28 March 2017 | Photo on Atlantic taken by Anglearke (Bianca)
We left Spanish Wells yesterday and moved 6 miles to Royal Island. It is well protected in most winds and was a very calm night.
We were up early and left the anchorage at first light. We rounded Egg Island and once out in the open Atlantic started to experience the ocean swells that are a result of the winds of the past few days. Initially the swells were about 8' and were easy to sail up and ride down. There were several other boats that came out of the anchorage behind us. Soon we were a small flotilla heading for The Abacos. It is about a 60 mile run. We were motor sailing as the wind wasn't strong enough to keep us on track to get to the Little Harbor passage close to slack tide. The other boats all passed us throughout the day as they are all larger and go faster. Periodically the boats around us would disappear, mast and all, in the trough of the large swells. We met a couple from Quebec who measured the swells at 13-15'.
As the first boat entered the cut and made it through the passage they reported on VHF radio that they had quite a ride as the swells were breaking on the reefs causing very turbulent water. The boat 2 in front of us got hit by a huge breaking wave, spun sideways and knocked flat. They recovered quickly but it was enough to make the boat behind them turn around and bail out. It was our turn next and all we could see was a very narrow path with breakers on either side of the boat. 8' plus breaking surf. David did an amazing job anticipating the waves breaking on our stern. He steered and avoided a knock down but it was pretty hairy. We continued in and anchored in the Lee of Lynyard Island.