Screaming to Green Turtle Cay
08 April 2012
We only slept for half the night at Great Sale Cay, by 0300, the wind had shifted so that it was blowing from the west, and gradually increased to 20 miles per hour. Great Sale now offered no protection whatsoever. It was Memory Rock all over again! By dawn the anchorage was entirely untenable and I feared that Les Miserable would drag her anchor and end up on the beach! However, as with most of the things I worry a out, this did not come to pass. Using our “marriage savers” again, with Merry at the helm, I pulled the anchor up and once again we got underway with no difficulty.
We headed north to clear Little Sale Cay, before we could turn SE toward the entrance to the Sea of Abaco. Other than an anxious moment, when I strayed into an area of submerged rocks, causing the depth alarm on Fernando (our Chart Plotter and Navigation computer) to go off, it was an easy day. Merry reminded me that Fernando shows those submerged rocks as little x’s on the chart- avoid them. After we made the turn, we were on a “run” (sailing with the wind behind us) with very moderate seas (2-3 footers) and our old boat began to “surf”, attaining speeds over 7 knots - faster than her hull speed! We were screaming! We passed a succession of sailboats - all going in the other direction. Everyone else, it seems, was going back to the USA, while we were just getting here!
Merry entered five different waypoints on Fernando. It was a sunny, clear day and at one point a dolphin passed right in front of Les Miserables, so close I feared that I would hit it. It was a great change from the months we spent on the brown waters of the ICW. No more bends, twists and turns, no more constant watch for channel markers, no more brown water; instead, just navigating from one waypoint to the next. We are learning to “read” the water. The darker areas are either grass bottomed (and can be very shallow) or reef. The brilliant aqua means we are over white sands and the clear water is all you see. We weren’t sure if we could make it to our objective Green Turtle Cay before dark, however by 1650 we had entered the White Sound entrance and made our way up the narrow and skinny watered channel to a slip at the Green Turtle Club Marina, with its great restaurant, swimming pool, and a dive shop right next door. I thought that the human body was not designed to survive the incredible speed of 7 knots for a whole day, and that this immense speed had caused pressure to build up against our skulls so that our brains suddenly exploded, so that we instantly died, and beautiful Green Turtle Cay is, in fact, heaven. It is that cool here!