Sunday, February 24, 2008

Staniel Cay to Little Farmers Cay

March 18th. Staniel Cay to Little Farmers Cay


1115hrs. We’re back at the boat. We went into the marina this morning to send emails and waited for a plane to arrive at the airport that hopefully would have UNWIND’s parcel. (They had been waiting for their new dinghy repair kit to arrive) Unfortunately, it was not on the plane. To make a long story short we checked with the manager and he said that he had bins which were holding small packages that had not been collected. Low and behold their package was inside. We figure it probably had been there for three days. We dropped it off at their boat and confirmed we’d head for Little Farmers Cay.

1215hrs. The sails are up, motor is off and we’re doing 4.4 knots. We’re running due west in 10 feet of water.

1335hrs. We’re having a fabulous sail. The water depth is 9.1 feet. We are traveling over 6 knots.

1845hrs. WHAT AN ORDEAL!!!! Right now UNWIND is stuck on a shallow rocky bar at Little Farmers Cay. Randy went to try and pull them off in the dinghy and it looks like he is not having any luck. A local skiff has come out to get him off. They tied a line to the halyard and pulled UNWIND off the bar. This area in general we have found very difficult to get into and I would not recommend it to any one.

As we had gotten closer to Little Farmers Cay we realized we needed to make contact with someone who knew the area so we contacted “LITTLE JEFF” by VHF and asked could we get into Little Farmers Cay at this tide level with our 6 foot draft? Little Jeff said no problem as long as we took it real slow to make sure we did not get sand in our engine. (This should have been our first sign of probable problems) We took it real slow as was recommended. He said when we got close to the southern point of the island he would come and guide us in. To make another long story short, he did not come and guide us in. Finally making contact with him on the VHF he told us to just head for the mooring balls. We asked which ones and he said the one’s furthest in past the government pier. As we rounded the point I said to Randy (as I was up on the bow), we’re not moving and if we are we are going backwards. Sure enough the current was so strong we were in fact going backwards. Back on the VHF to let Derek and Evelyn know the situation, we picked up speed and continued to head for the southern tip of Great Guana Cay. This was where the mooring balls were. Passing the government dock on our port we rounded another shallow rocky bar on our starboard with a shifting shallow sand bar on our port side. We started to hit sand, Randy backed up and we made it to a mooring ball.
Last nights winds hit over 30 knots. This morning Randy and Derek walked over a hill to take a look at Exuma Sound. (The Atlantic side of the Exumas). Traveling today is a negative.

Instead we went into Little Farmers Cay for lunch and explore the island. It continued to be stormy so we felt it was best get back to the boats . We lent Derek and Evelyn coffee and they will lend us some cash as we have been here longer than expected and we have no money.

Local grocery store.

1950hrs. Randy has spent the last number of hours first putting out one of our anchors and then he helped Derek put out their anchor. Derek dove the mooring balls and said ours is good and theirs is suspect. In the meantime a fellow off another boat came over by kayak for a visit and proceeded to help Derek and Randy “get some good hook”!!!! Many hours later Randy arrives back “home”. It turns out he and Derek have heard that a boat carrying 100 to 150 Haitians has capsized off Farmers Cay. (That’s why we have a police presence.) To be on the safe side we have pulled the dinghy up onto the stern for the night. We listen to channel 16 for further updates on the Haitians presence and the weather.

The land that surrounds our mooring is actually very pretty. It is just unfortunate that the access was difficult.

No comments: