Posted by: August Sandberg | 08/03/2014

Cayman Islands – Mexico – Bahamas

      9Happy days on Grand Cayman

After a very pleasant stay on Grand Cayman, Friday was coming up. And fear for our wallets and of breaking our tradition of always being at sea on weekends made us set sail again.

For the first time since our run from Hispañola to Cuba we had the wind from behind, and Værbitt war running for Mexico at a splendid pace of 7 knots. The Gulf Stream joined the party, and a couple of days later, we moored at Isla Mujeres of Cancun.

8Having fun on Værbitt’s masthead swing

One by one, our new crew members came aboard. Jostein, Jens’ brother, Halvard, a buddy from back home, and last but not least, the Captain himself; Vegard. It was a hearty meeting, and we all went out to eat and get to know each other. Everyone got along famously, and we spent a couple of fun days on the Island. We rented another golf cart, played volleyball at the beach and ate tons of tacos.

But again, the weekend was drawing near, and the winds were most favorable. We said our goodbyes to Mexico, but they were dwarfed by our goodbyes to Lars. He had proved to be an excellent mariner, a loyal shipmate, and a well of wit. Without him, the sailing would have been much harder, and a lot less fun.

7Lars and a Cuban friend hanging out in the cockpit

We set of with a gentle sea, a perfect breeze abaft the beam, and a solid hangover. We reached the north coast of Cuba before things got weird. Powerful squalls, currents and shifting winds made the sailing tough going. After a violent night of unidentified marine traffic,  reefing and course changing, the wind settled in the north-east. We were forced to beat up into the wind, tack upon tack for the last 300 miles, and the lighthouse of Bimini, Bahamas was a most welcome sight.

6Drying off in Big Game Club Marina

Væbitt was barely moored before we made our first mistake. The water, some say the clearest in world, tempted us to swim, and we did so without reading up on the local marine fauna. Afterwards, several grave locals told us that the water is infested by huge, aggressive bullsharks, and how stupid we were. Later that day, we discovered that they have a shark cage in the marina, where you can watch the sharks from behind thick metal bars for 150$. 50 meters from were we had our dip!

1Jens put his camera on a boat hook, and filmed the sharks in the marina.

Bimini is a very tiny tropical island, only 40 miles from Miami. Yet the place is absolutely deserted. Cast Away-beaches, empty resorts, and comatosed locals sitting idly along the island’s only road in plastic chairs. But after a few days, we found some fun people to hang out with, among them two friendly Norwegian sailors on their boat “Cavu”. We’ve driven golf cart around the entire post-apocalyptic island, eaten conchs, watched sharks, paddled kayaks, and relaxed on the desolate beaches.

4Summiting Biminis tallest mountain in a golf cart

But now, the islands attractions have all been explored, and we’re just about to weigh anchor. This time for Fort Lauderdale, US of A! We are looking forward to the stay, as some of the crew has not been on the mainland for over a month. The tide is turning, and it’s time to get underway. It is Saturday night, after all.

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