Rolling Hills and Whales

We left Royal Island at dawn on March 12th, slipping quietly out the entrance and motoring to the cut by Egg Island. The waves were crashing onto the reef on the northwest side of Royal Island and the sight of these rollers worried some of the captains accompanying us. A total of 15 boats made the trip north that day.

Once we reached clear water and turned onto the course for Little Harbour entrance into Abaco, the waves approached us more on the bow. They were huge ocean swells, the first we had seen quite like this. They appeared to be big rolling hills that the boat just rose over and then slid down into the valley. While in the valleys, vessels nearby disappeared, sometimes completely including the masts. We could not estimate accurately the size of these rollers but some were very impressive.

The wind had come too close to the bow and we were unable to make enough speed sailing. The cuts cannot be entered at night. So, on went the engine after only 8 or 9 miles of sailing. Murray had 2 fishing poles rigged and lures dragging as soon as we reached deep water.

Two vessels traveling with us caught dolphin fish ( Mahi-mahi ) and we were very happy to hear our line go zinggg. Murray hauled in the fish slowly while I readied the cockpit for fish ( remove the cushions, get pails and gloves ready ). The fish was jumping out of the water trying to throw the hook but Murray continued to reel him in. As he got closer we could see that yes, it was a dolphin ! I took the pole from Murray and he reached down and grabbed the leader to toss the fish into the cockpit. Just then the leader snapped. Gone. No fish for dinner and a brand new lure is lost. Oh well, try again as we still have miles to go.

A nearby boat called to ask if we had seen the whales. Between us appeared a dark fin not unlike a porpoise. Then another and another. Spouts of water from blow holes all about. They were pilot whales. One of the smallest whales found in the ocean, they very much resemble the porpoise or dolphin. But, they didn’t want to play around our bow as the dolphins would have but just kept traveling southward.

Shortly after 3 pm, we safely cleared Little Harbour bar and motored to an anchorage near Lynyard Cay. The waves rolled around the end of the island and made our anchorage a very uncomfortable spot overnight. In the morning we moved on to Elbow Cay and anchored near a lovely beach.

We have stayed here a couple of days now and it is time to move on once more. But, we must wait for mid or high tide as the waters nearby are very shallow. Likely we will head up to Man-of-War Cay overnight and then into Marsh Harbour early tomorrow morning for restocking and laundry. Also to meet up with some old friends.

We will be in Abaco for another two weeks approximately and then prepare to cross over to the USA once again.

Hopefully, all is well with you and yours. Stay in touch as we love to get mail aboard.

Murray & Heather aboard Windswept IV