guinea pigs to try the “local cut”. I follow the direction on how to get out, but before I got to the critical point, I bailed out and left the “high tide” way. I did this for two reason, the first was that I saw I was past the shallowest part of the channel entrance into Bimini and the second reason was there was a 50 sailboat hard aground directly in my path on the “local cut” route so I figured it was safer to go the old fashion way.
We didn’t get going until; 8:55 , and really didn’t know where we were heading, just thought we would go until we found a good anchorage. So off we went past Amelia Island, and soon we were approaching the St. John’s River, which heads down into Jacksonville. We knew we wanted to get south to St. Augustine so we just headed straight across the St. John’s River and kept heading south.