The End of the Road in Eleuthera
27 April 2011 | Current Settlement, Current Cut, Eleuthera, Bahamas
We left the anchorage early this morning. I was hoisting the anchor at 7 AM; the main was already up. According to the information from Karin and Ed on Passages (back at Emerald Bay Marina) the tide at Current Cut is about 2 and a half hours behind Nassau (the tide tables in our Chart Books are from Nassau). That put low tide at about 1:30 or 2. We didn’t want to get there after that and we had 25 miles to go.
When we started out we had a lot of wind mostly from the stern. We ran with only the main for a while and were making 4.5 knots. After about 8 miles we saw two boats come out from another harbor and head the same way we were, but in front of us. From their radio conversation we found out it was Scott Free and Anything Goes, whom we’d followed out of Rock Sound the day before. The guy on Anything Goes said according to his guidebook the tide was supposed to be the same time as Nassau. That meant low tide was between 11 and 11:30. Still, it was 9 AM and we had two and a half hours and 17 miles to go, quite doable. Happily, although the wind dropped a bit it moved south far enough that we could pull out the jib. That added a knot or more to our speed. I took the wheel for a while and with the wind at 140 degrees off our port bow we were doing 6 to 6.5 knots.
We weren’t too upset that the wind was dropping, as we had to find the channel into Current Cut. I had called the other two boats and asked them if they were taking the main channel or the alternate channel. Karin and Ed had also told us the alternate channel was actually easier. It was also more direct. The only drawback was finding the deep part at the beginning of the channel, as you crossed the shallowest water there, and you needed to find and line up on the deeper water. Both the other boats had been planning to take the main channel. After we talked to them they reconsidered, and decided to try the alternate. This was good for us because we were behind them, and we were planning to take the alternate regardless. Anything Goes is a catamaran and only draws 3.5 feet. They were going to go first and let Scott Free know if there were any depths less than 7, as Scott Free draws 6.5 feet.
We were still well behind them when they went through, so we couldn’t tell exactly where they went, but we did find out that they didn’t see anything less than 9 feet. We took the jib in and turned on the engine, just in case, and I stood on the bow and watched as Bud and I got close. We may have been a bit too far to the right as we started in, but Bud moved over and we got through with no problems. We did have about a knot of current running with us, so it was not yet low tide. The information we got from Karin and Ed was better than the guidebook that Anything Goes had.
Just after we passed through the cut we turned to the east and anchored off the beach. This area is protected from the east and south and will be our jumping off point for tomorrow’s crossing. We had the boat all snugged down by 12:30.
After lunch, and another nap for Bud, I insisted we go ashore and check out Current Settlement. This is the last town as you travel north in Eleuthera, all the way at the northwest tip of the island. Like so many of these islands, Eleuthera has one main road that runs the length of it. The picture is of that road, as it comes through Current Settlemen; it ends just the other side of town at the government dock at Current Cut. There are even speed bumps right on the main road, but since there are no sidewalks and the buildings sit right at the edge of the road, the speed bumps are a good idea.
We walked from the north beach, past some goats, and into town. Bud bought a bit of produce and I talked to a woman (Sue) in front of the library. Then we walked west of town to the government dock and the cut. It was now 4:30 and the tide was really moving in. The wind was opposed to the tide and there were some nasty looking standing waves. I took a picture of the cut, but it doesn’t look like much in the picture, even so we wouldn’t want to come through in those circumstances. We figured the tide was 4 or 5 knots, at least. I will put the pictures of our walk in the gallery when I can.
Bud complained a lot about the long, hot walk, but since I didn’t get to see anything else since Rock Sound I figured he owed me. Besides, it was probably less than 2 miles, total. He keeps teasing me that I did get to see the Glass Window, because as we were sailing about 6 miles off shore I thought I saw a break in the shoreline where the bridge to the Atlantic is. Bud immediately agreed, and now keeps telling me that I got to see the beautiful Glass Window, too.
Whatever we’ve missed, this is the last day for Eleuthera, and tomorrow we make the passage to the Abacos. Hopefully it will be a good sail and a good day and we’ll be safely anchored and Fuzzy ashore and back by nightfall.