Time to get to work.
The next destination for us is a place we have been before, the island of Culibra. Politically, it is part of Puerto Rico (and hence, the USA), geographically it is one of the “Spanish Virgin Islands”. From our current location Culibra is 630 nautical miles to the southeast. There are two complications to this plan.
Complication Number 1: Our destination is over 600 miles to the southeast of where we are. The very steady prevailing winds here are directly from… yes… the southeast. Beating up against that wall is neither fun nor productive. So a bit of strategy is needed.
Complication Number 2: This one is man-made. We have to check out of the Bahamas with Customs and Immigration. It used to be that this could be done at Mayaguana, the island that lay furthest to the east of all the Bahamian islands. That would have been convenient, unfortunately Mayaguana is no longer a Port of Entry, so we will have to make other arrangements.
After considering the relative merits of our choices, we are going to San Salvadore where there is a Port of Entry office at Riding Rock Marina. Today is Tuesday the 12th, the wind is from the east and blowing hard. We’re going to give it an extra day to die down a bit, and leave here for the 24 hour trip to San Salvadore on Thursday. Hopefully we will be able to get some provisions and a fuel top-off before heading out again.
What looks to a landlubber (or for that matter a stinkpotter(*)) like a long and circuitous route, is for us on a sailboat the best we can arrange. Two days after we arrive in San Salvadore, the southern edge of a cold front will pass by, the wind will swing first to the south, and then around to the north. This will allow us to sail more or less due east for several days. As we once again get into winds from out of the east, we will have made enough easting that we will have an easy and comfortable ride into our destination.
Or at least that’s the plan…
(*)Stinkpotter: A person who drives a stinkpot, AKA a motorboat.