On to a New Chart
26 March 2011 | Conception Island, Bahamas
We struck out for a new island today. In our Explorer Chartbooks, we're in the Far Bahamas edition. In Steve Pavlidis books we are in the Southern Bahamas edition. This island is about 44 nm from Emerald Bay, east and a little north. The wind today was supposed to be 5 to 10 knots from the ESE to SE. Our heading was 74 degrees, so we thought with a light wind, close hauled (sailing close to the wind) it would be a decent sail. And it started out that way. We came out and had 11 knots of apparent wind and were doing about 7 knots. As soon as we tried to set up our wind vane self steering things started to go bad. The wind kept dropping, and then moved around. Our boat speed dropped to under 3 knots. We started the engine. We motor sailed for quite a while, and then there wasn't enough wind to fill the headsails, so we pulled them in and continued with just the main.
We crossed the Exuma Sound. At one point the water was over a mile deep. It was that pure, deep blue we first saw in the Gulf Stream. There were virtually no waves. I'd rather some wind and some waves, but it was a good trip anyway.
We left the dock at about five after 7 in the morning, and dropped the anchor in West Bay of Conception Island at pretty close to 3:45 in the afternoon. By 5:15 we had the anchor all set, the dinghy launched and the engine on it, we'd taken our viewing bucket and check to see the Rocna buried again to the bail and then went on to take Fuzzy ashore. We came back, zipped up the stack pack for the main, tidied up all of the lines, taken the windows out of t he dodger and put the middle section in the bimini and were basically moved in for the duration.
There are 10 boats here. No one lives on this island, it's a national park, and the nearest island is about 20 miles away. The water is unbelievably clear. Coming in I was seeing rocky areas on the bottom in over 50 feet of water. There are supposed to be a lot of tropic birds here, but we haven't seen them yet. Even though the land is a park, you are allowed to fish here, so Bud is pretty happy. He just caught another little jack, using cheese as bait. Right after he hooked it he was looking to see what he had and saw a huge shark (maybe 5 feet long). He thought he'd caught the shark, but then the shark left and he landed and released the little jack. The shark was just interested in the jack.
This is my first attempt at sending my blog using the SSB (single side band) radio. I won't be able to add the pictures or actually see the blog on-line or any added comments until I get to the Internet again. I can enter our position data, but this will only take hundreths of seconds, where the chartplotter gives a reading to 0.001 second.