Back at Anchor
22 April 2011 | Rock Sound, Eleuthera
We enjoyed our stay at the marina; but we did our wash, took showers, filled our water tanks, charged our batteries and moved on. We only had about 20 miles to go today, so we took our time leaving. We finally left the dock at 10:15 this morning.
Although it was a relatively short trip we had to round the end of the southwest point of Eleuthera and then come up past some shallows and back south and east again. The route I put in the chart plotter had 8 different waypoints, points where we had to change course. Not much like sailing on Lake Ontario, where you decide what port you want to go to and head directly for it once you leave the harbor. Anyway, with that many course changes no one leg was over 6 miles, so we decided not to put up the main. We decided to see how we’d do with just the jib out. We did fine. We went from a broad reach to fairly close hauled with from 10 to 16 knots of wind. At one point we were doing 8 knots. With that kind of speed putting up the main seemed unnecessary.
For one leg we had to pull the jib in and just motor as the wind was on the nose and we were in a channel between shallow sand banks, no room to tack back and forth. Then we turned for almost the final leg to a point where we could sail again, but it was only for about 4 miles, and the final leg was back into the wind again. Bud took pity on my and took my suggestion to just pull out the staysail. I can handle that one a lot easier than our jib, which is a 135 genoa and really hard for me to furl. We left the engine on, but Bud was able to cut back the engine RPM’s a lot and still maintain a decent speed.
When we got here we had to decide where to anchor. The chart had a couple of areas marked poor holding, a couple marked good holding, and one area marked grass. Right in the middle was an area not marked at all. That was the area we thought it would good to be in, but we didn’t want to chance it, so we anchored just south of two other boats where we thought there was good holding. There was not. The first time we dropped the anchor it started to drag as Bud backed the boat against it. So we began to lift it, but as I was pulling it in I felt it grab, so we tried to set it there. Bud backed against it and we didn’t move. So we snubbed it off, launched the dinghy and put the engine on it, got our stuff together along with the viewing bucket and set off to confirm the anchor was set and take Fuzzy ashore. The anchor was not set. One fluke was holding but the anchor was partially on its side. Back to the boat we went. We decided to just try to pull back on the anchor with the engine to try to set it. I used the windlass to bring in the chain so the chain was pulling on the windlass, not on the snubber and Bud backed on the anchor again, hard and long. He usually puts the engine in reverse and goes up to 2300 RPM, which is more than we run it at. He did that, but held it for a minute or so. The anchor didn’t move. So we got in the dinghy again and went back out to look at it. It still was holding with only one fluke. Not good enough. This time we took the time to take Fuzzy ashore. Then we came back and talked to our neighbors. They were just north of us and said they had good holding there. A boat that came in just ahead of us had to move out away from shore to get his anchor to set, but then was successful.
This time I had to take the snubber off. We raised the anchor and moved north of the other two boats that were there, into the area we’d wanted to be in the first place that didn’t have a designation on the chart. We dropped the anchor, set it, backed against it and went to check on it before I put on the snubber. The anchor was buried to the bail. Yeah! The first place must have been sand over rock, the anchor was holding onto the irregularities in the rock when Bud used the engine to pull against it, but it wasn’t really set. Now it is, now we’re here.
We figure we’ll be here for the weekend, anyway. We didn’t even realize it was Easter weekend until another boater mentioned it. The people in Rock Sound seem to be celebrating in typical Bahamian fashion. There was obviously a service happening at the church you see on the left in the picture of the town I took from the boat. Over on the right you can see a long temporary structure on the beach. The folks in the boat we asked about anchoring said they were having some kind of festival there, with music and food, and no doubt drinking and dancing. The people at the church service this afternoon are sure to be part of the partying tonight. Bahamians seem to me to have a very good attitude towards life.