Friday, December 29, 2006

Saturday 23rd December

Bird Rock
Crooked Island

22 50.7 N
74 21.6 W

Happy 40th birthday David, hope it’s a good one! We love you.

As the winds and seas are conspiring against us we decided to set off at 06.30 hrs and head as far south as we could get, aiming for Bird Cay to try and get a bit of a jump on the weather fronts. We knew that the going would probably be a bit uncomfortable but what’s new? At the start of the day as we headed north to the tip of Cape Santa Maria the wind was just right for flying the jib, and the sea was beautifully calm - it didn’t last. As soon as we hit the point the wind came out of the south – straight on the bow and the sea became mightily confused with a double swell – hitting us on the beam and also head on, there was no way we could sail it so the jib got furled and the motor turned on. It was extremely uncomfortable and we were bashing into that for the next 11hrs. The sun set was a bit disappointing but as the moon rose we were captivated by the colours of the sky surrounding the moon – a painting could not do it justice and our camera couldn’t capture it on film adequately. The sky was awash with pastel colours – yellow, orange, pink, mauve, green and blue, and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better the stars began to appear – it was a sight to behold. We altered our course as much as we could to try and reduce some of the effect of the swell but it really didn’t have the desired effect. What we’d hoped was going to be a 13hr trip ended up being 20.5hrs. I have to say though that we did finally have a bit of luck after 11 hrs, the wind clocked around just enough for us to be able to put up a reefed jib which helped us enormously, we picked up almost 2knots of speed and as night fell the seas dropped and the last 9hrs of the trip were relatively comfortable. Of course with all the delay we arrived at Bird Rock at 03.00hrs, the lighthouse was one of the few in the Bahamas that actually worked and as we were to find in daylight is quite spectacular. The cruising guru’s all say not to attempt to go into the anchorage here at night because of the rocks and reef that surround the place but what do you do once you arrive at 03.00hrs – sit and wait? Of course not! We are foolhardy and we were very tired, nothing was going to stop us anchoring. We went VERY slowly into the anchorage, the sea gods were on our side for once, there was only one boat anchored there and we managed to miss him. Once we had the anchor down we fell into bed.



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