Most people think of bluewater sailing as a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean or a 30 day hop across the Pacific Ocean. However, we’ve found some gorgeous bluewater sailing, with no land in sight, right here in the Bahamas. Yes, it’s not 10 days at sea. But it’s all her power and beauty gliding under our sailboat just the same.
Episode 147, Blue Water Sailing in the Bahamas
This sail took us from the Berry Islands all the way to Eleuthera Island. It’s not a far hop, but it did give us time for a quick overnight stop at the eastern Cays of the Berry Island chain.
In This Episode:
00:00 Leaving Bullocks Harbour
00:45 Map of Route
01:40 Sailing to Soldier Cay
04:20 Anchoring in Soldier Cay
06:12 Bottom Paint on Dinghy
07:45 Beach and Reef
11:10 Catching Mackerel
13:05 Sailing to Eleuthera
Sailing Offshore to Eleuthera
True to our recent slow sailing style, we found light air and easy sailing again! One thing that caught us off guard was the number of ships out here. We were north of Nassau, Bahamas, so that explains it. But apparently, all the cruise ships travel at night.
The funny thing about those cruise ships, they don’t have far to go. So instead of arriving at the port, they just turn circles out on the ocean. The passengers don’t have a map in front of them, so it feels like they’re cruising the ocean! lol
For us, sailing out in the bluewater, means we get confused. A massive ship is a cause for alarm. But a massive ship turning toward us, then away, then toward us, is beyond confusion.
Check Out Our New Sail Slow Mugs and Hats!!
So we radioed the Disney Wish, a cruise ship, and asked. They informed us that they saw us on their radars and then shared this secret with us.
In addition to the cruise ships, all of the mail boats (the local shipping barges) travel at night too. That way they arrive in port at sunrise ready to unload cargo.
We Love Bluewater Sailing
The open ocean used to frighten us. There were so many unknowns – so many uncertainties about what we would face. But now it calls to us AND it frightens us.
Maybe not frighten…maybe it’s more of, we respect its power and unpredictability.
When the weather is right, there’s no place we’d rather be. Out here it’s open and free. It’s exactly what we love about sailboat travel!
What Is Bluewater Sailing?
As with anything, ask 10 people – get 10 definitions. To us, bluewater sailing is when you’re out of sight of land, hovering over thousands of feet of crystal blue ocean, and sailing to another separate location.
Different than Coastal Cruising
Coastal sailing (like we did here on the Texas Coast and here on the US East Coast) may put you out of sight of land, but you can always find a port to escape to. Bluewater sailing offers less chance of escape from the sea – instead, it’s all about the escape to the sea.
Challenges of Bluewater Sailing
Bluewater sailing is the art of cruising across the ocean in a boat that can withstand the waves, the wind, and the occasional shark attack (not really, lol). It’s not for the faint of heart or the seasick-prone. Some of the challenges with bluewater sailing are finding a reliable crew, navigating through storms and sea states, and keeping your sanity when you haven’t seen land for weeks. But hey, at least you get to enjoy the sunsets and the stars, right?
Essential Gear Needed
Okay, for bluewater gear, there are needs and wants. We’re going to strip this down to the bare essential safety needs. So if you’re thinking of heading out for days on the big blue ocean, take a look at this list.
We divided into two categories: (1) What we have and (2) What we need to get. Both categories we believe are needed for safety when bluewater sailing.