Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!
I would like to take the time to welcome our latest virtual crew member aboard, Gary G. Gary was friends with the skipper’s brother back in the 70’s and 80’s. Glad to have you aboard Gary!
This week the crew left the West End and made way to Green Turtle Cay. Along the way they anchored out three nights:
1 – Great Sale Cay, in the Little Bahama Bank
2- Angelfish Point, at the tip of the Great Abaco Island
3- Manjack Cay, at the north end of the Cay
They ended their travels at Green Turtle Club on the Green Turtle Cay.
This week’s adventure did answer the questions of:
Click on the link to read the day-to-day travel log. This includes weather report, sea conditions, captain’s log, and a summary of the day’s experience.
This week’s video shows Still Waters II cruising east in the clear waters of the Little Bahama Bank and four dolphins swimming in the bow wake. In addition, there are photos of the anchor spots she stopped at along the way. The clip ends with a pic of a shark that swims by the boat every afternoon. Enjoy!
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
The first order of business to cruise the Bahamas was to find a way through the shallow waters since they do not mark the channel in these waters. Luckily for the skipper, a boater in the West End gave him a copy of The Cruising Guide to Abaco. In the back of the book was a Brief History of Abaco. The history talks of Columbus’ encounters with the indigenous people, the Lucayan Indians. He described them as gentle and kind. The Spaniards enslaved the Lucayans to work the fields in Cuba. By 1550, the Lucayans fell victim to this new way of life and were wiped out. It would be another 200 years before another permanent settlement was established in the Abaco’s.
Also, in the book were waypoints, direction of travel, and a distance. Armed with this information the skipper was able to plot a course to Green Turtle Cay thru the shallow crystal-clear water.
The Bahama Islands are surrounded by 1-2-thousand-feet-deep Atlantic Ocean. The deep blue color you see on the picture. The land mass abruptly rises to the shallow waters (5-10 feet deep) that are called banks, the light turquoise color you see surrounding the land masses. Then every so often, limestone rock surfaces above the water. The small land masses are called cays (a low island made of sand or coral) and the larger ones are called islands.
The crew left the West End and headed out to the first waypoint on the edge of the Little Bahama Bank (the small light blue water at the top of the picture above). They travelled 24.3 nautical miles (nm) to the Mangrove Cay, altered course and headed 22.2 nm for the Great Sale Cay where they anchored for the night.
Along the way they encountered a large pod of dolphins, four of which swam in the bow wake for a little bit. You can see them in the video.
With the winds out of the east, the skipper pulled up on the leeward side of Great Sale Cay and got as close as possible to get out of the wind. The crew spent a peaceful night on the hook.
The crew weighed anchor and headed back to the course that the skipper had plotted via the waypoints. Along the way they began seeing more rocks protrude out of the Bank, until they finally got to where there was an island to starboard with cays to starboard.
One interesting rock was named Center of the World Rock and it is a good landmark to verify your position.
As the crew approached Crab Cay, they once again altered off the plotted course and found a place to anchor off Angelfish Point. There was a nice white sand beach just off the anchorage. The crew had another peaceful night on the hook.
The crew made a short run today to try an anchor spot on the north end of Manjack Cay. The Active Captain reviews claimed that though the anchor spot was close to an inlet, that the cove provided protection from the swells. Well, this did not turn out to be our crews experience.
The swells were hitting a rock bank, bouncing off the rocks, and then heading towards Still Waters II. Made for a very long night as the boat rocked in the 1-2-foot swells.
However, the anchorage did provide for an entertaining day. First there was a large sailboat. The Admiral was wondering why the sailboat was not moving around because of the swells. The answer came about ah hour later. The crew of the sailboat had been in the water snorkeling. When they got back on board they weighed anchor and attempted to leave. However, the boat was aground and could not move. The sailboat crew also had another problem to deal with. The tide was ebbing, and the water was getting shallower by the minute. It took the sailboat over an hour to work themselves free, but they finally made it out of the cove.
Then there was a 20-foot fishing boat that someone had beached. They had gotten out of the boat and gone for a walk along the beach. When they arrived back at their boat, it was high and dry, completely out of the water. A dive boat with about 20 folks onboard came to their rescue. They were able to pull the boat off the sand beach and float her back in the water.
Though the entertainment was good, the swells were uncomfortable enough that the Admiral has nixed this anchor spot from any future considerations.
The crew weighed anchor and made the last run to the Green Turtle Cay where they spent the remainder of the week at the Green Turtle Club. Upon arrival all was well.
However, before nightfall, the local power plant suffered a trip and was offline. The resort has an emergency diesel generator to provide power to the resort. However, the diesel does not power the docks. The crew has been informed that the plant has a part on order, and the estimated time of arrival is Tuesday. The rumor is that the plant is running at reduced output due to a cooling water problem. The part is coming from Germany. The power plant provides power for the Great Abaco Island and surrounding Cays, so this is having a far-reaching effect. The power plant has initiated rolling black-outs. For four hours the marina is without power, and then has power for about an hour and a half. The locals must be used to the reliability issues of the power plant because almost all homes and business have their own dedicated emergency diesel generators.
Unfortunately for the boats in the marina, the emergency diesel for the resort only powers the businesses and villas. No power to the docks, except for when the plant is powering the area.
Oh well, such is life in paradise. The crew will get back to regularly scheduled shark watching.
Well the crew has been bitten by some kind of strange bug. The Admiral showed symptoms first a few days ago, and then the skipper finally caught the bug also. The Admiral got a rash on her arms and legs. The rash itched and had little red bumps all over. Strangely, when she got in the sun, the UV rays made the itch and rash worse. The skipper now has the rash around his ankles.
Turns out, the crew has sun poisoning. Yes, you read that right, sun poisoning. Who would have known that you can get poisoned by the sun? The remedy is to stay out of the sun. Not so easy when you live on a boat. The crew is doing their best to avoid the sun. However, the rash has been slow to go away. They will continue to stay inside and curtail explorations until the rash disappears. Seems they are fitting in just fine with the Bahama Culture, just sitting around not doing much, but having a good time.
Looks as though the winds are going to pick back up next week so there may not be many opportunities to move around and explore new areas. The skipper is thinking they may move further south down the Green Turtle Cay and hang out at another marina until conditions improve.
Loop On – Where the road ends, the water begins. The water goes on forever, and the adventure never ends.