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10 July 2017

Back To The Bahamas & Buddy Boats

S/V Wind Spirit, our short-lived buddy boat, anchored at Peck Lake.

It's always more fun to share things with friends. Except when there's only one slice of chocolate cake left. In that situation, it's perfectly acceptable to grab the cake and wave goodbye to your friend as you dash out of the room.

After spending way too long back at Indiantown Marina fixing our dinghy davit and water pump, we finally made our escape and were heading back to the Bahamas. We were excited not only to get back to the beautiful blue Bahamian waters, but also because our friends on S/V Wind Spirit were going to buddy boat with us.

Buddy boating can take different shapes and forms. Some folks do their own thing during the day and meet up for sundowners in the anchorage at night. Others make long passages together, staying in constant radio contact and adjusting their speed to arrive at the next port at the same time. Alternatively, some boats might make long passages separately and then connect up at their destination (we've done this before). Buddy boats with kids might trade off babysitting the littles so that each couple can enjoy some quiet time.

Regardless of what type of buddy boating you do, you're bound to have more fun because you're doing it with friends. Friends who might even have a stash of chocolate that they're willing to share with you when you run out.

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Unfortunately, our buddy boating experience with S/V Wind Spirit was short-lived. We picked them up in Stuart and made our way down the ICW (intracoastal waterway) to Peck Lake for the night. We had a great time sitting in our cockpit, watching the sun go down and planing for the Gulf Stream crossing to the Bahamas and making our way down to the Exuma Islands.

The next day, we headed towards Lake Worth, our staging point for the crossing. The sun was shining and the water was sparkling. It should have been a great day. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Between an early morning attack by some noseeums, the usual nightmare of trying to make the bridge openings in time, and the crazy weekend boaters speeding up and down and leaving a huge wake behind (the worst we've ever seen in our time on the ICW), it probably wasn't the best introduction to cruising on the ICW for our friends.

We all finally made it to Lake Worth, dropped our anchors and started to get ready for the crossing. That's when our friends discovered they had a diesel leak. Just what you need after a long and stressful day. In the end they decided to hold off on crossing with us and take a few days to regroup before they headed to the Bahamas.

So we said goodbye to our short-lived buddy boat and left early the next morning back to the Bahamas. Which was a shame because they're a lot of fun and I'm pretty sure they had some chocolate squirreled away on their boat.


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Interested in reading more about other people's experiences with buddy boating? Check out It's a Necessity's blog post on Why Buddy Boats are Necessary, Zero to Cruising's blog post on their buddy boating experience, S/V Spiritus' blog post on what buddy boating means to them and Sail Magazine's article on different types of buddy boating.


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Cruising Log | Saturday, 20 May 2017 - Monday, 22 May 2017
 
20 MAY
Did some last minute provisioning and prep. Left Indiantown Marina at 11:30 AM. Picked up S/V Wind Spirit at Pendarvis Cove (near Stuart). Anchor down at Peck Lake at 6:00 PM. Nautical miles = 28. Engine = 6 hours 30 mins. Spending = $615.80 (marina bill, hardware, gas, groceries)

21 MAY
Awoke to a zillion noseeums having their breakfast courtesy of our skin. Engine on 8:45 AM. S/V Wind Spirit had engine troubles. Headed back to Peck Lake to investigate. Back out on the water and heading down the ICW, trying to make each bridge opening and dealing with the insane weekend boaters who love to wake sailboats. Got diesel at Lake Worth. Dropped the anchor at 5:00 PM at our usual spot south of Peanut Island. S/V Wind Spirit decided not to make the crossing with us due to some boat issues. Did prep for the crossing and then off to bed. Nautical miles = 25. Engine = 8 hours 30 mins. Spending = $48.77 (diesel)

22 MAY
Awoke to the sound of glow plugs warming up. Anchor up 3:00 AM for our Gulf Stream crossing back to the Bahamas. Realized wouldn't make it to Ginn sur Mer before dark, so diverted to Memory Rock and anchored on the banks. Anchor down at 5:00 PM. Nautical miles = 57. Night sailing = 3 hours. Engine = 14 hours 15 mins. Spending = Nil.

Have you ever buddy boated or traveled with friends? What was your experience like? If you only had one piece of chocolate cake left, would you share it with your friend?

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21 comments:

  1. Bummer you had to go on without them. Hopefully they caught up with you eventually.

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    1. Unfortunately, they decided not to join us in the end and went to cruise in a different part of the Bahamas.

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  2. Regarding sharing the last piece of chocolate cake, it would really depend on how good a friend he/she was. And if they were bringing a big old glass of ice cold milk to the table. :)

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    1. A gift of ice cold milk would go a long way to sharing my cake :-)

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  3. Weekends on that stretch of the ICW are the worst we have found as well. Lots of small powerboats with beer-infused captains. Sorry to hear about your buddy boat having an issue, that is a bummer...but such is life on a boat sometimes. Hope you enjoyed your time in the Bahamas and your friends were able to resolve their issue quickly...and cheaply.

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    1. The ICW is such a madhouse on the weekend. Much more sane during the week. We've been having a blast in the Bahamas :-)

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  4. Matt says no (to the most important question) I say yes (if it were Matt). I'm a humanitarian.
    We've never formally buddy boated, but we often end up seeing the same people over and over - like Aquinnah, who we first met at Big Major's and who is now at the same marina as us in New Bern. You just can't shake some people :-)

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    1. I'll definitely sit next you if there's only one piece of cake left and not next to Matt :-)

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  5. Our first year of cruising in the Bahamas we hooked up with friends we knew from the Chesapeake. We were also joined with 2 other boats that they knew. It was fun hanging out with them and very helpful for us newbies. We quickly learned that one couple followed our philosophy on being cautious with weather while the others were more adventurous (They were also in bigger boats.). We enjoyed happy hours, exploring and sharing dinners. It was a lot of togetherness, though, and there was some drama and parting of ways. Despite all that, we are lifelong friends!

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    1. Sounds like it was a great experience overall considering you all are still lifelong friends. People definitely do have different approaches and philosophies to cruising. There's no right or wrong way to do it, but it's good to know if you share the same philosophy/approach or not as your buddy boat.

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  6. Sometimes traveling together is lots of fun and sometimes not so much. When we go on outings we buddy up with others and our annual bay cruise has had up to 15 boats. So we are a long line of boats going to the same destination.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I bet your annual bay cruise is a lot of fun!

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  7. The boating life sounds fabulous, even if you do have to share that coffeecake. I'll have to enjoy the adventure from my armchair, or in the case, my computer screen. I'm sans boat.

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    1. It can be a really fabulous lifestyle. Most days, that is :-)

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  8. I would make the offer to share it and if they said yes, I'd find a new friend. Lol. That's not true. David will (and has) happily take half of my last piece of cake (or brownie) and I haven't got rid of him . . . yet!

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    1. You must really love him if you share your brownies with him :-)

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  9. Replies
    1. It really requires a lot of self-control to share cake :-)

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  10. I'd never heard of buddy boating before. That's pretty cool. Sorry it was short-lived. Hopefully you'll meet again.

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    1. Funnily enough we just met up with them yesterday.

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    2. Well, there you go. Serendipity!

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