Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A New Favourite

Posted by Scot

Our new favourite anchorage.

The Exuma chain of islands runs more or less south east, with the shallow Grand Bahama Bank on the west side, and the very deep Exuma Sound on the east.  The prevailing winds here blow from the east, so the Bahama Bank side tends to be calm and protected.

If you want to keep going south, though, at some point, you need to go out into the Exuma Sound, as the Bahama Bank becomes too shallow to navigate safely.  Rudder Cut Cay is pretty much the furthest south you can go without heading out into the Sound.

So, after a day enjoying the hospitality of David Copperfield, we upped the anchor and headed out.  We were hoping that the Sound would be reasonably comfortable for our push south.  But after days of 20-30 knots from the east, even though things had calmed down a bit, there were still big waves to bash through.  To top it all off, the wind, which had been blowing mostly from the east and north east, had now pushed around to the south east, so once again we were straight into the wind and the waves.

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The cut at Rudder Cut Cay - a bit more action than we had hoped.
Fortunately, we only had about an hour to go before we could cut back onto the Bahama Bank side.  We were sure glad to turn in, and get out of the craziness.

As we motored back into the gentle water, we saw a sailboat just heading out of our intended anchorage.  Sara was just pulling out the binoculars to see if we could figure out who it was when our radio came alive.  “Monashee, Monashee, this is Windrush.”  Bruce and Val (who you may remember from our conching adventure), were just pulling out, having spent the last couple of nights in the spot where we were headed.  They are heading down the inside, making for the Ragged Islands to do more conching and fishing, so we may not run into them again.  It was great to hear a familiar voice on the radio, though, and we wish them a wonderful trip.

The anchorage was one of the most beautiful we have been in, and was made all the more so from our morning’s beating out on the Sound.  It had two beaches, and was protected by the highest peak in the Bahamas (a whopper at 63 metres).  We dropped the anchor in the soft sand, and after our traditional swim to cool off, headed out in the dinghy to explore the beach.

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One of two beaches in the anchorage, with several others nearby.

It proved to be a short hike to the other side of the Cay, where we could enjoy the pounding of the waves from the safety of shore.  A wonderful day of school, swimming, and watching for the green flash as the sun sank into the sea erased our memories of the morning, and the recent bad weather, and made it all worthwhile.

The waves don't seem nearly as bad when the ground stays still beneath your feet.

Still watching for the green flash.

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