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Sailing Adventures of s/v Alpine Zephyr
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Sailing Log: Boat Upgrades in Florida and Cruising Berry Islands, Bahamas

After spending several weeks in Florida working on boat projects, we have finally set sail for Berry Islands, Bahamas. Spent a good time there.

Boat_Projects in Florida

Boat Upgrades at the Yard and Some Fun Time in Florida

Before going for the next cruising season, I have decided to make few fairy major upgrades to our yacht:
1. Replace aging fabric dodger / bimini rooftop with a semi-rigid polycarbonate
2. Upgrade solar and power system
3. Install watermaker / desalinator

These projects took much more time then originally planned, but at the end it was well worth it. Plus, I have saved quite a bit of money by doing all work myself.

Also, spent some fun time on Florida - walking town streets, going to festivals and fairs, and just road tripping around.

Rented a car and fully stocked the boat for the upcoming several months trip to Bahamas.

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Gereat Harbour Cay Marina

Great Harbour Cay - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 282
LatLon: 25°44.930'N 077°51.769'W

Great Harbor Cay in Berry Islands was our first stop in Bahamas this season.
We sailed 130+ nautical miles from Florida to get here. Checked-in with customs.

It is a well protected harbor, with a narrow entrance blasted out of stone, and is a good place to wait out strong winds.

While here, walked around the island, visited small town/settlement, local beaches and couple restaurants. Met people who have summer houses here.

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Cistern Cay Berry Islands

Citern Cay - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 283
LatLon: 25°46.025'N 077°53.300'W

After staying at Great Harbour Cay, we moved to an anchorage at Cistern Cay - mainly for the change of scenery.
BTW, there are few islands in Bahamas called Cistern Cay.

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Hawksnest Cay Sugar Beach

HawksNest Cay - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 284
LatLon: 25°44.683'N 077°49.457'W

Later we sailed to the Hawksnest Cay.
On the way there, we passed by Stirrup Cays, a.k.a. Coco Cay - that is where large cruise ship companies offload their passengers for the day.

Hawksnetst Cay is a small island at the edge of the large Sugar Beach. Lots of sharp conchs in shallow water - I got couple foot cuts.
Also, there is a Shark Creek - a mangrove river good for exploring on dinghy.

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Soldiers Cay Berry Islands

Soldiers Cay - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 285
LatLon: 25°39.943'N 077°45.489'W

Stayed a day at Soldiers Cay. Pretty place, with a nice beach.

On the way here, caught a nice red snapper! Seen several sharks cruising around our yacht - perhaps sensing remains of our catch.

Met a couple from a neighboring boat - they have sailed all the way from Netherlands. Had a nice diner with hem, sharing drinks and stories.

Perhaps wished to stay more, but approaching cold front with winds from North would make this place uncomfortable, so we have decided to leave next morning for a more secure anchorage.

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Hoffman Devils Anchorage Berry Islands

Hoffman - Devils Cays Anchorage - Berry Islands, Bahamas

There is a nice and large protected anchorage area behind Hoffman and Devils Cays, but to get there, you have to have a shoal draft boat, or like us, play tides to get over shallow entrances. Once there, there are plenty of places to anchor, many nice secluded beaches, mangrove lagoon, etc. Jumping into a deep blue hole in the middle of the island was fun too.

We stayed several days in this area, moving from one place to another, and waited out quite strong frontal passage, with wins 45+ knots.

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Little Farmers Cay

Little Harbour Cay - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 287
LatLon: 25°34.801'N 077°43.968'W

Stayed couple days in the quiet weather at the Little Farmers Cay.
Had a chance to collect decent amount of conch - figured out how to crack and prepare it. Also visited a remote off-the-beaten-track restaurant, which opens only once in a while.

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Bonds Cay

Bonds Cay - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 288
LatLon: 25°30.216'N 077°43.587'W

Another day, another anchorage at the beautiful island in very quiet weather, waiting for winds to pick up to sail further.
The only drawback is sand flies drive you off the beach.

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Little Whale Cay

Little Whale - Berry Islands, Bahamas

Log#: 289
LatLon: 25°27.113'N 077°45.492'W

We had an overnight stop at Little Whale Cay, staging our departure to Nassau the following morning.
The island is a private resort, so we could not go ashore.

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