During the night Christmas Day, the winds began to howl. And the howling continued through the next two days with the wind clocked at a maximum of 40 knots during gusts. The wind generator kept the batteries fully charged but the winds were cool. It was time once again for long pants and sweaters.
There was wireless available and we purchased a three day package from one provider. The service was strong enough to take my money but seldom strong enough for us to connect! What a pain that was.
On Monday, we braved the high winds and went ashore to collect e-mails and answer what we could. A little restaurant had free wifi available, with a purchase of some coffee or food. From there, we went to The Poop Deck, at Nassau Yacht Haven for lunch.
SaYes was on a dock at Nassau Harbour Club and together we made plans to depart in the morning.
On Tuesday, the winds finally died somewhat and we hauled anchor and sailed across the Yellow Banks towards the Exuma Cays. The wind was on our stern quarter and we flew across the miles, passing every boat ahead of us, and arriving near Norman’s Cay shortly after 1 pm. The decision was made to continue down the island chain, eventually dropping the hook at Hawksbill Cay, in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. We didn’t pick up one of their moorings but they do provide them at many of the cays in the park.
The depths coming into the anchorage were slightly less than shown on the chart and during the evening, we started to kiss the bottom. Thunk, thunk. That sound is never a good one and especially after dark. With shallows surrounding us, we opted to stay where we were rather than blunder about in the dark. My alarm rings at 0615 each morning for the weather net and, while I recorded the information, Murray hauled the anchor just as the dawn broke over the low cay. At that point we had about mid tide and he saw about 6 inches below the keel at the shallowest. He re-anchored and then we made preparations for the real departure.
Shortly after lunch, we dropped anchor near Staniel Cay, in Big Major Spot. Friends, Doug and Connie on High Stepper and Gordon and Lori on Mystic, came over right away to welcome us to the neighbourhood.
We plan to stay here through the New Years celebrations and maybe take part in the Staniel Cay Cruisers Regatta. After that, we have no plans other than to enjoy these islands and the people who live on them.
May the New Year find you and yours with good health and much happiness.
Heather & Murray