|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.
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.
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.
Cruising Log | Saturday, 20 May 2017 - Monday, 22 May 2017
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)
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)
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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