Time 20:59 local
Lat N 20° 30.8′
Lon W 68° 49.2′
Nautical mile from Providenciales, TCI: 202.3
Nautical miles to Mayaguez, PR: 164.1
We have now cleared the shallow banks and made our turn toward the Southeast and the Mona Passage that separates the west coast of Puerto Rico from Hispaniola. The wind is well in our favor, finally having clocked around and we are on an easy and fast reach.
It is easy to see why this route would not be a common one for boats in the days before GPS. The Mouchoir, the Silver, and the Navidad banks would be true navigation terrors. The are located in an area famous for strong and unpredictable currents, and in the absence of any dry land, are totally invisible as you approach them.
We sailed past the Silver Bank this afternoon in water over 5000 feet deep. Less than a mile away there was water less than 3 feet deep. Even though we knew it was there, in the calm seas there was no visible evidence of the danger that could tear the bottom out of the unwary–our just unlucky–sailor’s boat.
We were close-by hoping to pull a fish off that steep wall, but such luck was not to be ours today.
If the wind holds this direction and strength, we should be anchored in Puerto Rico tomorrow.