Dinghy Drift

No, I don’t mean “dinghy adrift!” which we have heard three times this winter. Those lucky cruisers all recovered their dinghys. Two traveled from Staniel Cay to Andros Island, a distance of approximately 30 miles, and one was found out on Exuma Sound. Murray wanted to institute an afternoon class of basic knots when we heard that the third one had escaped.

No, this dinghy drift is a good experience. First let me set the stage. We were anchored at Children’s Bay Cay, south of Lee Stocking Island. It had been a lovely few days of sun and fun in the water. But, Saturday was memorable, as it was F.A.C. or Flat Ass Calm.

In the morning, Murray & Doug, from High Stepper, went diving while Connie and I worked on our basket weaving. In the early afternoon, we took the dinghys to Barreterre, a nearby village. There we stretched our legs and investigated the local populace. The no-seeums chased us off after an hour and we returned to the dinghys. Speeding along on the gin-clear water gave us the illusion of flying above the surface.

I suggested a get-together that night for a dinghy drift. We stopped by each boat ( there were 9 in the anchorage ) to tender the invitation. At 4:30 dinghys started to gather and lash together, up-current. When most had arrived, we cast off our anchor and drifted with the current. Snacks and stories were passed around the group. Between the boats, you could get glimpses of the bottom, seeing soft corals waving and fish dart by. The night was topped off by a green flash as the sun set. What a glorious day!

Yesterday, we motored the final 15 miles to George Town, to replenish supplies of fresh foods and fuel. High Stepper was lucky once again and landed a mahi mahi. We were lucky also as they shared it with us at dinner that night.

Today, up early to gather weather info, we headed to town before 8 am. I was the first person at the laundry and got things going quickly. Murray investigated the grocery to see if a ship had been in to deliver fresh things. Most of the items on my list were found. Then, Doug came by as we were checking out. ” There is a huge barge of sand, with a tug attached, very close to your boat!”. Back to the dinghy, through the narrow cut under the bridge, into the rough waters of Elizabeth Harbour. Man, that barge looks close to our boat from here. Arriving back, we unloaded quickly and moved the boat ahead, out of his way.

Once we were re-anchored, I called the tug. I apologized if we were blocking his passage, but the computer charts showed that we were outside of the designated channel. He said that we were correct but there was more water outside of the channel! As he was aground most of the time, he was looking for the deepest water he could find.

Now that our hearts have settled down once again, we will finish our chores in town. Then find someplace calmer to anchor for a few days, while the winds blow. After that, we will see. Maybe south to Long Island or east to Conception. All written in Jello.

Stay warm and well. Hugs to you all. Heath & Murray