We did not pick the greatest anchorage yesterday. Yes. There were seven boats by the end of the night in the same vicinity. And yes. We were out of the direct waves from off shore. But those pesky waves and the surge from the tide made an otherwise enjoyable location not good. That, and the fact that I woke with the curse of the coconut. The green apple two step. The trots. And before you read on, please note that there will be talk about defication in this post and if you are easily offended, you may want to wait until the next post.
You have been warned.
Start: Anchorage behind Cabbage Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas 0744
End: Anchorage behind Little Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas 1010
Total Distance: 7.6 nm
Straight line distance: 1 nm.
Average Speed: 3.1 kts
***And note this post is out of order when published. I still have to get you to Cabbage Cay from Great Harbour; working on it…
The plan today was simple. Wake up at 6ish. Listen to the weather and make sure the forecast hadn’t changed. Get the dog to shore for his morning constitutional. Drop engines, turn on, bring up anchor and head out back into the big, mean Atlantic Ocean and head south for Nassau to find an anchorage. There was another boat in the harbor with us that was also going to Nassau today so we would not be alone.
The forecast was the same as yesterday. Winds a bit stronger than Friday, but not by much. 15-20 knots with gusts to 22. We had our reef in our main sail. Waves were forecast at 2-4 feet; again a bit higher than yesterday but based on the conditions that brought us here, we should be good!
I knew it wouldn’t be a good day when I was awoken suddenly at 0545 by the overwhelming urge to use the bathroom. Like immediately. Code red. It is just about exactly eight feet from our bed to the door of the head (that is nautical for bathroom). To get there I have to avoid the dog (who lies on his pillow just below our bed), step over the doorway to the hall way, zig to the left around our freezer then zag to the right around our nav station chair. Two steps to the bathroom door which is ALWAYS open. ALWAYS. Except this morning. So door has to be open and then foot up over the door way and in the bathroom.
That is the obstacle course I have to run to make it in the approximately 4.5 seconds. That is the time that my bowels have given my brain as the most time they can hold out. So I jump out of the bed and land directly on the dog who, understandably, moves, which throws me off. I pitch to the right, bash my shoulder on the door way and my right big toe on the bottom of the door, lurch into the hall way and promptly smash my shin on the *&(&^*&^@#$ freezer, then hip bashes the chair, lose 1.5 seconds fumbling at the bathroom door and then bash my other foot on the door into the bathroom. 5.2 seconds. Not good enough.
It was not a great way to begin the day. I’m pretty sure the culprit was the lowly coconut. We have discovered that these things called ‘palm trees’ drop things called ‘coconuts’ which you can pick up, crack open and eat. Free! And I love free. So while we were at Great Harbour Cay, we loaded up on some coconut and yesterday I sat down for a snack and ate about three coconuts which is probably more than doctors recommend. And now it was not coming to call.
So I didn’t have a very good morning, nor was it a very auspicious beginning to our day. By the time Jan got up to listen to the weather forecast, I had cleaned the bathroom, done some laundry and had coffee waiting for her.
Coffee was key. We needed something to get us going in the morning because the night of sleep last night was not good. Like really not good. The wind was coming from the Northeast and our boat was obediently facing into said wind. Unfortunately there were swells from waves that were wrapping around from the entrance to the anchorage. And they were hitting our cat on our right side. Hard. And loud. And they rolled our boat. All. night. long. No one slept well.
We listened to the weather and nothing in the forecast sounded like we needed to wave off our travel plans to head the 40ish miles to Nassau. So Jan and AJ moved up front and pulled up the anchor and we headed slowly to the cut into the ocean. The wind and the current were both against us so it was a slooowwww movement out and as we reached the exit of the cut, the waves started getting bigger. Like bigger than yesterday. We were climbing up and then slamming down into the waves as we made our way out into the deep water.
Mainsail goes up and quickly after up goes the genoa and we turn to the south in hopes that the ride would smooth out. Except it didn’t. The winds were in the 15-20 knot range, the sails were full and we were moving. That was perfect! BUT the waves were not 2-4 feet; they were bigger and slamming us from the left side. The weather helm (how hard you have to turn the wheel to keep the boat going in the direction you want) was significant. Jan was having a hard time holding the wheel in our direction. We dorked around with the sails, reefed the genoa, let out some wind from the main to see if we could both ease the weather helm and smooth out the ride. But the ride just sucked. And we don’t like suck. Especially with one of us nursing a case of FBS (Fragile Bowel Syndrome). So we aimed for a cut just a mile or two to the south of where we just left and headed back into protected water. Sails down, anchor dropped and we had a discussion on what the heck we thought we were doing today.
The answer? We were finding a better anchorage in the local area and sitting for two days to wait out some weather.
Decision made, we fired the engines back up and headed BACK to our anchorage from the morning. But we passed right on by where we spent the night and headed up to the north over some shallow water to a very protected anchorage just off the NW side of the Little Harbour Cay. We figured that we have a catamaran with a low draft (3 feet), and it is about time we make use of it! At high tide we saw 5 feet of water on the way, which means we better go back out at hight tide–it is a 3 foot difference, so we could get stuck. But the anchorage is night and day from the night before. Nice and smooth. And we are by ourselves looking at an abandoned dock with a trail to the other side of the island. Clear water.
It is now just after 10am and we have had a full day. So we make an early lunch and relax a bit. Then we drop down the dinghy and head off to explore the local area. Jan scores some killer shells on the ocean side beach of Devil’s Cay. We explore the Blue Hole, a huge hole (thus the name) filled with water on an cay just to the north of us. And we find more coconuts, because some of us can’t learn our lessons.