Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bimini to Great Harbor Cay

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

Wednesday morning, most of the boat crews were up before dawn to take advantage of the weather window and depart Bimini at first light.  The crecent moon was still rising low in the sky as the sun came up and the boats began to move.
Rising Crescent Moon Just Before Dawn

Morgana Departs

Radiance Departs
Salatia Departs
Our Turn
Most of the other boats were headed to Chub Cay, in the southern Berries, or going overnight directly to Nassau, while we were bound for Great Harbor Cay in the Northern Berries, where we would stay for a few days.  Our plan was to go about halfway there and anchor overnight in the shallow Great Bahama Bank.

Most of the Great Bahama Bank is only around 16 feet deep, but we discovered that the more northerly route that we were travelling was averaging around 25 feet deep.  Although anchoring in this depth is possible,  its something we avoid because Dolce Vita doesn't have a windlass (a sort of winch for anchor chain).  This means that I have to haul up DV's anchor by hand.  25 feet deep means that I'm hauling up 25 feet of 3/8" chain plus the 33 lb anchor!  Its simply more weight than I can lift!

So, we diverted a few miles south of our straight-line course to a place called Mackie Shoal.  There we found a spot with 12 foot depth and a sand bottom, easily visible in the perfectly clear waters. We set the anchor with no problems.

Its really strange, being anchored in the middle of nowhere, with turquoise blue waters in all directions as far as the eye can see.  There was one other boat anchored on the shoal, about a mile away.

Because there is no land to break up the wind and waves, it can get a bit choppy when even a light wind blows.  As a result, we were bounced around quite a lot.  It was nothing we couldn't put up with for one night, but it would have gotten old pretty quickly.

Up in the V-berth, our bed was going up and down, but we both had no trouble falling asleep.  However, I did dream I was in a building in an earthquake!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday morning dawned bright and clear, with a light south wind that would let us motor-sail.  The anchor came up clean and easily, and we set off for Great Harbor Cay.
Motor-Sailing Under Main and Jib
Along the way, we encountered several commercial fishing net trawlers.  We steered well clear of them.
Big Fishing Trawler with 4 Net Tender Boats
 As Great Harbor Cay came into view, the water began its shift from cobalt blue to turquoise as we entered shallower and shallower water..
Land Ho!
The entrance cut into Bullocks Harbor is an extremely narrow cut through a high, rocky shore.  It is totally invisible until you are almost on top of it and in line with it.  There's about enough room for two boats to pass safely, but just barely.  I would never attempt to do this one in the dark!!
We're going through that??!

Phew!!  We made it!
Once in the harbor, we wound our way around to the south to Great Harbor Cay Marina.  It is incredibly well protected on all sides.  It would be our base of exploration for the next few days.

No comments:

Post a Comment