Log: N 24º 44.9
Lat: W 76º 50.3’
Allen Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
We waited for our weather window to cut across the “Middle Ground” from Nassau to the chain of islands in the Bahamas known as the Exumas. Although it was only a few days, it did at times feel like we should be getting somewhere instead of waiting! One of our guide books uses the reminder “Safety, Comfort, Pleasure” to remind us why we are out here and that sometimes waiting for the weather to cooperate with our plans is the best thing.
When I woke this morning just before daybreak the wind was nearly calm, I roused Karen, and we were weighing anchor as the first rooster on the island crowed. Our sail over to Allen Cay was delightful, fast and fun. The winds picked up a bit, and steadied between 15 and 20 knots all the way with enough North in them that we were on a close reach at 8 knots the whole way. We arrived just about noon.
We are tucked into a small anchorage between Allen and Leaf Cays, both uninhabited islands. We were a bit surprised when we arrived to find one of Harmonie’s sister ships anchored here under a French flag. Finding our own spot took a bit of sailing by braille, as we harmlessly bumped bottom in sand a couple times.
We are in a narrow cut that channels water between the shallow banks and the deep ocean, so a strong current reverses with each change of tide. To make sure the boat sits in a safe spot and doesn’t swing out over shallow water as the current changes we set two anchors in what is called a “Bahamian Moor” that keep us more or less centered in the channel as the current reverses. I think this is my first time setting this up in the “real world” although I have taught an uncountable number of students how to do it.
These uninhabited islands are nature reserves for the native rock iguana. The islands are small, but host a huge number of these large lizards. Posted signs ask visitors not to feed them, but they certainly behave as if they expect a visiting dinghy to be bringing food.
Karen is having the time of her life. I have lost count of the number of places we have been she has pronounced as the most beautiful place she has ever seen. But she’s right, each place has been more beautiful that the last.