Manjack Cay to Cave Cay
25 April 2011 | Anchorage on west side of Cave Cay
Sunset from Manjack Cay
Apr 23: The 34 nm passage from Manjack Cay to Cave Cay was completed in 9 hrs for an average speed just under 4 kts. The avg speed is so low because we spent about 2 hr running (walking, strolling?) at 3 kt in 5 to 7 kt winds. The seas were flat and the sailing smooth. Just a lovely passage.
Our previous visit to Cave Cay was back on Feb 26 as we passed out of the Bight of Abaco on our way to Marsh Harbour. Then we anchored on the east side to avoid west winds. This time we anchored on the west side to avoid the prevailing ENE wind that brought us here.
The Explorer Charts note that the "holding varies" on the west side of Cave Cay. We certainly found that to be true. On our first attempt at anchoring just off John Cove, the anchor failed to dig in at all. So we moved over to a white sand patch about 100 yards away and tried again. This time the anchor dug in and held 1900 rpm which would normally indicate a pretty secure set. When we snorkeled out to look at it, however, the anchor was laying on its side and only partially dug in. After some discussion, and a little bit of rationalizing, we decided to leave as it was. The set had shown that the anchor could hold the current wind, around 13 kt from the ENE, and the conditions were forecast to hold steady through the night and well into the next day.
We shouldn't have been so complacent. About two hours later just as the sun was setting, a dark could appeared off to the east. Included in the forecast had been the comment that there was a 20% chance of rain. I routinely ignore this part of the forecast because virtually every day in the Bahamas (and Florida for that matter) has "a 20% chance of rain". Included with rain showers are wind shifts that could move the boat around and trip our poorly set anchor.
We were lucky, however. It did began to sprinkle as I finished up bar-b-queuing the chicken for the evening meal, and the wind did clock around a little further to the east, but the anchor held and we enjoyed a peaceful meal and a reasonably good nights sleep.