Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tuesday 5th December

Highborne Cay

24 42.757 N
76 49.666 W

“What’s the time Nick?”
“Better get up then”
Followed by Gerry crawling out of bed, throwing on a pair of swimmers and me playing possum.
“Do you want a cup of tea?”
“What flavour?”
“OK peach it is, do you want some toast or a muffin?”
“Should we leave early do you think?”
“The boat behind us is just leaving – I think we should go soon”
Followed by me getting out of bed – another unwanted early start to the day.
As any of you who know Gerry will be aware, once he has decided that he’s ready to do something its rev the engine and go. So here I was, rushed from my bed, half awake, drinking my tea (peach not albatross) and munching on toasted muffin and Gerry disappears out into the cockpit.
“I’m just taking off the bridle, are you ready?” he says as he turns the engine on and takes off towards the anchor. I emerge from below deck wondering what I’ve done to deserve this, I look forward to the anchor locker where Gerry has his anchoring head set on and is indicating that I need to put mine on. Once mine are in place and switched on I get “Can you hear me” as always, I reply “No” but it doesn’t stop Gerry from calling out instructions!
Within a couple of minutes we have the anchor up and are motoring to our next destination. The actual destination hadn’t been finalised, we are heading further down the island chain but were told that the anchorage at Allens Cay (our possible destination) could be very rolly if the wind was coming from the north. Bearing this in mind we entered the way points for both Allens Cay and the next one – Highborne Cay and decided to go into Allens first and scout out how bad it was going to be. If necessary we would continue on to Highborne which would add about another hour to our trip.
Like yesterday the wind was mild – 8 knots and the sea was less than 2 feet so once we cleared the initial rocks we put up the big white flappy things and switched off the engine and proceeded to sail on a port tack southwards.
Gerry yelled “Look a dolphin across our bow”. I grabbed the camera and bolted to the bow just in time to see the dolphin leap and vanish in front of us, I waited with camera ready for it to re appear but it was obviously camera shy as it never came back – will try to be quicker next time!
As we got close to Allens Cay we decided to err on the side of caution – the charts, books and GPS all showed and warned of large coral heads, just below the surface which would be apparent in good sunlight. As we had the good sunlight we felt reasonably confident but chose the safe route and furled the sails away in order to motor through this coral nightmare. I took the bow position – playing Miss Figurehead, to Gerry’s Master and Commander at the wheel, the auto pilot was off duty! We wove our way through the next few miles with me indicating where the coral heads were, and yes they were obvious. We couldn’t be sure just how much trouble they could have been to us as the perception of depth in the Bahamian waters is thrown by the clear water, white sand and grassy vegetation - it could be 3 feet deep or it could be 30 – one just can not tell so you have to rely on the charts and GPS. Eventually we were clear and headed in to Allens Cay, as we entered the anchorage we took note of the boats already there – they were rolling around quite badly and this was in very mild winds so we made an instant decision to continue on to Highborne Cay. We motored there, again avoiding some hidden rocks and made our way to an anchorage spot outside of the cay rather than going inside where the marina is. We were the 3rd boat to anchor outside and after setting anchor we sat back and watched a procession of boats heading towards us. Some went into the marina whilst a few anchored nearby providing the age old entertainment of watching someone else anchor. We are amazed that hardly anyone seems to use the “marriage saving” head sets put out by cruising solutions – we think they have been one of the best purchases we’ve ever made. They leave us with the dignity of not having to yell and scream instructions to each other or having to perform the “anchor dance” each time we set or retrieve the anchor. Sundowners, showers, dinner and bed followed.



Post a Comment

<< Home