Saturday, March 5, 2016

Further Along

We departed West End at 6:30 am for the trek over to Great Sal Cay.  We decided to go up through Indian Cut which cuts off a whole lot of time from going up and around to get onto the Bahama Bank.  Of course it’s a nail bitter going up this way because of all the low spots in the cut and the tide which will force you to one side or the other because of the current it creates in the cut.  For you Eastern Shore folks think of the Ocean City Inlet when the tide is coming in or going out, but not quite so bad.  The thing in our favor was that we did this traverse on the rising tide and we had gone through there last year so we had a track on our chart plotter that guided us so to speak.  But we still had to be vigilant.  We still did not see anything less than 6.9 feet, pretty good since we only draw 4.5 feet.  You can see the bottom here everywhere so if you have a spotter on deck and go slow in the questionable areas you shouldn’t have any problems.

We had light winds over to Great Sal Cay so we motored the whole way arriving there at about 3:30 in the northwest corner anchorage area since the wind was forecast to be out of the south southeast overnight.  Anchoring in the wishbone area of Great Sal Cay would have been rough as some sailors experienced.  This northwest anchorage offered us the opportunity to leave early and get underway quickly on our path to Green Turtle Cay.

On Friday the ride to Green Turtle Cay was spectacular.  Winds and sea were in our favor.  We did run the motor in the morning to keep up our speed so that we could arrive in the mid-afternoon.  Around noon there was a cloud bank in front of us associated with the small frontal system that went through and it was really sucking in the air from behind us all afternoon.  We probably could have shut the motor down but at 2000 and 7.2 knots we felt like the little fuel we were consuming was worth it to enjoy the speedy ride.  Last year our transit to Green Turtle took two (2) days because the wind and waves were right on our nose at 15-20 knots and 2-3 feet, not a good situation if you want to make headway.

We got to try out our new whisker pole for part of the time.  That system works great.  Pulley and ropes everywhere controlling height. Length, etc. allowing even an old guy to get on deck and control it with no fear, except for falling overboard but we stay strapped in at all time on open water to either fixed hard points in the cockpit or the Jack Lines that run the length of each side of the boat that you attach your safety harness to before you leave the cockpit to go forward to work on things on the deck.

The new MackSail Sails, Stack Pack, and Whisker Pole worked great.

We arrived in the vicinity of New Plymouth around 3:30 and stowed our sails and got all our docking lines rigged for our slip at Leeward Yacht Club.

Navigating into Black Sound where Leeward Yacht Club is located was relatively easy at high tide which is the favored time to arrive here since the channel is a little shallow at low tide for our boat.
Checking into Leeward Yacht Club didn’t happen.  Whoever was going to leave didn’t get their part shipped in yet so there were not slips available.  Not to worry, we got a mooring ball from Donnie located also here in Black Sound so that is where we will be for the next few days.  Internet is not as easy to get to but we’ll survive.

This afternoon we rented a golf cart to explore the island and right now we are at the Green Turtle restaurant enjoying their internet service and later will have dinner here, one of our favorite spots on the Abacos.  Some of you know us foodies.

We will probably be here for a few days or so because the weather will be unsettled early part of next week probably until Thursday which will cause us some difficulty transiting an area called the Whale Cut.  So, we will stay hunkered down here enjoying the Abacos hospitality until it is safe for us to continue onward to either Marsh Harbor or Guyana Cay.

All systems are working great, especially the refrigerator.

Until the next time,

Gerry & Larry

s/v Galileo