Thursday, February 7, 2008

Feb.20th,2007-Leaving Spanish Wells for Allens Cay

Feb.20th,2007-Leaving Spanish Wells for Allens Cay-Home to the Iguanas

0630hrs. We’re up and ready to leave Spanish Wells.
0800hrs. Randy went over to help Derek put their dinghy on their deck
0830hrs. Pulling up anchor. The channel is real busy this morning. A huge freighter has come in for fuel as we are leaving. The fishing fleet looks like it’s going out to-day too. This must be a good sign.

As luck would have it, one fish boat was really on
our tail and we went aground. Three small boats that accompany the large fishing vessels pulled us off. Rotten luck, plus we have learnt another lesson---not to be so polite. (We felt the fish boat wanted to overtake us so we moved over in the cut to let it pass---won’t do that next time)
0950hrs . Heading on a course of 210 degrees. Our initial plan is to head to Current Cut. We definitely have to watch the tides. We are hoping to anchor on the southern side if possible.

1050hrs., we’ve got the main and jib up. As the winds pick up we are able to turn off the motor and sail at 4.3 knots.

By 1215hrs we are anchored off Current Cut and the tide is ripping thru the cut. It’s almost low tide so we have decided to wait until tomorrow. Instead of continuing our journey we have decided to go to the beach for a swim. We walked to town and met a man who was born and raised in this small community called “Current Settlement”. It is at the SW tip of Eleuthera Island. He explained there is no crime here; that
we should feel very safe. This low lying village is making a comeback after being covered with a wall of water and battered by the 200mph winds from Hurricane Andrew. There is only one small store in the village where we purchased water and a few cookies. Back to the boat, we went to UNWIND for dinner and took along chicken, tomatoes and carrot cake.

Another beautiful sunset. Watching for a "green flash".

Wed. Feb.21st

0600hrs. Rand got up and checked out the cut. He said we should be going as the tide was slack so he went and woke up Derek. Current Cut is really tricky . It is noted in our Chart book that sailboats and slower trawlers may be unable to go against the flow at spring tides. Randy entered the way points. We’re in 9.8 ft of water. It looks as if we are surrounded by tiny icebergs.(Foam from the current.) We lightly brushed a sandy shoal and got stuck. Down goes the dinghy and together with Randy in the dinghy and me steering we pull ourselves off. Sure gets our adrenaline going.

0805hrs. We are in 9.8feet of water at N25degrees 22.58”; W 76degrees46.802” and have anchored as UNWIND having a problem with their oil sender light.

By 0920hrs We’re underway heading 200degrees SW to Beacon Cay. 30nmiles.

2000hrs. Well, I think this day could technically be called the most stressful day ever. I spent most of the day after my last entry up on the bow sprint. Our course was full of rocks and coral heads that we had to maneuver around. To get to the Exumas we went over the South Eastern portion of the Great Bahama Bank. –This is called the Yellow Bank and we need to follow the VPR ; Visual Piloting Rules which means me on the bow all afternoon. In our chart book it states:” If your draft is over 1.5meters’ 5 feet, (ours of coarse is almost 6 feet) schedule the crossing during mid day( which we did.) The large black coral heads with white sand rings around them are easily seen and avoided under normal midday light conditions. If your crossing of this area should occur near low tide, some of the coral heads may be a hazard for all but shallow draft vessels.” GREAT!!! Far too shallow for our comfort level and absolutely exhausting zig zaging our way through the coral.

As the sun was setting we were off Mushroom Rock and decided to continue further south. We had to be very careful and take it slower than we probably wanted due to loosing visibility; but with the depth alarm going off; even though we were on the recommended course it was getting too shallow. We headed west to deeper water and in a round about way got to Ship Channel Cay and anchored. Randy went over to check on UNWIND as they had to reset their anchor. Derek said it was dragging. Randy went back over and picked them up at 2030hrs. so we could have a drink and share the days events. (We love our bonding time—Happy Hour) By 2200hrs everyone was hunkered down for the night as we were all exhausted from our long 14hour day.

Thurs. Feb22nd

1745hrs. we’re anchored in Allens Cay in 8.3ft. of water. A beautiful spot and we can see the Iguanas on shore. We were welcomed by the “Alouette” crew. Picking up the UNWIND crew we spent the afternoon snorkeling on a reef north of us.

We decided to put out our second anchor as the boats around us had two down and with the strong current it is probably a good idea. Randy went to help Derek put out his second anchor.

Fri. Feb.23rd

We had a real bouncy night. Randy slept on deck; what sleep he got. We’ve also got higher winds today. Many boats including Alouette left this morning.

We went and watched the Iguanas on shore and hiked around Allens Cay. A couple off BIKINI CLUB stopped by in their dinghy and we visited for a bit. They are from Kingston Ontario. They said they are heading to Highborne Cay tomorrow. It doesn’t have the current or swell like here.

In the afternoon we took the Rutherford’s to shore to see the Iguanas. Derek repaired their dinghy but the epoxy will take at least 10 hours to cure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lynn & Randy:
Margaret & I are enjoying your blog. Can't wait to read the updates. We plan to head back to the Bahamas in late March for another 3 months aboard Dance Aweigh. I suspect that you are in the Eastern Caribbean now, so we probably won't see you, but maybe we'll hear you on the SSB. Otherwise, keep us posted @