Anchored Next To a Liberty Ship Wreck
25 February 2014 | Hogsty Reef, Bahamas
We left our beautiful anchorage yesterday right after an early lunch and headed out on the ocean, not expecting to reach our destination until this morning. As promised the wind and waves were calmer. We managed to get a little wind in our main sail but mostly we just motor sailed for hours. We generally don't see much of anything, maybe sometimes another passing sailboat. Bill was down below resting and I was reading a book behind the wheel when I looked up and saw a giant cargo ship ahead of us. It was not in our path at all, he was heading north east and we were heading south east, but it was the first time since we left Nassau that we've seen a ship that big in the Bahamas.
By dark there was finally some wind to sail with. We were able to turn off our engine and sail almost all night long, until at about 5:00am when there was too much wind. We were about to get hit by a squall. There wasn't a lot of rain and the strong wind was short-lived but it had changed direction.
By 7:30am we were at Hogsty Reef which is a horseshoe shaped reef with a ship wreck on both of its edges. It is the closest thing to a coral atoll in the North Atlantic Ocean. The reef is three miles wide and five miles long. Inside the water is only 15-20 feet deep. A few hundred feet outside the reef the water drops to over a thousand feet deep. It is estimated that over 200 ships have wrecked here since Columbus arrived in the new world. I hope it's not haunted! The plan was to anchor inside of the reef but another squall was coming as we were inside the reef looking for a place to anchor so we turned around and went back out to Northwest Cay which is right outside Hogsty. It was a small beautiful island with a big sandy beach and just enough elevation to block some of the wind for us. We anchored there and went to sleep!
We took the dinghy down to go explore Northwest Cay but Bill realized that here, in the middle of the ocean, forty miles from civilization, there were three Bahamian men doing something on this deserted island. We decided not to disturb them. Instead we pulled the anchor up and motored over to anchor next to Southeast Cay, a smaller and not as beautiful island on the other side of the reef. We did dinghy over to it and managed to get ashore but it wasn't easy. We did some shelling and took some pictures and then went back to the boat.
We pulled the anchor up again and went over to investigate the Russian freighter that shipwrecked on the southeast side of Hogsty Reef. We decided we didn't want to anchor near it because there was no protection from the wind. The Liberty ship that had shipwrecked on the north side of the reef looked much better. The picture above is our view for the night. This ship wrecked during a hurricane in 1963. It's not a very calm anchorage but we are in the middle of the ocean so it's the best we can hope for.
Tomorrow morning we will pull up the anchor again and head to Great Inagua, our last stop in the Bahamas. We should be there before dark tomorrow.