At Anchor, White Cay
06 February 2011 | White Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
We left Great Harbour Cay Marina at a little after 8 AM. Before I even put the dock lines away I went below and checked the stuffing box. The stuffing box is at the point where the propeller shaft comes through the hull. We have a standard stuffing box so it is designed to use water as a lubricant for the shaft. The shaft should drip very slowly when the prop is turning. Since we’d had the work done in Charleston, we noticed that it was dripping quite a bit. That’s not surprising, because they changed both the bearing outside the hull that the prop rides in and the engine mounts, so the shaft through the stuffing box was bound to have changed. Anyway, the drip seemed to be getting excessive and our bilge pump was coming on more than once a day, so Bud decided to tighten the stuffing box a little. What I was checking was to make sure it wasn’t over tightened, so that no water was dripping and the shaft not getting lubricated. But it was fine. I checked it a little later in the day and it was still fine.
The wind was light and variable, as predicted, so we motored the whole way. We came up on a smaller sailboat sailing along, towards the end of the trip. We then altered our course a bit and Bud suggested we might try to fly the jib, because the wind was not quite so on the nose. I really think it was just because the other boat was managing to sail. Anyway, I suggested just putting the staysail out, that’s so much easier to handle. Bud agreed, and I’m glad we didn’t try the jib because the wind was really too close.
We were almost to the cut into this anchorage, so we rolled up the staysail, donned our communicators and I took my place on the bow. We had no trouble coming in, the cut was fairly narrow, but deep. We motored around looking for a likely place to anchor. The only trouble we had was that the wind and tide were opposed, so it was hard to figure out which way to point the boat. Anyway, we dropped the new anchor, let out about 35 feet of chain and let the boat drift back. Then we let out another 15 feet and Bud backed the engine hard against it. When we thought we had it set, we let out another 30 feet or so. We have somewhere around 80 feet of chain out. As we were finishing up, the boat that had been sailing outside came in and anchored closer to White Cay.
The first thing we did was get our new viewing bucket, put the oars and Fuzzy in the dinghy and row out to check the anchor and take Fuzzy ashore. Our new anchor was pretty nicely buried in the sand.
We called Dream Weaver on the radio and made plans to get in touch with them in the morning. Jim called back with an offer of fish, so we quickly put the engine on the dinghy and motored over to meet him in his dinghy. On the way we checked out the channel we’d have to take to move over by him. It looked just over 6 feet at low tide. We’ll see what the forecast is before we decide to move. There’s thick sand there, this is supposed to be not as good holding here, but better wind protection.
We took Fuzzy back to shore one more time. I was concerned about the dinghy getting loose as the tide rose; we just pulled it up on the beach. Bud made fun of me for my worries as we were only going to be ashore a few minutes. When we got back so we could see the dinghy it was afloat, but the tide was pushing it in.
On the way back to our boat we stopped to meet the folks in the other boat. They are a nice young couple from Ithaca! Their boat says Washington, DC, but that is where they bought it. They had come down from Baltimore starting December 1 and had been in the marina next to us in Charleston on New Year’s Day.
This is starting to be fun. Oh, yes, Bud snorkeled around a bit and found a small reef. I was just about to go in and check it out when Jim called with the offer of the fish. Maybe tomorrow. There’s also supposed to be a blue hole a little ways up Hoffman’s Cay, which forms one shore of the little cove we’re in. I’d like to hike up and check that out, too.