14 June 2009 | Annapolis, MD
11 June 2009
10 June 2009 | Little Creek Marina, Norfolk, VA, USA
04 June 2009 | Little Creek Marina, Norfolk, VA, USA
31 May 2009 | Little Creek Marina, Norfolk, VA, USA
29 May 2009 | Little Creek Marina, Norfolk, VA, USA
26 May 2009 | Little Creek Marina, Norfolk, VA, USA
25 May 2009 | Little Creek Marina, Norfolk, VA, USA
13 May 2009 | through 21-May-2009
13 May 2009 | through 21-May-2009
12 May 2009 | St George's Town, Bermuda
11 May 2009 | St George's Town, Bermuda
07 May 2009 | St George's Town, Bermuda
04 May 2009 | St George's Town, Bermuda
21 April 2009 | through 02-May-2009

Risky Exploration During a Small Craft Advisory

12 December 2007 | Lynyard Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
CURRENT LOCATION: Anchored on west side of Lynyard Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
26 22.254' N, 076 59.013' W (CLICK HERE for Google Maps)

We woke this morning with exploration on our minds. At night, from our anchorage here at Lynyard Cay, we can just see the flashing light on Little Harbor. Little Harbor is known by some as "The Last Outpost of the Abacos." With a reputation like that, we just had to go investigate.

With the big boat securely anchored, and the dinghy stowed for our pending offshore voyage, this was a job for the kayaks. After the daily cruisers' net on the VHF radio, we inflated and deployed both kayaks.

The straight-line distance to Little Harbor is 2.75 nautical miles almost due south from our anchorage; however, we probably did at least that much distance as we hugged the meandering west coast of Lynyard Cay (in an effort to take advantage of the wind shadow protecting us from getting pushed westward by the strong easterly wind).


Once we made it to the south end of Lynyard Cay, our protection ran out. Only the low-lying land of Goole Cay and fringing coral reefs stood between us and the Atlantic Ocean, and there was still over a mile to go to our destination.

Soon, we were beyond even the minimal protection from the reefs and due east of Little Harbor Channel. With 4 days of constant easterlies pushing up the waves in the Atlantic, the swell coming through the channel was considerable. Our final half-nautical mile was a white-knuckle ride dodging white caps and trying to stay on course to the entrance to Little Harbor. We battled wind and wave to keep our little kayaks a safe distance from the waves crashing on Tom Curry Point to our west.

Once we gained entry to Little Harbor, everything calmed down. We pried our fingers off our paddles and strolled around the harbor. After a short walk, we had seen all there was to see of Little Harbor. Most of the boats on moorings here looked like long-term storage solutions, and the main (or is it the only?) business, Pete's Pub, was still operating on off-season hours (only open on weekends). Being the last outpost of the Abacos, it will still be a few weeks before most cruisers begin to make it down here.

With the worst part of the trip still to come, we were anxious to get back across to the relative safety of Lynyard Cay. The trip back would take us slightly into the wind as we worked back across the swell from the Little Harbor Channel. We secured everything to our kayaks (in the event of a disastrous tipping, the last thing we wanted to worry about was trying to find our sinking shoes) and paddled out to meet the ocean swell. Sheryl and I stayed very close together and kept up constant strong paddling for the 45 minutes it took to make it back to the lee of Lynyard Cay (any relenting would allow us to be pushed off course).

We breathed a collective sigh of relief at having survived our first Bahamian 'rage' in very small crafts. We were not sucked out to sea by the tides, nor were we smashed against the rocks of a lee shore (although both were vivid images in my mind as we paddled in both directions).

We beached the kayaks on the south side of Lynyard Cay and spent the afternoon engaged in slightly more relaxed activities. Sheryl combed the ocean-facing coral for sea glass, while I walked along the sandy side facing the Sea of Abaco. After several hours, we re-grouped and kayaked the final distance back to Prudence. Along the way, we peered down through the water at a bed of starfish, and Sheryl showed me that you can actually pick them up, without damage to you or to the starfish. Pretty cool experience for a Midwesterner like me. (See Sheryl holding a starfish and some great close-up photos by clicking on the 'Abacos, Bahamas' link under RECENT PHOTOS)

We returned to discover that we were no longer alone in our anchorage, but the neighboring boat, a catamaran, had been kind enough to go in close to shore and give us plenty of space. We swung by on the kayaks to say hello before going home, and met a couple who own a rigging company in Rhode Island and were here chartering the cat for a week. By the time we returned to the big boat, it was 5PM. Considering that we left around 9:30AM, I would say that makes a pretty full day. Falling asleep should be no problem tonight.
Vessel Name: Prudence
We are Doug & Sheryl, owners and crew of the sailing vessel Prudence.

This blog starts in 2005, when we initially had the idea to quit our jobs and live on a sailboat while we cruised to the Caribbean. At that time we had never owned a boat and had no experience sailing. [...]