From Cat Cay we face a long day crossing the Great Bahamas Bank Every time we transit the bank it seems we either have no wind or wind from the wrong direction, and this year it was on the nose, directly in our face, at 15 knots. Here’s a tip for you to remember. You know that little arrow thing at the top of the mast? I’ll bet you didn’t know that arrow will always point to your destination; that’s how you know where to go! Seriously, for you sailors, you know 15 knots true on the nose means 20 knots of apparent wind, and a bucking, bumpy ride. From Cat to Chubb Cay is a long 80 mile ride, and in a sloop that manages 7 knots average under power, that means a long, boring day. This year a late morning’s start coupled with currents working against us both on and off the bank combined to produce a 13 hour day. That long a passage left us a choice of either anchoring on the bank (not in 15 knots), or arriving at Chubb in the dark. Since we had anchored there before, I felt a night time arrival would not be that big a deal, but I could not have been more wrong. As we approached the anchorage, I looked at the radar and saw what appeared to be a jumble of returns. We had been the only boat in the past. Could there possibly be a bunch of OTHER boats anchored here?
Above you see the approach to Chubb Cay on a good day with good light, and you spy only one boat anchored in the distance. When we arrived at 9 PM in the pitch black, there were more than 20 boats anchored in the tiny protected area, and all the good spots were taken. We were left with anchoring just inside the rock wall you see jutting out into the open water; not a pretty anchorage. The holding was fine, but the wind and current surged around the corner and made for a nasty rolly location. Boy did we roll. I thought twice about strapping up the lee cloths so I could sleep without worrying about being tossed out of my bunk. Joy held on all night and did not sleep well. By morning, we decided to head into the marina, top up our fuel, and move on to another location. The entire anchorage was rolling like crazy with the wicked surge.
So we moved on to the Berry Islands Club up near Frasier’s Cay where we decided to pick up a mooring because there was a fair amount of current scouring the bottom of this beautiful secluded private island. We thought after winding our way nearly 3 miles up between the islands that we would have a secure quiet night’s rest. Secure- yes; quiet NO. When the wind opposes the current, a nasty chop rocked and rolled the Angel, and us, all night long, with the mooring ball banging against the hull in the process. We were beginning to develop a sense of humor in all these night time happenings. Surely, the islands couldn’t be conspiring against us