Crossing to The Bahamas – West Palm Beach to Great Sale Cay

It was just like every departure I can remember; beginning with a hurried, flurry of activity, then last-minute marriage-testing stress, then launch, then excitement, then post-traumatic emotional meltdown and finally, a moment of calm and a great sense of accomplishment.

Lauren Miller and I (Rosa Linda Román) bringing last minute provisions to the s/v Dawn Treader before we leave Florida.

At 4:15 in the morning on December 7th, 2017 the Dawn Treader left her familiar slip at Riviera Beach Marina and headed past Peanut Island to the Lake Worth Inlet and out to sea.

The crew consists of:

Captain & Doctor Nathan Goldfein

1st mate & Documentarian, Rosa Linda Román (that’s me!)

Assistant Rigger & Assistant Chef, 12 year old Ahava

Assistant Engineer & Assistant Mechanic, 10 year old Ziva

Safety Systems Integrity Tester & Scientist, 7 year old Samuel

Nanny, Chef & General Sanity Saver, Lauren Miller

Head of Security & Advanced Warning System, 1 year old German Shepherd, Nala

Captain Nathan checks the charts on night watch as Dawn Treader heads to the Bahamas.

As the Dawn Treader motored hour after hour across the inky Atlantic Ocean a golden moon lit the way. Seas were calm for the crossing, with just a light breeze. Because light can play tricks on you on the water at night, making it hard to tell if a light is a mile or 100 miles away, we relied on our automatic identification system or AIS and radar to notify us of any ships that might cross our path. Other than the occasional tanker and cruise ship traffic was light.

Moon guiding us out of Riviera Beach Marina.
Chess and chart checking on the crossing from Florida to the Bahamas.

One of my favorite ways to share our sailing journey is an app called Farkwar. It gives people a way to follow our boat and gives me an easy way to write quick updates on the Dawn Treader. I haven’t yet figured out how to update it at sea, which you can do somehow, but at least I can post occasional updates when we are in WiFi range.

Here are a few of the entries I wrote on this crossing:

December 7, 2017, 5:53am – s/v Dawn Treader and her crew launched from Riviera Beach Marina around 415 this morning, heading toward Memory Rock in the Bahamas as our first stop. Our crew includes Captain (& Doctor) Nathan, our 3 kids and Lauren our new nanny. I (Rosa Linda) will do my best to share updates with everyone here on Farkwar and on my Facebook Page, New Mexicast. Excited to start this new adventure!


Ahava and Nathan play chess on the crossing as Ziva offers strategies.

Little Sale Cay, Bahamas – December 7, 2017 – After leaving Riviera Beach Marina around 4:15am we made a lovely night crossing to Memory Rock, Bahamas. Captain Nathan did most of the night watch on the crossing so I could try to get a handle on the chaos inside the boat (last minute groceries, Costco supplies, etc. still needed to be put away). Eventually I took the helm and watched a majestic sunrise over the ocean while he caught a cat nap. By the time we arrived at Little Sale Cay around 6:30pm he and I were totally spent. Gratefully, Miss Lauren, our new Nanny got enough sleep to be functional and she handled the kids after we collapsed with exhaustion. It was such a lovely evening at that anchorage that Lauren and the girls spent the night on the trampoline under the stars. What a great start to this excellent adventure!

Samuel and Nathan raise the yellow quarantine flag as we approach the Bahamas.

Next stop was Green Turtle Cay where we checked in to Customs. But that will have to be a Post for another day.

Fair winds and following seas!

Rosa Linda Román

& the crew of the s/v Dawn Treader


Ahava helps Captain Nathan with the sails
Just a small sample of all the stuff that needs to find a home now that we are away from shore
Nala snuggling with me on the crossing

2 thoughts on “Crossing to The Bahamas – West Palm Beach to Great Sale Cay

  1. Hi there! Thanks for the comment, sleepyeyes. I have mostly loved having a nanny onboard, but it is not stress-free as you are always having to consider another person who is not your family. Our current nanny is our former liveaboard nanny’s cousin who we had met and liked, but didn’t actually live with until the night we were making the crossing to the Bahamas from Florida. In many ways we got so lucky with her. She is a mature, self-starter who pitches in without my asking. That isn’t always the case with sitters/nannies, but we have been really lucky with that. Sadly, the good ones never last. For one thing, a nanny like ours mostly works on mega yachts which are waaaayyyy out of our range of pay. And generally they are young and looking for more adventure than our family-focused sailing style can offer. Just the other day, at our New Year’s Eve party, another boat asked her to leave us to sail with them to Panama! As for obstacles, there are too many to list, but you really do just have to do it! I really believe if there is a will there is a way. And over and over again we learn that life is just too short to make any other choice but your heart’s desire. I hope you do it. If for no other reason than for our Nala girl to see another dog like her looking across the water back at her!

  2. Would love to hear more on the process of taking your ‘nanny’ with you. We have a German Shepherd too and are wanting to make the transition to living aboard and headed towards the BVI. What obstacles have you guys run into and any advice for new comers to the sailing world?

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