Travel

We’re Back in the Bahamas … Cruising Season 2022!

on
May 17, 2022

It’s been such a long time ago since I posted to this blog, I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start. Every time I sit down to write, I’m soon enveloped with panic over all that I’ve missed since our last post. Once the panic sets in, I cease being a writer and instead decide it’s time to take a nap. Jane finally put her foot down. If I want lunch, I must write!

I just checked. We last posted on March 30, 2021! That was over a year ago! We were leaving our anchorage at Key Largo and heading over to the Bahamas for the first time.

Now, one could come to several possible conclusions to explain our silence after that post. First, you could conclude that somewhere after our arrival in Bimini last year, the boat sank. Or, you could conclude that we had such a horrible time in the Bahamas that we didn’t want to talk about it. Or, you could conclude that we had such a wonderful time that we found it impossible to put into words our magical, life transforming experience.

The first two possibilities would be wrong. The third is right on the money!

In fact, we spent over 100 days of the year 2021 – from the third week of March through the end of June – in the northern Bahamas exploring Bimini, the Berry Islands and the Abaco Islands. We traveled close to 600 miles while exploring those beautiful waters. The whole experience was breathtaking! We’d love to catch you all up on that trip, but it’ll have to wait for another time. What we really need to do is catch you up on our current cruising season in the Bahamas … the cruise of 2022!

After returning to the States the end of last June, we spent the summer of 2021 and hurricane season in Florida doing repairs and upgrades to Dejarlo, while spending time with our wonderful friends in the Vero Beach/Fort Pierce area.

On February 4th of this year, we departed our marina in Sebastian, Florida, heading south along the coast past Miami to Key Largo in the northern Keys. From there we planned to cross over to Bimini in the western Bahamas once again, a trip of approximately eighty miles. On February 27th, at 4:00 am, we left our anchorage off Key Largo, headed offshore several miles into the Gulf Stream and pointed the bow of Dejarlo towards Bimini. We arrived at Bimini Bluewater Marina and tied Dejarlo into our slip about twelve hours later.

Following all the Bahamian Customs and Immigration formalities, we quickly settled into the Bahamian culture as we waited several days for the passing of inclement weather allowing us to proceed on the next leg of our trip east into the Bahamas – a long, 80-mile crossing of the Bahama Banks to the southern tip of the Berry Islands. From there, it was another thirty miles across the “Tongue of the Ocean” to the cruise ship capital of the Bahamas … Nassau.

After a few days in the bustling city of Nassau, where we enjoyed the big city luxuries of large grocery stores, Domino’s Pizza and Dairy Queen ice cream, we headed thirty-five miles southeast to Highborne Cay, located towards the northern tip of the Exuma island chain. We would spend the next two months exploring as much of this majestic 365 island chain as possible – from Highborne Cay in the north, to George Town in the south.

Our path down to George Town

Many cruisers don’t make it as far south in the Exumas as George Town. It’s pretty far south and requires leaving the usually docile Bahama Banks to head out into the sometimes angry, deep-water Exuma Sound to get to George Town. We’re glad we made the effort, as this is a cruising mecca for many and a yearly destination for hundreds of boats. When we arrived, there were 350 boats anchored around the George Town harbor. Many cruisers from many foreign lands come here for many months at a time. The previous stewards of Dejarlo (Pam and Ollie) came here every year for several months each year for several years. Dejarlo was happy to be back in George Town waters. You could almost hear her giggling with excitement! We even got some calls on the VHF radio from long-time “George Towners” who remembered Pam and Ollie on Dejarlo from years back, excited to see “the famous Dejarlo” back in the harbor.

Dejarlo anchored off Monument Hill in George Town
The anchorages of George Town in the distance with 350 boats
With friends in George Town

This is a wonderful cruising community. We understand now why this is a yearly destination for so many boats. In addition to the beautiful waters and comradery of fellow cruisers, you can find just about all the supplies and provisions that you would find back in the States. And, if you find yourself with some type of boat problem that you’re struggling to solve, just get on the VHF radio and ask for some assistance. There will be at least five dinghies tied up to your stern within fifteen minutes with a helping hand!

We were going to stay here for a week before moving on. We stayed three weeks!

Drinks at the Chat ‘n Chill beach bar in George Town

From George Town, we moved back north to explore those areas of the Exumas that we missed in our rush to get south to George Town. In particular, we wanted to spend time in the breathtaking 112,000 acre, 22-mile long Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. What a place! In total, we spent about two weeks in the Park, dinghying to remote corners of the islands, swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear water. Sorry, no fishing in the Park. These fish are protected. And they know it. Turtles, sharks, and other wildlife come right up to the boat to say hello. It was truly a sight to behold, and we can’t wait to come back again next year.

Anchored in beautiful Warderick Wells, part of Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park

We ended our stay in the Exumas at Warderick Wells, probably one of the most spectacular anchorages in the Exumas, and certainly during our time on Dejarlo. I’ll have more to say about Warderick Wells in an upcoming post.

After a pleasant eight-hour passage east from Warderick Wells, we arrived at Rock Sound on Eleuthera Island, where we are currently anchored for a few days.

From here, we’ll head north to Hatchet Bay while continuing our exploration of Eleuthera, then on to Spanish Wells at the northern tip of Eleuthera where we’ll spend about a week getting to know that popular cruising destination.

Time for a hair cut …
… and not a bad view overlooking Dejarlo at anchor off Black Point

After that, it’s a fifty-mile crossing from Eleuthera to a familiar anchorage at Little Harbour in the Abacos Islands. We’ll then spend the next month re-visiting familiar anchorages from last season and exploring new anchorages that we missed.

Swimming with nurse sharks at Compass Cay Marina

We should be returning to the States around the first of July after a total of over 1,000 miles this season. After settling into life back in the States, we’ll make some decisions about where we’ll be spending the summer hurricane season, and our plans for the cruising season of 2023.

We’ll keep you up to speed with our plans and promise to do a better job with descriptions, pictures, and videos of the wonderful stops we’ve made along this journey so far.

Hope all is well with everyone. We’ll visit again soon!

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29 Comments
  1. Reply

    Rosemary Perrin

    May 27, 2022

    Hello John and Jane, thrilled to see the beautiful pics and hear about your latest exploits. We are well and busy and promise to do a better job of keeping in touch.

  2. Reply

    Randy and Diane

    May 24, 2022

    So happy for you two! Your travels sound so amazing. We think about you and miss you.

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      We miss you guys! Looking forward to getting back there in the fall to see everyone.

  3. Reply

    Janet Holsapple Hattermann

    May 23, 2022

    Hi John. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures at sea. You are having a time of your life. Enjoy it and please continue posting your exciting excursions.

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Thanks for the support, Janet! We’ll try to get better at posting content.

  4. Reply

    Nena White

    May 23, 2022

    John and Jane: I’m so happy that you have resumed your writing! I love seeing all of your pictures and hearing the stories behind them. It’s obvious that the boating life agrees with you two, you both look happy and healthy. I can’t wait to hear what’s next. Love, Nena

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Boy, do we ever miss everyone! This is a fantastic lifestyle. The downside is being away from cherished friends and family. Hope to see you this fall when we get back home for a visit.

  5. Reply

    Judy Cox eaton

    May 22, 2022

    Hi John. You are living the life. So happy for you. I’m a snowbird now too bought a place in Bonita springs. Love it. Stay in touch!

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Great hearing from you, Judy! It’s been a long, long time.

  6. Reply

    Gloria Evans

    May 22, 2022

    Looks like a fabulous time! Hope to see you soon! Stay safe and keep doing what you are doing, having the time of your lives!

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      My life will not be complete until I get back to Nevada. We’re looking forward to RVing in Nevada, and visiting with Gloria and Chuck.

  7. Reply

    Marilyn Boone

    May 22, 2022

    John and Jane,
    So glad to hear you are “Livin’ the Dream”-you both look happy and healthy
    Love and Hugs
    Marilyn and David

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Words cannot describe how much we miss you guys. Can’t wait to get back there in the fall to see everyone.

  8. Reply

    Steve Moeller

    May 21, 2022

    Thanks so much for the updates on your sailing travels, along with the beautiful photos. Best wishes as you both continue on with your travels exploring beautiful places by sea.

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Thanks, Steve.

  9. Reply

    Pat Ridgewsy

    May 20, 2022

    Well hello! So glad to hear from you. It looks like Jane received a haircut with a view. So happy to see you both having the time of your life. Oh, I’m a grandma. She looks like Jade. Stay safe, and consider yourselves hugged.

  10. Reply

    Randy Watson

    May 18, 2022

    Hi John, It was good to hear from you guys. Looks like you are having a wonderful time. We spent Jan thru Mar in Winter Haven, FL and went over to Vero Beach a couple times. Wish we new you were in the area. We will be down there again next year so if you are are there would love to see you. Love seeing your post and wish you the best.

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Thanks, Randy.

  11. Reply

    Tony Vogel

    May 18, 2022

    Enjoyed reading all the news! Looks like you have really settled into the lifestyle! We were out to eat with Dee & Paul last evening and Dee inquired if we had heard from you guys. We are off to our lake house this weekend for the summer months. If you get bored and want some fresh water time you are most welcome. Just reach out. Best……Tony

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Can’t wait to see you guys again!

  12. Reply

    Jim Coleman

    May 18, 2022

    John, great to hear from you. Enjoyed the details and photos.
    Look forward to more. Have a safe and enjoyable cruise!

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Thanks for your support, Jim.

  13. Reply

    Cathy & Jimmy

    May 18, 2022

    John & Jane,so happy to hear from you!! Looks like a wonderful adventure & not lacking in beauty!! We are getting ready for a week in Mattoon…don’t be jealous!😂 Keep doing what you guys do so well like enjoying life to the max!! Love you!!!

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      A week in Mattoon … woo hoo! Love you too.

  14. Reply

    Tom & Trudy

    May 18, 2022

    Good to see your smiling faces! Pictures are exotic and calming. We again, are envious🥹
    So good to see your dream of sailing and hard work pay you dividends. An adventure most of us would only dream of. Your memories will be amazing. We will see you sometime in the future. May Poseidon continue to look over you😍

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Thanks, Tom. Poseidon kicked our ass the other day when that tropical storm passed through here.

  15. Reply

    Robin & Darren

    May 18, 2022

    We knew the real reason you didn’t write! Been tracking you on the GPS. So glad you’re livin the dream and loving it. Can’t wait to hear all the stories over some drinks someday soon.

    • Reply

      John & Jane

      June 9, 2022

      Thanks guys!

  16. Reply

    Judy and Jerry Stejskal

    May 18, 2022

    John and Jane……. I wasn’t worried even though I should have….. that was a long time since we heard. No news is good news? Wow….. you two are just having more fun the longer you’re out at sea! Thank you for such a detailed blog with photos. Thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it! Jane…… you have so much beauty for watercolor! Take care and look forward to next entry. Judy and Jerry

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