Back to the Islands
09 December 2017
We are up at 6 a.m. We have about 50 miles to go to Green Turtle Cay. Two of the boats in the anchorage have already left. The anchor is up at 7a.m. We have breakfast after we are under way. There is little wind and the water is flat. Everything is a misty blue this morning. There is no visible horizon until the sun gets up higher. The clouds are so low, it feels like we are flying. This could be what heaven looks like. We are joined on this route by a catamaran coming out of another anchorage. He slowly passes us traveling about 1 knot faster and off to our starboard. The sky is blue and the water is a creamy green. The winds are so light, almost nonexistent. Another "benign" day. Makes me wish for more wind so we could sail, but the calm waters are nice....so we just motor happily along. After lunch the wind picks up to around 10 and we jump at the chance to put the sails out. We motor sail for a few hours and then the wind dies down again. I went up on the bow to lounge in the sun a while. Trying to make better time, Carl makes some adjustments to our course and speed. Before entering the channel to Green Turtle, I called the marina to ask about the tide. We remember it being shallow the last time we were here. Without internet service we were unable to get tide information. The man on the other end assures us that we will have "no problem" if we just stay in the middle of the channel. The depth alarm sounded all the way in. That's enough to make you "pucker" as Carl says. But he stayed in the middle and we never touched bottom. It is 5:30 p.m. and the customs office was closed. We will clear through customs tomorrow.
We have had breakfast and showers by 8:30 a.m. The customs office in New Plymouth opens at 9a.m. and we plan to leave around 11 on high tide. We rented a golf cart at Brendal's dive center. It is about a 20 minute drive. There are three people waiting when we arrive. The customs office is next to the post office. The sign on the door says they will open at 9, but it is already past 9. We introduce ourselves to the others waiting and discuss the weather and our crossings. Their boats are on moorings in Black Sound. Before we know it, it's after 10:00. The Englishman waiting with us says that the customs agent comes on a ferry from Treasure Cay. We quickly decide that it is better for us to get out of White Sound on high tide, ahead of the cold front than to wait. Although we are supposed to clear in at the first possible location, we will clear in at Treasure Cay. We finish our tour of this tiny town as we complete the one way loop. The cute little houses are painted different colors and are decorated for Christmas. It rains on us driving back to the marina. The winds were gusting to 35 when we were back on the boat. We waited a little while and the winds died down to 15 and the rain stopped. It is 11:00 and time to go! We need to get through "the Whale". This is a narrow cut between the Sea of Abaco and the Atlantic Ocean with rocks on one side and Whale Cay on the other. As we approach the Whale, we can see another boat ahead that has gone through. I call him on the radio to ask the conditions. He says it is "benign" That is the word of the week! He says the waves are 4 feet with 14 second intervals. I take some pictures of the waves crashing on Whale Cay as we came through. Just as we exit the cut, it pours. As we round Whale Cay back into the Sea of Abaco, the rain stops, the sun comes out and there is a rainbow behind us. The water is clear and turqouise blue now. I am on the bow getting lines ready as we enter Treasure Cay marina and I see a spotted eagle ray swim under us. Meghan meets us on the dock to catch our lines at 2:30 p.m. I have spotted SV/Utopia across from us and SV/Monarch on the next dock. I can't wait to catch up with everyone. As soon as we have things secured, we checked in at the office and called Sidney to take us to the airport. Sidney's boat is next to us. He is happy to see us again and takes us to customs at the airport and waits for us. We are out by 4 p.m. and Sidney takes us to the BTC phone store to get a sim card. They are out and we will have to wait until Monday. We met Sandra, Davido, Diane and Grant at Cocos for dinner. It was great to see them and to sit and relax just in time to see a little of the beach before dark. It feels good to be in our winter home. We will just chill here for a while.