Finally; The EXUMAS!
18 March 2009 | Allens Cay, Exuma Cays, Bahamas
After as week in Nassau, we were well ready to leave. Just before leaving, we discovered that our only propane tank was getting low...the propane truck was coming to the waterfront, but sometime late morning to early afternoon. So..if we waited, we'd probably not be able to leave that day and the weather window world probably not hold for the next day. We ended up leaving without filling the propane. It actually held out for a few days, but we ended up being without for some time.
Sailing south and east from Nassau, you are no longer sailing on deep ocean, but on the Bahama banks. The banks are vast areas of shallow water, varying usually from six to thirty feet deep & often twenty feet or less. It was a bit rainy and breezy the day we left Nassau and a bit of waves, kinda from the wrong direction; not sure why I described this as a weather window..might rather have been described as survivable weather, rather than ideal.
Just a few miles out onto the banks, we once again managed to drag our Porta-bote dingy under a wave, swamping it...lovely! Turning into the wind and setting the autopilot to hold us there, at an idle. Sue and I struggled to hook a halyard onto the dingy and hoist it onto the deck & lash it down.no simply task on a rocking boat with wind whipping this dingy wildly as it dangles from the mast on a halyard.
We once again appreciated our full cockpit enclosure as we were able to zip ourselves into it, when the rain and salt spray began kicking up. Crossing an area of coral heads, Sue was nominated to don her foul weather gear and stand on the bow to spot coral heads that might be a danger to the boat. With the clouds and waves, these normally quite easy-to-spot became quite difficult to see, until they were right beside the boat (a little too close if they were shallow enough for the boat to hit). We, however, didn't see anything big enough for us to hit and after a half-hour or so, Sue was able to come back inside.
We were pretty excited to finally see the Allens Cay come over the horizon. We'd been waiting along time to see the Exuma Cays and it was pretty cool to finally anchor behind one. We anchored between Allens Cay and Leaf Cay in water so unbelievably clear, that I can't begin to explain it to you.