After waiting almost a week in the Miami Beach Marina for the northerly to calm down we finally got an Easterly to cross the Gulf Stream. It is about 50 miles from Miami Beach's Government Cut to Bimini and Gun Cay in the Bahamas. About 10 miles out from Miami you encounter the stream. As you venture into the stream the current flowing north speeds up to almost 3 MPH in the middle. This is definitely something to be reckoned with when your sailboat goes about 5-6 MPH. The theory is to cross the stream using an sideways S pattern. As you head east go somewhat southerly at first until you hit the middle of the stream then turn somewhat northerly to get out of it as quickly as possible. It sounds a little counter-intuitive but it works quite well if you navigate it correctly. We awoke before dawn to get an early start in case of any problems. The wind was due east at 5-10 so we weren't going to be able to sail at all. As the sun rose we left the marina to be surrounded by very many fishing boats. Sports Fisherman, Giant Motorcruisers and Flatboats all lining up for the starter's gun to go off for a marlin fishing contest. We found ourselves worming through the "Kill-Billers" trying to get ahead of them before they all started. Unfortunately we didn't quite make it and as all the giat boats took off their wakes tossed us like a potato chip on the way out of the channel. Anyway, after they were all out doing their thing we settled into a slow motor across the stream. It was a very calm and uneventful crossing with the minor exception of some funny engine noises. As we hit the middle of the stream I throttled up to 2000 RPMs to get out of the stream as quickly as possible. After a few minutes the engine started to lose power. Then it seemed to recover - then it would lose power again. This cycle would happen 4 or 5 times then the engine would go back to normal for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then the lose of power cycle would repeat. This drama happened for the next several hours as we chewed our fingernails and perked our ears for the next power loss cycle. It induced a little bit of anxiety to say the least. We finally saw Gun Cay and pulled into the bay there and dropped anchor. After a while it was very clear that the rolling motion caused by the waves coming around the point would make this a very uncomfortable night. We pulled up the anchor and went through the cut between Gun Cay and Cat Cay and dropped in very calm water there off the east side of Gun Cay for the night. About 4 in the morning the wind came up and we realized that we had been dragging our anchor for several hundred feet. We started the engine and motored back to the original spot and dropped again. Needless to say we didn't sleep much after that and around dawn the wind piped up some more and we began dragging again. We gave up and headed for the Cat Cay Marina to clear customs and to stay for the next couple of days as the latest front passed over. Cat Cay is a private island that is owned by a club of wealthy folks that have their houses on the Cay. The marina is open to the public but you are not allowed any further on the island. We cleared customs and met some very nice folks. Michael and Gail are retired doctors from Toronto - he was an internist and she taught musicology. Jeff and Tessa are mentalists - entertainers that travel the world putting on marvelous shows. We had dinner with both couples and got to know each other a bit. Our plan is to stay here another night and then cross the 85 miles of the Great Bahama Bank to Chub Cay. We are a little worried since we need to leave at dawn and that coincides with low tide. There is a shallow neck about 5 miles from Gun Cay that we will have to cross. Cross your fingers!