Some pictures from the southern end of Eleuthera:
Yesterday we left the beautiful pink sand beaches at East Point and we sailed around the southern end of Eleuthera, and north along its western facing coast. A large shallow bank extends from here all the way to Nassau 65 miles to the east. As usual, it was a delightful sail.
Since we were expecting some changeable weather, my initial choice was to head to Governors Harbor, one of the few places on this shore with good protection from most directions. The cruising guide warned me off that, however suggesting that the anchor holding in the harbor was very poor. So we grabbed something a bit more exposed, but with deep sand for good holding, and we tucked as far back behind some small islands as we could.
Most of last night it stormed. Strong winds, lots of lightening, and torrential rains. Loud, and dramatic, but nothing scary. By morning the weather had moderated, and we were down to some isolated showers. We expected a breezy day, so our plans were basically to relax on the boat and wait to explore ashore tomorrow.
A bit after noon Karen was sitting topside and noticed the line of dark clouds approaching. The VERY dark clouds. Not much later, we could see the approaching wall of rain and sea spray rapidly charging across the bay. In less than a minute, it went from nearly calm to winds as strong as we have ever seen from the boat. Neither of us had time to look at the wind speed gauge, but certainly over 45 knots. With the first ferocious gusts, the boat slide about 50 feet back on the anchor, before it dug down deeper and we stopped. We quickly ran into our anchor drag drill, but it turned out to not be needed.
Like many weather system of this sort, this one blew itself out pretty quickly, and left the outside of the boat well rinsed and the remainder of the day was beautiful.