A Travellerspoint blog

Great Guana Cay

We hope that three's a charm

sunny 77 °F

We woke up early, forgetting to turn on the SSB for weather. There was internet service so I spent some time reading the news, unchanged: nobody loves anybody and the world is going broke. A few on board chores, the re-ballasting, and doing a simple, but frequent, maintenance on the anchor windlass, and we decided to leave, a late start for us, almost 0900.

The wind was fair, but in the wrong direction, again. Regardless, we decided to sail and the motor was off less than 10 minutes from the mooring field. A few other boats had the same idea. We made several long reaches south and mixed in a few tacks to the east. The approximate distance along the axis of travel may have been 20 nm. By the time the day was mostly done, we had sailed at least 35 nm and still found ourselves short of the waypoint by 4 nm. My guess was that we would need at least two more tacks, and about two more hours, to get there, anchoring at sunset. It was Yanmar time, a prelude to Miller time except here they call it Kalik time. On went the engine and we motored the last stretch with the autopilot on, a very welcome relief.

Carol noticed something unusual while we were sailing close hauled. When the wind was over the port side, the boat was almost impossible to control well, yawing back and forth across the line of the wind, losing and regaining speed, needing almost the whole helm in both directions to try to exert control, handling like a WWII dump truck with manual steering on a bad road. When the wind was over the starboard side, the boat handled like silk, needing only a spoke, or so, of movement on the helm, as if driving the Maxima. I can think of no explanation why this should be the case but it was clearly that way.

Anchoring was fun; this place is covered up with boats and it was challenging to weave through the field to find a hole that we could fill without making others feel nervous. We found a place, no one yelled at us on the VHF, so I guess that we did OK.

Carol really likes the Black Point Community where we are anchored. I don't know why she has this particular affinity, maybe it's the laundry close by; she says that the "grocery shopping" is better here, although that comparison rests solely on relativity. All the stores in the Exumas north of George Town, combined, have less inventory than large gas station at home. Or, it may be Lorraine's restaurant, which yesterday was on the VHF radio announcing a BBQ at 1800. We were anchored by 1700, 5pm, and started an Alphonse and Gaston routine: she said that I was tired and beat up from the day's sail, she was right, so she suggested that we eat on the boat. I knew she wanted to "go to town" and eat out, having cooked four nights in a row, so I suggested that we do that. Carol, being so wise in these matters, graciously let me win and we got the dinghy ready to go ashore, arriving at Lorraine's just about 1800. We met a guy walking our way and I struck up a conversation about tools, turned out that he is Lorraine's husband.

For all the boats at anchor here, maybe 30, there weren't many BBQ attendees, and only a hand full when compared to the Super Bowl party there. We were able to collect a small crowd and a few Kaliks got the conversation going. It was a nice enough evening; Carol got to talk and eat, two areas central to her well being, so she enjoyed things.


It's been odd coming south again along these islands. I imagined that the "rush" was over. But at every place we have stayed or passed we have seen a forest of masts, many more than what we had seen earlier. It might be weather related .... folks not able to leave for their destinations; it might just be getting more crowded. We have yet to be in any place in these islands without close boat neighbors.

A bit of good news this morning; remembered to turn on the SSB and we heard Chris Parker's weather forecast. The radio does work. Of course, the 0630 broadcast started at 0700 so, maybe, with my classic impatience I had turned the radio off too soon on the other days, not allowing for island time.

At dinner last night I was introduced to a whole new area of weather and navigational angst. Most people worry about crossing the Gulf Stream, worth the effort. Now, it turns out, I need to worry about (a) tide v. wind going east through the cuts and, (b) the right wind to be on the windward side of the chain, a legitimate, serious concern. I had thought that a little common sense would do it; maybe not. And then there is the one day v. the two day plan. It's a good day of travel on the plus side 40nm, but we have to be anchored before sunset and traverse a very tricky, unmarked entry to the harbour with fading light and fatigued bodies. The good news is that these decisions do not yet need to be made, so I won't. I figure that I can have at least three more gin and tonics before all that hits the top of the to-do list.

Carol and I had a walk-about today; it didn't go well. We thought that we were on a road that would take us to the windward side of the island and give us a view of Dothan Cut. We ended up walking along a road to a quarry or borrow pit from which they extract landfill and load it onto boats. Not very inspiring, but an interesting economic insight.

This morning, Thursday, we again listened to Chris Parker's weather broadcast. His direct quote was, "It's been a while since I've seen anything this ugly," referring to weather coming in early next week. So we are working on a plan to address Carol's safety and security issues.

Posted by sailziveli 18:26 Archived in Bahamas Tagged boats boating bahamas

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