We Arrive in Nassau
09 February 2011 | Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
I probably shouldn't even bother to say what we planned to do. It wasn't to come to Nassau today. Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be bad weather days, so our intent was to spend them in Nassau and get all the things done that we needed a town and a marina for (groceries, wash, Internet access, etc.) We came from the Berry Islands today because there is not supposed to be much wind tomorrow and Friday might be the start of the front.
We tried to sail to Rose Island today, to anchor out for two days and then come in to Nassau. The wind was supposed to be NNE, moving around towards E and later in the day maybe southeast. The wind started just south of east. So instead of a nice fast close reach we were sailing as close to the wind as we could, and still not quite making the heading we needed.
About 12:30 we assessed the situation. The island of New Providence was coming in to view, unfortunately, we were approaching the west end, and we needed to be on the east end. The wind did seem to be going more to the east as we came closer to the island; we were actually able to run parallel to the original line. But we weren't getting any closer to the original line. Finally we doused the forward sails (jib & staysail) and turned into the wind with the engine and the main.
Our calculations put us at our waypoint at 4 PM. Then we'd have another 4 miles to go picking our way back to the anchorage (visual piloting rules apply, that is, you need to stand on the foredeck and look to see how deep it is). Once in the anchorage we'd have to find a good spot to drop the anchor. The later in the day, the more difficult it is to see into the water for both those tasks. Finally, if and when we got anchored, we'd still have to unload the dinghy to either row or motor Fuzzy to shore.
So instead we came to Nassau and were safely at a dock at 3:30. We still came 45 nautical miles today. The harbor isn't huge, but it is busy. You have to call Harbor Control for permission to enter. I had radioed ahead to try to line up a dock, and it was a good thing, because Harbor Control asked me if we were staying at a marina. (There are a couple of anchorages in the harbor, but they aren't supposed to be too good.) I don't know what Harbor Control would have said if we'd said we were going to try to anchor, but they readily granted access when we said we had reservations at a marina.
Just after you enter the harbor you have to pass to the left of the cruise ship docks. In between getting out dock lines, etc., I took this photo. Can you see the palm trees on the dock between the two left cruise ships?
Tomorrow we'll check the weather to see if the forecast has changed, try to figure out where we need to be for Saturday and Sunday and try again to make a plan.