Another day, another plan
22 March 2008 | Rocky Point, Exumas, Bahamas.
As usual we began the morning listening to Chris' weather forecast. I called him for a forecast specific to the Jumentos, but didn't like the answer. Instead of a few days of good weather and a few bad, its now a couple of good ones followed by bad weather right out to next weekend. So we evaluated our options and decided we didn't want to be stuck down in the Jumentos for that long in bad weather. So we looked other options and decided to head north towards the Exumas. We took a route we have been looking at for a while called the back route or sometimes called the mailboat route. It allows a boat to travel from the Exumas to Long Island or down to the Jumentos without going out into Exuma Sound. So in heavy weather, being on the banks and protected from the prevailing easterlies, it is still passable. Its a longer route, and quite shallow in sections, weaving through coral heads in others, but its interesting too, as the cays are all deserted and rarely visited. And with the nice south-west wind, we had a beautiful sail for the 50 miles of it. Leaving Water Cay, we first headed back north-east to clear an area of shallow reefs, hen swung north-west. Soon we found ourselves weaving through coral heads. In 20' of water, I doubt that they would rise enough to be a problem, but we took no chances, until we missed one and headed straight over one, watching the depth rise from 21' to 8' in seconds... so we became more careful! We watched another sea turtle as he quietly watched us, again without any signs of fear. Then as we approached the south side of Great Exuma Cay, we passed 4 traditional Bahamian sailing boats heading in. There are not the racing boats, but the ones used for commercial, mostly fishing. Then we cut through another channel, with the depth sounder chirping out its warning as we carefully worked our way over it to approach our anchorage. By now the wind was dying and we just coasted in to the anchorage. We expected that we would surely find the anchorage to ourselves, but not so. When we approached, we saw an odd looking catamaran anchored there. But its a large anchorage, so we still found it quiet. Dinner in the cockpit in the calm airs, we watched the sun set in the west, and turned to see the full moon rising in the east. It's hard to believe we are going to have the bad weather that's forecast, but we'll keep going tomorrow, as our plans are "better safe than sorry".