Breakers to the left! Breakers to the right!

Yesterday we got an early start from the anchorage off Sandy Point at the southeastern end of Great Abaco Island, and sailed around the southern end, and halfway up the east shore. It was a fast and boisterous sail, with winds of 20 to 25 knots and rather large seas for the 55 miles to our destination. The boat was moving at 7 to 9 knots for most of the trip. The Amel’s hard dodger did a great job at keeping us dry–ALMOST all the time–as we plowed through some of the waves instead of over them.

My original plan was to enter the lagoon on the east side of Abaco Island (know as the “Abaco Sea”) at Little Harbor Cut, but with a fairly large swell running that narrow, twisting, and fairly shallow entrance looked to be a bit more dangerous than I was comfortable with.  Instead, we headed a few miles further north to the North Bar Channel.  Wider, deeper, and straighter it was the better choice.

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Viewed from offshore, it was a bit of a challenge to pick out the calm inlet from the surging breakers on all sides.  Spray was flying up from waves as they crashed on “Channel Rock. ”  The cruising guide had a very useful piece of advice about this rock, “Don’t hit it.” Thanks for that.

Although exciting to watch the surroundings, the actual inlet transit proved to be pretty tame.  We entered under sail on a strong flood tide, so the waves in the center of the channel were far apart and showed no tendency to break. Although just a few dozen yard to either side…

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Looking to the north side of the channel, we watched waves break on the rocky reef.

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On the south side was more rough water as waves broke over a wrecked construction barge–complete with backhoe!

We anchored in the lee of Lynyard Cay.  A weather front will pass with some rain and then we’ll be doing some more exploring.

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