Story – Bahamas Adventure

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I was in town to do a couple of seminars for the Miami Strictly Sail show. One of my favorite displays is the Hylas dock where sailing’s nicest yachts reside for the week. It’s also fun because I get to visit with my friends Kyle Jachney and Michael Tamulaites.

After the show Kyle offered me a special boat delivery (my day job). I was to take a beautiful Hylas over to the Bahamas for a Vineyard Vines clothing photo shoot. Let me see; a wonderful yacht in a beautiful paradise with models. I had time for that.

Crew was easy as I was staying with my very good friend Lia. Her yacht employer was very flexible when it came to her Adventuring. As with most of my deliveries, this international jaunt required special prep and paperwork before we could sail off into the sunrise. Weather was going to be interesting, a bit breezy, but the wind was scheduled to be mostly aft while sailing over and then clock around and be mostly aft for our return … lucky.

Shiny stainless, fresh teak and sleek lines greeted us at our Hylas charge. I prepped the boat while Lia ran for provisions. And soon we were off on our sailing adventure.

Finally unfurling sails to shoot out an inlet is one of the highlights of a voyage. Motor off, we were at sea at last. I like to start a delivery in cruising mode and speed up as I gain confidence in the boat (and sometimes crew). We had the main in it’s smallest form, double reefed, and the headsail most of the way out. The Hylas’ is a strong boat with a fast underbody, a good combination. Gains are noticeable when unfurling a little more headsail.

We had 180nm to go to our resort destination. The wind was strong from the NNW and it built all night. With the wind pushing into the Gulf Stream, we were treated to some bumpier seas. The 46 handled them easily as we swept along at 6 to 8 knots under half headsail and a little main for stability.

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By morning we were sailing inside the island chain where the wind peaked at 40 knots. Wind was aft of the beam so we had the main down and secured, no concerns about jibing, while granting our sliver of headsail plenty of air to pull us along at hull speed. With everything stowed properly we were unaffected by a little extra roll of the shoal draft.

We were met at the entrance to the bay that housed the exclusive resort Kamalame on Andros Island. Mark was in a center console and he led us to the anchoring area imbued with that famous Bahamablue water. Photo gear and clothing items arrived promptly, followed by a photo crew, hair makeup wardrobe peeps and models (2 guys, 2 gals – beautiful freaks of nature ;).

The photo crew moved gear from one spot to another to get certain shots. To accommodate other angles, I rotated the boat a bit. Lia was great at assisting crew and models, having done some onboard yacht modeling herself.

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That evening we were invited ashore to enjoy the resort. Lia and I had a wonderful seafood dinner and beverages at the private restaurant. Just after, the models wandered in and plied us with more drinks. They were surprisingly down to earth, wonderful kids (20 somethings).

In the morning, after some quick V.V. clothing photos around the boat, we departed for Chub Cay. Now I know that so far, this had probably felt like a work trip for Lia but I wanted her to experience more of the Bahamas as a paradise. In a brisk 25 knots, we shot to windward. We had the main fully reefed and about a third of the headsail out. A third reed point would have allowed us to sail more upright and higher but she tracked well and made great speed.

There is no experience like pulling into a calm lee after beating, and observing a perfect white sand beach over turquoise water. We took a slip and beach combed and had a nice ‘job-well-done’ meal at the Chub Cay Club. Lia had her first conch fritters, a milestone.

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Up early the wind was lighter and would be aft for the rest of our voyage. We motored out through the breakwalls and set the full headsail. We spent the morning drifting over the extensive beautiful shallows west of Chub.

Into the straights … I will say that you all have an impressive amount of traffic in your narrow Straights of Florida. Reminds me of the Straights of Gibraltar but with more cruise ships.

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But it was all very manageable. With light wind for our crossing we had the motor on and off and arrived at our inlet at daybreak … tan and rested.

Captain Woody
Yachts, Deliveries and Sailing Vacations
Croatia in June / Thailand in February – AdventureVoyaging.com

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