Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wednesday 3rd January

Big Ambergris Cay
Turks & Caicos Islands

21 19.3 N
71 39.0 W

I think we were the only idiots awake in the anchorage this morning at 06.30 hrs when we hauled in the anchor and set out on our day sail to Big Ambergris Cay no one else in the bay seemed to be stirring. The sun was just rising as we headed out of the anchorage and I took pictures to prove that I was up – however they look just like the sun set pictures so you really wouldn’t know the difference. The day started out well we were able to fly our reefed jib and knock the motor back to almost nothing for the first 3 hours and then the wind clocked around within 30 degrees of our bow and we cannot point the boat that high so we had to put the jib away and crank the motor back up. Then to make matters worse we had to change course slightly which put the wind even further round on our bow so we definitely couldn’t sail, the wind also picked up and was howling around us at 24 knots. We then had to bash into the wind and sea for a further7 hours until we arrived at Big Ambergris Cay, our stopping point for the night. The cruising guide book tells you to arrive at this anchorage before 17.00hrs as you have to weave your way through “visible coral heads” to the anchorage point. Well we arrived just on 17.00hrs, the sun was on its way down as Gerry took up “spotter duty” on the bow and I took the helm and followed his directions using the 2 way head sets that we use for anchoring. We managed to hit one coral head briefly – a small bounce which registered no depth change on the depth sounder, thank goodness it was Gerry doing the spotting otherwise all hell would have erupted! Other than that we had no problem and set our anchor just as the sun was disappearing into the horizon behind the clouds. There is only one other boat here, anchored inshore of us so it was difficult to know exactly where the best anchorage space is – we hope it’s where we are! Anyway we have a heap of chain out and hopefully the wind will die down a bit tonight as the last thing we want is to drift amongst these coral heads. Everything in the cockpit managed to get sea spay on it today so we are hoping that it rains during the night to wash some of the salt off, it really is unpleasant having everything sticky with salt and we don’t want to use our precious fresh water supply to wash down the boat. Gerry is checking out the weather forecast for tomorrow as we are going to try and get to Big Sand Cay by early afternoon and then take off for an overnight sail toward Luperon in the Dominican Republic - let’s see what tomorrow brings as we first have to negotiate our way out through the coral heads to clear the Ambergris Cays.



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