We are often asked which places and events from our travels stand out as ‘the best’. This is difficult to answer, as we can honestly say that most have either been beautiful, inspiring, exciting, or at the very least, interesting.
In June we had the opportunity to cruise with our son, Ryan, his wife, Joanne, and our daughter, Vanessa, during their first times aboard His Idea. Spending time with our children, who now have their own busy lives, is always a big deal for us. With memories of long-past family boating vacations in our minds, exploring the Exumas together was a special event, and now holds first place status on our list of cruising highlights.
Beginning in Georgetown, terminus of their flights to the Bahamas, we were fortunate that the weather permitted two separate trips as far north Staniel Cay, in the middle of the Exumas island chain. Staniel Cay offers much to do in a relatively small area, i.e. snorkeling in Thunderball Grotto, visiting with both the swimming pigs of Big Majors Spot and the iguanas of Bitter Guana Cay, and enjoying the laid back ambiance and very good Bahamian dinners of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. New anchorages we explored on the way there and back included Emerald Bay, Lee Stocking Island and Rudder Cut Cay.
All good things must come to an end, and by June 23rd we were on our own again. The weather gods smiled on us, and we were able to take advantage of calm seas to travel the 235 miles to Freeport, Grand Bahama in three days (from Staniel Cay to Nassau to Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands to Freeport). While moored at Ocean Reef Resort in Lucaya, over the next few days we prepared His Idea for haul out at Bradford Marine, located in Freeport Harbour. This is our chosen location to store His Idea ‘on the hard’ for hurricane season, until we return to the Bahamas next spring.
End of Season Statistics and Other Items of Interest
Statute miles traveled (Grand Rivers, KY to Freeport, Grand Bahama) – 2532; total miles travelled is now 7940
Hours of motoring – 227
Diesel fuel used (not including generator) – 3015 litres (663 imperial gallons)
Average MPG – 3.82
Average fuel cost – $1.22/litre
Average fuel cost per mile – $1.45
Average daily moorage cost – $33.96 (over 121 days)
States & Countries visited – Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Bahamas
We have been told that only about 100 boats completed the Great Loop in 2013, and assume the number will be similar for 2014. As major recreational feats go, this makes our completion of the Loop this year a fairly unique event.
Here’s the final pictures for 2014, starting with a map of the Exumas…..
Plans for Next Year
Our plan for cruising in 2015 includes a return to the Bahamas in the early spring to explore the Abacos for awhile, then back to Florida to cruise the Florida Keys and potentially the west coast of Florida again.
After that we have a big decision to make, i.e. spend another season or two cruising the east coast, ship His Idea home to B.C., or….???
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