Sunday, April 2, 2017

Highbourne Cay: Bent Metal

Monday, March 27, 2017

8:15 am and we were underway.  It was going to be a longish run (31 miles) up to Highbourne Cay today, our last stop in the Exumas, and I wanted to be there while the sun was still high so I could read the waters.  

We were glad we waited the extra day to let the water calm down.  It was a bit bumpy as it was.

We were able to motor sail for a while, but had to drop the sails when we got too close on the wind.

Once at Highbourne Cay, the entrance channel is convoluted and tight.  It has not one, but two sets of range markers to follow in, and has you passing within a boatlength of a rocky island outcropping.  Once inside, you are protected from the waves, but the wind is still strong.  It had us pressed up against the fuel dock.  This made for a difficult departure.  Once cast off, I found myself in a jam: I had to apply power and turn into the wind to get the bow out far enough to miss the protruding bow of a multi-million dollar megayacht, but this was going to bring our stern into the dock pilings!

No choice.  No time. I turned.

As we scraped along the dock, part of the solar array framework snagged on a piling, bent, and ripped itself out of a fitting! :(   But I missed the mega-yacht (by inches!).  Still, I was very upset with myself for letting this happen!

Fortunately, there was no damage to the wiring or panels.  Once anchored on the West side of the Cay,  I got out the tools and went to work.  The end result is not pretty, but it should hold together until we get back.  Could have been much worse!

Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better.

Tomorrow, we will head back to New providence Island (32 NM).  This time, instead of staying in Nassau, we will stay in an upscale marina on the South side of the East end of NP Island.  It has better security, nicer facilities, but is in the middle of nowhere.  Fortunately, they provide a free loaner car.  We will use it to go shopping for food and other provisions.

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