Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 West End Cay to Anchoring in the Middle of the Little Bahama Banks

Keith listened to Chris Parker early this morning.  The weather for Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday is not looking good.  So, all 4 boats have agreed to go to Mangrove Cay for tonight and West End on Wednesday morning....hopefully before the winds and thunderstorms hit that area.   There was talk last night about just leaving our anchorage in the morning, head toward Great Sale Cay, and then cross over from there to Fort Pierce.  Our problem with this plan is, we needed to fill our fuel tank before heading across the stream.  Why would we be in this predicament? Originally we were going to the West End and Chuck was planning on getting diesel there!

Billy seemed disappointed and suggested we leave this morning and travel straight to Fort Pierce....28 hours!  Ugh!  The other 3 boats felt uncomfortable about this plan because of the narrow weather window.  We wanted 2 days of good weather, not 24 hours!  West End it is for Wednesday!

What a beautiful day out on the Little Bahama Banks.  We couldn't ask for a
more perfect day.   We passed through 2 big areas of water where the bottom looked stirred up...milky.  But in the rest of the Banks, the water was so clear it was like looking down into an aquarium.  I can see coral, sea fans, sand dollars, grass, and some small fish as we sail by.  Guys on a small fishing boat are conching!  We just passed Mangrove Cay at 4:00 pm which is where we agreed to anchor as of this morning.  Change of plans! All the captains talked on channel 69 and we're going to push on and anchor somewhere on the Banks. Our anchors were all dropped out on the Banks about 10 miles from Indian Cut.  It was like being in the middle of the ocean.  You couldn't see land anywhere!!!  By anchoring here, we can get to the Barracuda Shoals and out through the Indian Cut one hour before high tide.  The water is very skinny here but passing through this cut will save us time and miles and put us into the marina before the predicted storm.

We've  been trying to hail Old Bahama Bay Marina all day.  We wanted to make sure that they could accommodate four sailboats.  If not, we're in trouble!!  None of us had any cell phone connection on the Banks and we were too far to reach the marina by VHF radio. Rita is going to try later.....  Yeah, she finally got through to the dockmaster and we have 4 slips reserved for tomorrow morning.   Around 5:30, we all dropped our anchors.  Anchoring was so easy tonight because of the sandy bottom.  Another long day...9 1/2 hours....and the winds tonight are suppose to be light and variable. Once it gets dark, the skies are loaded with stars and we can see the lights from the Settlement on the West End. What a perfect day!

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