The Calm Before The Storm
12 January 2023
Since we have been in the Exumas we have enjoyed great sailing weather on a daily basis, probably the best of our 3 trips here. Despite a few scattered rain squalls from time to time we have been spoiled with hot sunny weather, great for the solar panels. This weekend we'll see a strong front push through with strong west winds, 20 knots gusting to possibly as high as 35. There aren't a lot of anchorages with good westerly protection so the hunt for a good spot starts early and dominates the daily conversations. The bulk of the boats on the move are heading south to Georgetown, which is the last place we would want to be. The protection is limited and with 200 boats in the anchorage it will make for a long night as the front rolls through.
We have elected to move a little north of the Staniel Cay area and are anchored in a small cove off Bell Island. Currently it's a little lumpy in the north east wind as the swell rolls through the open cut a mile away. However, once it shifts west we'll be fine, less then 300 yards to the west is a beautiful sand beach and there's a small little island 200 yards north of us to protect us as well. Unfortunately, we can't go ashore here as the private island is home to the estate the Aga Kahn, some people have too much money. Anyways we're safely tucked in here with 2 other boats and there are beaches and small cays nearby belonging to the Exuma Park for us to explore.
Prior to moving here we spent 2 more days anchored off what is becoming one of our favourite beaches in White Bay. From there it's a nice 1 hour walk into Blackpoint where we enjoyed a nice lunch on Monday while looking out over the harbour. We noticed a familiar looking boat in the harbour but being on foot we couldn't check it out. Eventually we were able to make contact with them via VHF later in the day and sure enough it was a friend from Lake Champlain who we had met in 2018. Wednesday was moving day as the dance began for hiding spots and we enjoyed a beautiful sail under full canvas in flat water as cruised north. We attempted to get into this little cove upon arrival but the narrow entrance is right at the ocean cut and the ebb tide was ripping. We wisely elected to anchor elsewhere for the night and moved in this morning on a rising tide. With 100' of anchor chain out in 9 feet of water everything is fine.
Today's picture is a trail marker that is commonly used in the islands. Unlike Davy Crockett notching trees with his knife the trails here are marked with old blown out flip flops that Jimmy Buffet sings about.