Been a while since we ran aground - this time in a channel...
24 April 2009 | Great Guana Cay – Baker’s Bay Anchorage N26*41.311 W77*09.579;
80* Sunny, 15-20 knot winds;
Friday, April 24, 2009
Miles traveled: 13.4; Anchored 5.5-6ft
We got a one sided Cruiser's Net today. The only the transmissions we could receive were from Patti at the Blue Dolphin in Marsh Harbor and the businesses from Great Guana. Luckily Patti gives the weather reports. For us to cross through the cut outside to go around Whale Cay, and then back in again, we need to have the winds and tides in the same direction so a rage isn't set up. The predicted weather for Friday through Tuesday goes something like this:
Friday: SE winds 15-25 knots with 5-7 ft seas; 80 degrees sunny/breezy
Saturday: E winds 15-25 knots with 7-9 ft seas; 80 degrees sunny/breezy
Sunday: E winds 15-25 knots with 8-10 ft seas; 80 degrees sunny/breezy
Monday: E winds 15-25 knots with 7-9 ft seas; 80 degrees sunny/breezy
Tuesday: E winds 15-25 knots with 6-8 ft seas; 80 degrees sunny/breezy
The waves in the Atlantic aren't conducive to going out unless the tides are in the same direction as the wind. This morning that happened to be the case so Wayne took a Dramamine, we cranked on the engine, raised the main and raised the anchor since we had the tides going out with us. We figured we'd be approaching the cut to go back in around the whale somewhere about slack tide so while bumpy, it was doable. It was doable! Timing is everything... We motorsailed to make sure we could get back into the next cut in a timely manner before things turned around.
Now if we could have just timed going into the shallow channel that led into White Sound... it would have been perfect. Unfortunately we hit the channel an hour and a half before low tide - low, low tide... and ran aground in the channel between the green and red markers. Not fun. Another sailboat came around us and I asked what depth they were reading. 3.5 ft. What?!? We were at 4.9 the deeper part, and the chart said 2 meters. Guess what - it's a new moon... we have low, low tides, and high, high tides today. Put that together with a shallow entrance to begin with, and it spells S-M-A-C-K - you've hit bottom and aren't moving.
Just then a dinghy came by and asked if he could help us (we raised our sail again and were trying to heel over). Why yes! Thank you! He pushed our bow back and sideways while we put the gear into reverse and after a few tries we were able to turn and head back out into 5.5, and 6.0 ft of water. We decided to anchor between White and Black Sounds instead of going in to the harbor. Cruisers plans after all are.... written in Jello.
After anchoring, I made grilled cheeses (excellent on the homemade starter bread) for lunch. Then Wayne's Dramamine kicked in and it was naptime for him, reading time for me. The winds are persistent and it sounds like they will be for the next week. Our batteries like it - as do I since it keeps my computer charged! Our gas tank likes it too - less fuel! It does make a restless night though (depending on the anchorage). This anchorage looks like it will be a bouncy/rolling one. We got a pretty good anchor set (knock on wood) so we'll see. I have the anchor alarm set - hopefully we won't hear "Anchor's Away" tonight LOL.
I'm not sure what to call what I made for dinner but it was tasty. A ground round, mushroom, onion and gravy concoction over mashed potatoes with corn on the side. It surprised me in that it was tasty - more so, that Wayne liked it. It's a keeper.
At sundown he wanted me to blow the conch horn and tonight it actually sounded like a conch horn! Now if I could just sustain that note without coughing my lungs out while trying to sustain it! I can tell I'm making progress though YAY!