Sunday, January 07, 2007

Thursday 4th January

Big Sandy Cay,
Turks & Caicos Islands

21 11.7 N
71 15.5 W

We spent a very restless night, both of us worried that we might drift back onto one of the surrounding coral heads – it was a very nerve wracking experience, consequently both of us were up and dressed almost before the sun came up. The weather wasn’t looking too good for the day but we decided to go ahead with our plan for the day and set off for Big Sandy Cay – a short hop away of only 30 nautical miles. We began by picking our way out through the coral heads and then followed the cruising guide recommendation heading towards Fish Cays and then on to Big Sandy Cay. As it was overcast we had to be especially careful as the coral wasn’t showing up very well. Once clear of the anchorage we then had to thread our way through bars of elkhorn coral which run across the proposed route. We did this with great success and a whole lot more luck than we like to admit to. In the cruising guide the author makes mention of a mast that sticks up out of the reef, it was clearly visible and a heart stopping reminder that we too could be that unlucky. I should have taken a picture of it as it was a strange sight in the middle of nowhere but I was too terrified to take my eyes away from our own progress to take pictures. We were greatly relieved to clear the reef and finally hit an unrecordable water depth however at about the same time we had to make a turn for our next waypoint and it took us directly into the sea swell – there would be no sailing today! As we made the turn we began to wonder if we had made the right choice to leave the relative safety of the anchorage, we were pounding into the seas and being smashed into the troughs between the waves, a lot of the waves were higher than our boat and that isn’t a good thing. At this point it was a choice of whether to continue on or turn back. Knowing that we would have to negotiate the reef and coral heads if we turned back we elected to continue on and spent an extremely uncomfortable day bashing our way across to Big Sandy Cay arriving late afternoon. We did see a pod of very light colored dolphins playing in the waves and we bet that they were having more fun than we were. On arriving at Big Sandy Cay we found a nice spot to anchor, having our choice of anywhere as we were the only ones there and sat waiting to see how bad the documented “roll” was, after a while we decided that it was pretty mild and we didn’t even need a bridle out. We watched the sunset and discussed when the best time to leave for the Dominican Republic would be, our cruising guide recommends an overnight trip – we are holding judgment until we see what the weather is like in the morning.



Post a Comment

<< Home