The three of us discussed exploring the interior of the bay with Gary and Patti opting to stay put while Island Time joined us for a look at some of the interior anchoring holes. First we wandered all the way into Ayers Creek at the western end of the bay; this creek turned out to be a bit explosed in the northeast winds, and we had to work our way fairly well back into the creek to get out of the waves somewhat. With no sail and the gear shift in neutral, the strong wind pushed us into the creek at over 5 knots, so I pulled a 360 degree turn to slow the boat down, take a look at our surroundings, and proceed as slowly as possible as the depthsounder continued to indicate shallower water.
Once both boats were settled in I jumped in the dinghy with a hand leadline to explore the further reaches of the creek. From where we anchored the depths held fairly stable well up into the creek, and we realized we could have tucked our bows much further in out of the wind and waves; all our charts said otherwise, but we’ve found most charts to be less than perfect when it comes to small out of the way places like this. Had the winds been down and not pushing us into the shallower water, I’d have been more adventuresome.
After spending a couple days swaying to anchor in the creek we decided to wander over to Cloverleaf Bay, shaped just as it sounds, on the north side of Nonsuch. This bay definitely creates just about as good a hurricane hole as you could expect to find with shallower depths, mangrove lined perimeter, and in spite of the 25 to 30 knots blowing out in the open bay, it was flat calm in Cloverleaf, and really hot. We backed out of the inner cloverleaf to a point where a light breeze cooled us. We anchored here for just one day to check out the spot for its deserved reputation as a safe anchorage, then motored back to the outer bay where we chose a mooring for our last day.
Before we could take a breath time came to head back to Falmouth to find a spot to anchor for the Classic Yacht Regatta. The forecast called for 20 to 25 knots of breeze and 6 to 9 foot seas, but I assured both Joy and Patti that we would enjoying one of those rare downwind sailing days, once we got out of the bay. A bit of a tough slog with just the main raised saw us safely out of the bay, then we unrolled the jib for a fast sail, over 10 knots, back to Falmouth. On the way we had a great view of the English Harbor entrance where we once again thought in awe of the ancient sailing captains working their ships up into this bay.