Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17th - Georgetown, The Exumas

Lat: 23 30.7N Lon: 75 44.6W

Well folks, after a grand total of 2,568.27 nautical miles .... Man, that's a long way .... we finally made it to the last and most southerly cruising destination in the Bahamas. We are anchored here in Georgetown with about 300 other boats, and there's still plenty of room for another three or four hundred. We're in a great little spot, perched under Monument Hill and just off "Hamburger Beach".
So, in a nutshell, Cuba is a mere 157 miles to the SW and the Dominican Rep. is 350 miles to the SE .... talk about tempting!!!
Yesterday we experienced something very new to us when we came out from our anchorage and entered Rudder Cut (Lat 23 52.5N Lon 76 13.4W).
We were hit smack in the face with a RAGE! A rage is the effect of a swift tide between two islands that occurs when a strong wind, and of course waves, is coming directly at one of the small cuts from the ocean. The outgoing tide from the bank can create huge waves and confused water with very dangerous conditions. Given the right conditions, the effect can easily overpower a boat. WELLLLLLLL.... did we hit it right. As we rounded the corner from behind Rudder Cut Cay and entered the cut we were instantly hit with 7-8 foot very confused waves. We took one of them green right across the dodger window. This insane condition lasted for about 350 feet. Did I mention that when you put to sea you should always DOG DOWN ALL THE HATCHES!! Our two main salon overhead hatches were only closed and when the wave rolled over the deck, they were opened by the force of the water and guess what too a shower ??? You guessed it .... The floor of the main salon.
We cleared the area in about 10 minutes and had a great day of motoring .... and why not, the wind was again on the nose ..... down to Georgetown.

Now I'll get back to our time since the last update.

After leaving Black Point Settlement we had a great sail down the inside bank to Rudder Cut Cay (23 52.5N 76 13.4W) however, inside the Cay the water was too shallow for us so we had to depart the channel about 2 miles early and sail outside and come in the back door. Musha Cay, where we departed is owned by David Copperfield and from what the other boats told us, it's absolutely beautiful in there.

In this picture you can see how nice the water is and how well Wind Warrior has been sailing, although we only have the jib out. Now, as for charts ..... Navionics said we only had two feet of water in this position while the Explorer books said 2.1 meters .... and they were right. We had 8 feet of water over this area. That's Costello and Tango following us.
Inside the cut was fabulous .... Palm filled beaches and large caves lined the shoreline.

However, this whole scene was spoiled by LARGE "NO TRESPASSING" signs everywhere. I went ashore to write my "appreciation" in the sand by one of these signs and was quickly chased back to the dingy by guard dogs. How to spoil a beautiful area!!

Back to the beautiful stuff .....

The next morning, February 16th, we left for Georgetown and after surviving the Rage in the cut we were again in the beautiful true blue colour of the ocean.
Jan was quick to try to find lunch and got out the fishing rod.

I pity the poor fish that ever got caught by this fisherman. What's with the sweater .... it's 85F out there??

Ron also gave it a shot but I'm sorry to say that all the fish are still safe.

So as you can see, we're tucked in nicely off Hamburger Beach on Stocking Island.
Georgetown isn't all that much but they have a cute corner where we could get internet access. Here's Jan Skyping to Kelly from the street corner.

More to come later ....

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