Swells and waves
04/08/2008, Linyard Cay, Abacos
April 5th...Current Cut to Linyard Cay
After listening to the weather, which called for 20 knot winds from the south east and 6 foot swells from the east, we left our anchorage in the company Tilt and Restless. We knew that it was going to be a long day. The first leg was down wind so we poled out the headsail and spent an hour or so wing on wing at about 5.5 knots. Once through the Egg Island Cut we turned north put out the fishing lines and sailed on a beam reach for about two hours.
When we were out of the protection of Eleuthera and associated islands, the swells which averaged about 6 feet (some as high as 10) began to pick up. Their size was not all that bad but the frequency was not the advertised 9 seconds but closer to 5. So we had 6 foot swells from the east every 5 or 6 seconds from the east and 6 foot wave chop from the south. Although not dangerous, it was not a pleasant day.
Steve on "Restless" and "Susan" on Night Hawk each caught Mahi-mahi. We had a hit that set the drag screaming, but came up empty for the day except for a 3 inch flying fish that landed on our decks.
Now that we're back in the Abacos we should be able to have better communication.
Through the cut
04/08/2008, Current Cut, Eleuthera
04/08/2008, Alabaster Bay, Eleuthera
April 4th...Alabaster Bay to Current Cut.
At the northern end of Eleuthera there is long peninsula and even at the western end the water is too shallow for boats to pass. There is a Cut in the peninsula that is about 75 yards wide where we can get through but the current caused by the tides are a challenge. The goal is to go through at slack tide. However, calculating tide here is not an exact science. Our best guess was to use the tide data for Nassau and then add 2 hours.
For one of the few times in the Bahamas we did not have a good sail. The wind was directly behind us and the waves were on our quarter. We tried to sail but could only manage about 4 knots and we had a dead line....a rarity these days, so the engine was on most of the day.
The approach to Current Cut is a little tricky because the area directly in front of the cut is filled with shifting sand. The recommended path calls for going all the way to shore about a mile south of the cut and hug the rocks as you motor up to the cut. The channel here is very narrow with rock on the port and shoals on the starboard. One of the boats ahead of us went aground, but no one in our group had any problems. Once in the Cut we were flushed through riding about a 5 knot current.
Once we were through the cut we motored about a half mile east, pulled up to the beach and dropped anchor for the night.
April Third...Rock Sound to Alabaster Bay
There are few good anchorages along the east coast of Eleuthera so even though we had great wind, we stopped at Alabaster Bay early to take advantage of good southern protection. The holding wasn't the best but we found an area of sand to drop anchor and backed down. It dragged for about 20 feet and then caught something.
The Bay was beautiful. There was a large airport on the northern end about a mile away and about 4 cottages on the southern end where we anchored. There was a wonderful beach and a very nice coral ridge for snorkeling. Steve and I took the dinghy out to find a fish but the only one I saw, a nice grouper, hid itself so well that by the time I went back for the spear, I couldn't find it.
We cooked pizza and invited Carol, Steve, Kris and Craig over for dinner. We ended up playing Catch Phrase until well after dark.