Sunday, 16 August 2015

Bahamas, the last before the Land of Plenty

Bahamas, the last before the Land of Plenty, meaning the USA of course.
Sunday 10th of May 24° 10 N 76° 27 W
So as I mentioned we are off to Warderick Wells, a place that we visited on our first trip north. We contacted the ranger by VHF and arranged a mooring in advance, thats the way it has to be done as there aren't many and there can be a waiting list, we were luck and so just a short sail from Big Majors spot.

A 07:15 start, its only just over 20nm so we should be on a ball for 11:30.
with the wind almost behind us, sea state good and between 13-15 knots so we aren't going anywhere fast.

The darker blue water is where its deeper and has the moorings.
Picked up one of the moorings around 11:30 at 24° 23 N  76° 38W
Checked in for a couple of days giving us enough time to explore, take our Agua Therapy sign for Boo Boo hill as I doubt the old one is anywhere to be seen.

The view from Boo Boo hill is spectacular.

We took the dinghy outside the park to the opposite side of us, to Paradise trail and explored until we reached the other side.

 We saw Richard and Jan from Morpheus of London coming in to join us so we passed by and arranged sundowners later that day. Great entertainment from the Hutia's, lizards and sugar birds.

Hutia's love popcorn
They love sugar solution
Fantastic sunset that night
06:36Tuesday 12th May. Left at high tide to cross the sand bank out into the sea heading for West Bay, Highbourne Cays.
Just outside the park even though its high tide here we still had a moment being very close to the bottom, depth sounder suddenly went from 1mtr to zero.
Up went the cruising chute as the winds were pretty low at around 12-15 knots, it was a nice short sail just 30nm or so.
We managed to anchor in 1.7 mtrs of crystal clear waters with protection from the reef so we didn't roll about. 24° 43 N 76° 49 W
Didn't go ashore just chilled out watching the world, fish and charter boats come and go.

Thursday14th May, 08:45 a late start, again very little wind.
Its a 53 mile trip and we want to get in before the light fails. Took advantage of the cruising chute as the wind was low but just right, the weather by 13:01 decided it was time to bring down the chute it had other ideas, squalls with up to 25 knots oh flip! So on with the iron horse and just the headsail.

The squalls lasted until 16:49 and then the wind disappeared completely, we dropped the anchor by 18:00 in another West Bay, New Providence Island.

As we approached the entrance the conditions weren't good, squall plus raging waves heading our way not nice! Well for the first time ever there was a solid wall of green water which made its way over the bow, decks coachroof, and sprayhood then down the companionway, I was just too late to do anything about it. We were pretty concerned about getting over the sandbank in through the entrance to the bay hoping the swell wouldn't bring us down with a bump. Phew glad that was over.
Friday 15th May. Had a reasonably peaceful night before setting off at 06:55 back over the sandbank at high tide, much calmer leaving than coming in. Full main and headsail now with just 15 - 18 knots. A 29nm trip to Bird Cay.
Bird Cay, we were all alone at anchor by 11:15 but it is pretty rolly here, the trick here is to go as close ashore for protection, in fact there isn't much its a low lying island but not so close to run aground. Nothing to see here just another deserted island. So the plan the next day was to go a little further West to Chub Cay.

Saturday 16th May, engine on and a very short trip to Chub cay, it was a very short stay after we dropped the anchor outside the marina entrance. Way too shallow and very rolly. When a couple of boats came past we decided that being so close to the entrance was a bad idea so back we go to Bird cay again.

Ok its Sunday 17th May, this is the last overnighter, heading across the Bahama banks directly to Fort Lauderdale.
A 07:00 start, its about 122 nm to the entrance to the bay so we should be there by very early morning. All went well until 11:32 when the squalls thought they would yet again entertain us. Down came the cruising chute, engine on and the headsail to assist us. Turned out to be pretty rolly for a few hours.
We made our heading for pretty much Miami knowing that when the Gulf stream had us in its grip we would be pushed pretty quickly past our destination. Well that was the plan anyway, we were doing so well, it was my watch and I saw on the AIS three huge barges which were going to be in our path if we didn't do something about it. So I called Don to help out, just as we were about to hail the closest one they called us, thats the benefit of having an AIS unit which transmits our information. Although we knew their course and speed we took the decision to change course and head north so we would pass astern of them and the two others following. It seemed to take hours, the first one was towing a barge 1200 mtrs long. So our intended course went somewhat wrong, the evil Gulf stream dragged us north and it was a pain to get back to the entrance.

Oh well thats the Bahamas for now.

Next blog Fort Lauderdale.

Glenys and Don
Agua Therapy

1 comment:

  1. Love the bird the most, oh have you ever seen the "Yellow belly sapsucker" I did in Canada years a go. Let me know if there is any by you please (photo required)
    love John and Jane xx