Crossing the Banks
19 March 2010
After reviewing the weather forecast, we realized we had to make a break for it or else we would be stuck in Bimini for a while. So we topped off our water tanks, dropped the dock lines and headed out of the harbor. We had to head North for about 6 miles and then we turned East and crossed onto the Great Bahama Banks. The geography of this area is amazing; as the Banks are a large shallow patch of water stretching East from the Bimini Islands. After about 65 miles the depths drop off again as you hit "the Tongue of the Ocean", here depths are up to 9,000 ft! Light northerly winds were forecast and this is what we got so we had a nice easy motor-sail. There was a bit of a northerly swell but nothing too uncomfortable. Initially we thought we would continue through the night the whole way to Nassau but as usual we under estimated the time it would take us and our ETA would have been 04.00hrs - way too early. So, after an amazing sunset and supper underway, we kept going until 10.00pm and dropped anchor just short of the Northwest Channel Beacon. We actually motored a couple of miles off the rum-line so as to be out of the way of any nocturnal traffic. It was a surreal experience to be anchored completely out of sight of any land, in 13 ft. of water and not another soul in sight. The stars were amazing and it was so quiet we could almost hear our heartbeats. We turned in early to get some sleep. The winds died down and the swell and chop subsided somewhat but we were still bobbing about. (Note to self: no matter what people say it would be rough and uncomfortable if there was any kind of wind). I spent much of the night lying awake and trying to identify various creaks and groans from Osprey that I have not heard before. Tom snored!