25 December 2010
We have a quiet night on the Banks and get underway before daylight. We hope to get through the Banks to Frazier's Hog Cay today a run of about 65 miles and we won't want to enter the tricky Frazier's Hog channel at dark. It's a splendid day and we're in about 12 feet of water virtually the whole way. You can make out every feature of the sea bottom and at one time, several dolphins join us for a while, rollicking near and under out boat; a fantastic sight.
As the afternoon proceeds, the winds pipe up and as we depart the banks we are soon into three to four foot seas again on the nose. It's getting close to sundown and we don't think we can make the Frazier's Hog Channel in day light so we opt for a less protected but easier to enter anchorage at nearby Bird Cay. There are several other boats here and it is calm enough and we turn in for the night.
Next morning, we're pitching badly as we're getting surge from the seas and it is very uncomfortable. Winds are not favourable for our next leg to Nassau so we up anchor and head to Fraziers' Hog Cay where we had visited two years ago. We make our way up the narrow passage and anchor with about fifteen or so other boats, the majority sporting Canadian flags. We're settled mid morning but by mid day, we see a squall coming. Soon we are seeing winds of 25 knots and choppy seas. Our anchor is holding but we see several boats dragging anchor including our boat buddies Audacious. It is really miserable and very difficult to reanchor. Winds top 30 knots and it's getting nasty. Just as we comment that we're pleased with our not dragging, we start to see ourselves moving relative to the other boats and realize we're dragging. Judy takes the helm and I retrieve our anchor with our windlass. It's howling and Judy is having a hard time keeping the boat under control, what with many other anchored boats, some dragging, a rocky shore to one side and sand banks to the other. So we decided simply to motor around until the squall abates. It's not much fun but we make circles for a half hour or so until the winds drop below 20 knots then we reanchor. Finally it settles down and we're comfortable again.
But, of course, just after dark, it gets breezy again and we're pitching and straining against the anchor. This time it's dark and we cannot tell except from our instruments, if we are dragging. Fortunately, we hold and we have a fitful but stationary night.