Back to Bimini

We had a quick passage back to the Bimini area over the past couple days. We left Half Moon Cay with great wind, and barreled along at 8 knots for most of 24 hours. Then, pretty much as predicted, the wind began to die down, and before long it COMPLETELY went away. So we spent half our time sailing along fast, and half motoring.

We anchored south of Bimini at sunrise this morning, took the afternoon to do some boat work. Tomorrow we will take a serious fishing day. Then check out of the Bahamas, and head over to Fort Lauderdale to prep for our quick haul in a week.

We are sharing the anchorage with the wreck of the Sapona which has been since being driven aground in a hurricane in 1936. Built during WWI when steel was in short supply, it had a concrete hull and a long history being everything from a casino, to an oil storage tank, to a rum warehouse for rum runners during prohibition, to a target for the US military during WWII. Now it is a famous local navigation marker and snorkeling site.

It used to be that checking out of the Bahamas was optional, and was basically only done by people who were traveling on to a country that wanted to see your checkout papers. This actually made sense, since all the records were only kept on paper, so there really wasn’t any way to confirm that someone actually HAD checked out. Now that all the immigration data is fully computerized, the local authorities required formal checkout, with a BSD$5000 fine if the requirement is ignored.

For you sailor types who love a good argument, while on a late night watch I had an idea for a fun experiment. Are catamarans really faster than monohulls? Or not? The answer surprised me…

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2 Responses to Back to Bimini

  1. Brent Cameron says:

    Hey Bill and Karen. Enjoying your posts and living vicariously through your blogs. I didn’t see How to comment on the cat vs mono page so I thought I’d leave my comments here. When I first started narrowing down the boats I’d consider, I looked at the ARC race results for multiple years (boats leaving from the Canary Islands to St Lucia more or less downwind across the Atlantic. The long and short of it is that cats CAN go faster but generally don’t because the ride is very hard on the crew and boat and you can’t sail them as aggressively as they aren’t as easy to de power so typically crews turn down the potential performance at night and when the weather is shifting.

    For the years I looked at (over five), only a very few cats (typically 3-4) beat the mono hulls on the crossing and those were almost always performance racing cats not your typical Lagoon or Leopard. I remember seeing something like 60% of the monohulls beat everything but the top five cats.

    If cats are your thing. Great. Buy one but don’t say it is because they cruise faster or can get out of the way of weather because unless you keep them light (most are vastly overloaded from their design specs), it won’t be the case.


    • Bill Kinney says:

      Brent, I completely agree with your comments. The popularity of LARGE cruising catamarans with the current generation of cruising couples baffles me. The extra space is largely wasted, and the ability to actually carry weight is minimal. Then there is the cost, and the generally poor quality of construction… I suspect that the idea of sailing in your living room is the largest appeal. Unfortunately, sailing newbies keep hearing the same story about how fast catamarans are, and how much those old-fashioned monohulls heel, and how terrible that is.


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