Island Hopping (2)…

Windsong II and Tranquilizer left our slips in West End about 8:00 am on Wednesday, March 16 heading for Great Sale Cay. We motored about 25 minutes and entered a narrow shallow cut in the coral called Indian Cay Passage. The passage took one and a half hours.

While motoring slowly, we used our depth sounder and chart plotter to find the deepest water to go through and watched the bottom only inches from our keel — just over five feet. Having done this last year and the year before, we kept our previous tracks, and these gave us confidence. We were on an incoming tide so if we did get stuck we would just have to wait for the tide to lift us off. Once through, we where on the Little Bahamas Banks — 10 feet of water! Lots! And all of it turquoise!

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Given that we were heading northeast and with a brisk wind on our beam, it was a perfect time to put up both sails and run at an average 7 knots. With this nice turn of speed Windsong II got us into the anchorage earlier than expected.

We anchored with over a dozen boats, some going east like us, and others going west, back to the U.S. Marco and Beatrice came over for sundowners and snacks and we discussed our plans for the next few days. After a nice dinner of BBQ chicken and roasted asparagus, we enjoyed the glorious sunset and then fell into bed and slept soundly. Eight hours in the sun and wind can knock a person right out.

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great sale cay for cover

Sunset at Great Sale Cay

The next day — St. Patrick’s Day — we set out for Crab Cay, a large isolated anchorage with a nice beach. The winds were WNW, and we had a great sale to Crab Cay, often doing over 7 knots. We noticed a huge difference in our speed from having our bottom painted. We just slid through the water.

After four  enjoyable hours, we arrived at 2:00 pm and had plenty of time for play — and work (Bob washed our very grungy dinghy bottom). We all had a refreshing dip and went back to the boat for a delicious dinner of strip loin steak, mashed potatoes and green beans. Another great night’s sleep and we were off to Green Turtle Cay to find a snug anchorage to wait out the coming cold front.

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6 thoughts on “Island Hopping (2)…

  1. It is always so interesting to visit your blog when you are on the high seas (other times also) but these trips are so unlike what most of us can do. I feel myself tighten up when you speak of the low bottom and having to use all the navigation equiptment to get through and then my body just softens when you tell me that you are safe and now anchored with your friends, swimming and cooking and share great meals cooked on the boat or grill…
    The photo’s are always gorgeous and your deep sleep nights sound heavenly…’
    Enjoy every moment.

  2. Ah, Sherry and Bob — John and I get to cruise vicariously, taking in the gorgeous scenery thanks to your photos, Sherry; the fascinating technical details, thanks to you, Bob. Happy sailing! xo Mary Lou

  3. As always your voyage description is thorough, entertaining, and anticipated. Neat that you made the crossing with a buddy and plan to stay with both of you during the island hopping. Fair winds.

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