Dagny's Winter Cruise

18 September 2023
14 September 2023
09 September 2023
09 September 2023
06 September 2023
06 September 2023
02 September 2023
29 August 2023
29 August 2023
23 August 2023
11 August 2023
05 August 2023
31 July 2023
28 July 2023
22 July 2023
20 July 2023

A Windy Week

13 March 2023
Allan Gray
When we arrived in the Bahamas back in December we were only given a 90 day visitor's visa even though the cruising permit for the boat was valid for 12 months. We had been informed that we could apply for an extension via email within 2 weeks of the expiry date. However, as we all know dealing with any government agency can be an exercise in frustration. While we were in Rock Sound we had applied for our extension but hadn't received any news by the time we had hoisted anchor a couple of days later. We weren't half way to our destination of Hatchet Bay when an email came in saying we had to go to the airport in Rock Sound and check in at the immigration office. Following an exchange of a couple of emails we were advised we could check in at the Governor's Harbour Airport instead. We decided to push on to Hatchet Bay and find a ride back to the airport. As soon as the anchors were down we headed ashore and managed to rent the bartender's car for a couple of hours for the 15 mile drive. Did I mention government bureaucracy, upon arrival at the airport, Immigration advised us they only handled passengers arriving by plane and we would have to go to the dock office in town another 10 miles south. Oh and by the way they close in 40 minutes. Luckily we made it in time and the very efficient officer had us on our way in no time with a 45 days extension of visa. After a hectic couple of hours we decided we should enjoy a beer on the deck over looking the harbour when we returned the bartender's car.

The forecast for the week was for several days of strong breeze as a couple of fronts moved quickly through the area. Hatchet Bay Harbour is one of the few places that offers 360 degree protection. Although we had arrived early and staked out a good spot we knew it would fill up as the week wore on. The down side of this well protected anchorage is some areas are 12 feet deep while others are 30 feet deep plus there is a lot of junk on the harbour floor making certain areas pretty sketchy. We happily rode out the first blow from the north without any issue but on day 3 the harbour filled up with boats looking to hide from strong west winds and that's when the fun began. A couple of late arrivals had anchored in what I thought weren't the best spots and when the wind shifted it wasn't pretty. I awoke Friday morning to find a Passport 47 off our port side that would swing to within 20 feet of us in wind gusts and a 35 foot cat on our starboard side not much further away. When I woke up the guy in the Passport and explained the situation he quickly sprung into action and moved his boat; however, the cat was a different story. He was convinced by letting out some more anchor rode it would solve the issue, wrong. As the day wore on and one boat after another dragged anchor he finally saw the light and moved. Yes, we could have moved instead but we had already ridden out a couple of days of strong winds before he arrived and we knew we had great holding. Fortunately, he finally took the high road and admitted he never should have anchored so close.

Despite the extra carriculur actives we had a great time in Hatchet Bay as the hot sunny weather continued. Besides hiking 2 miles to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean where we could see the sea in it's full fury we strolled around town checking out the sights. However, after Saturday's sh.tshow of boats dragging all over the place we were anxious to be on our way asap. When Sunday dawned bright and sunny with light winds, plans were quickly changed and we decided to get out of town. We've moved up to Spanish Wells and are anchored outside the harbour for a few days. Once the strong north winds blow through on Thursday we'll be heading for the Abacos where we hope to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Pete's Pub.

Today's picture was taken by Lana while we were exploring the Hatchet Bay Caves.

Vessel Name: Dagny
Vessel Make/Model: Sabre 402
Hailing Port: South Lancaster On
Crew: Allan Gray and Bev Bethune
About: Allan is a retired Montreal Air Traffic Controller and Bev is a retired Elementary School Principal.
Extra: After many years of local cruising and Etchells racing we are living our dream of sailing to the Bahamas. Allan enjoys golfing, cycling and skiing. Bev is an active cyclist, runner, aerobics participant and cross country skier.

Who: Allan Gray and Bev Bethune
Port: South Lancaster On