A Travellerspoint blog

Big Majors Spot

Not Quite Staniel Cay

sunny 70 °F

Debbie, our friend on S/V Illusions, moored at Warderick Wells on Wednesday evening. We spoke with her briefly then but the weather was not very good and she headed straight back to her boat after checking in with the office. The next morning, more or less as we were getting ready to get underway, Debbie came by and we chatted for a while and compared some notes. We still plan to see her at Little Farmers Cay.

At 0900 we got underway, the wind and current not requiring any special maneuvering, a good thing for the captain. I had checked the weather and nothing seemed like an issue. By the time we cleared to the Exuma Bank, weather was an issue. If the wind was ever less than 20 knots, I didn't notice, and it was running 130 to 140 true; our general course was 135 to 150 degrees, messy and bumpy, made worse by the depth of the water, about 20-ft., which created very choppy water, not waves like in deeper water. In the big picture it was the perfect day not to do what we did; we should have stayed on the mooring ball. At least I didn't screw up like the captain of the Costa Concordia.

After almost two months we did actually sail the boat. We found a leg that had good water to the west so we were able to run close to the wind and then tack back to the way point. I thought that I had this right. In the event, I came up a half mile short on a leg of 4.5 miles, pretty poor. On the other hand it's been a long while since we truly sailed; an even longer time since we have sailed and tacked. Anyway, we will probably not get drafted for the America's Cup team. But it was really nice to sail.

I have been trying to get out of the point A to point B "are we there yet" mind set. Hard to do. So, the thought was to anchor near Sampson Cay, a small, tight, very well protected anchorage near a pretty nice marina with a good restaurant, and to go for a nice anniversary dinner. Didn't happen! When we headed to the anchorage we could see that there were several boats there already and that other boats had been forced to take less sheltered positions.

It was still blowing 20~25 knots, so the next idea was to go to the marina on Staniel Cay, only another 5 nm with plenty of light and time. But with the wind, and the current that I believed would hit us in that channel, it seemed a bad idea, never having been there before.

No profiles in courage here! We saw all the boats anchored in the lee of Big Majors Cay and headed there hoping that there is, in fact, safety in numbers. I nosed in with all the other sailboats and we anchored in about 10-ft. of water over sand. I did do my swim out to the anchor and it looked good. Of course, I do not actually know how a well set Danforth anchor should look, so I'll have to make that a conditional statement. Maybe after a few more dives I will have a functional clue.

It's a pretty crowded anchorage, at least 30 boats, giving just the right protection from the SE wind. Lots of sailboats but also several big motor yachts of the 60~100-ft. variety, the type that I thought never anchored and always went for the marina.

large_Anchorge_a..ors_Cay.jpg

This was the first time we have been around so many other boats at an anchorage. It's not crowded, just busy. At night it had its own tableau. Most sail boats showed just a single anchor light atop the mast; the large motor yachts, presumably with full time AC generators, were lit up like a city street with cabin lights, deck lights and, most, underwater lights that surround their boats in a luminous glow, which actually looks kind of neat. Most boats now have anchor lights that are LED for power saving. They also have a clean blue/white color that is quite distinct from incandescent bulbs. Their color and number look like an alternate Milky Way when this many are together in one place.

This morning we are headed to the marina on Staniel Cay for a couple of days, probably a trip of no more than 3nm.

Posted by sailziveli 09:20 Archived in Bahamas Tagged boats boating bahamas

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