Georgetown to Long Island
05 May 2009 | Long Island, Bahamas
Today we raised anchor at 0645 and sailed out of Elizabeth Harbour towards Long Island. Long Island is a little under forty miles east of Elizabeth Harbour; an leisurely eight-hour motorsail.
We barely venture out into the deep water as we leave the south (east) entrance to Elizabeth Harbour, then duck back onto the shallow banks for the remainder of the trip to Long Island. I can't begin to explain the beauty of the water on these shallow (mostly sand) banks. It is absolutely captivating!
We chugged along under power and sail for most of the trip. We sailed without motor for a while, but the ladies wanted to get a move-on & get in to Salt Pond, Long Island early enough to arrange a car-rental for the next day to tour the island ... so I restarted the engine. It's been a long-time since I've flown our asymmetrical spinnaker so I thought I'd give it a try in the light-air. We weren't perfectly downwind & maybe a little too far off the wind for spinnaker flying (as it turned out). I rigged the spinnaker with the halyard, sheet, blocks and pole. As I was cranking in the sheet, I had to crank it over quite a ways & the pole hit one of the cable stays (cables that hold up the mast) & bent my spinnaker pole (kind of a big deal). I sure felt silly, bending my spinnaker pole.
I rigged several trolling lines for the trip over. The middle line we lost two lure-rigs, as they seem to have been hit by fish and broken off. After no-activity for a while, I finally looked back to see a fish flopping on the surface of the water; a small barracuda. Barracuda are good to eat, but are prone to ciguatera (a toxin that if enough is ingested, causes very nasty sickness). Supposedly, the smaller ones are okay to eat, but we are being cautious so threw him back anyway. Later I caught another much larger Barracuda. They are exciting to boat, as they've got large nasty teeth. Fun to grab the fish and get hook out of his mouth without killing it, nor losing a finger.
At Salt Pond, we anchored near the Long Island Breeze resort, where they have a dingy dock open to cruising boats ... a very friendly place really. The harbour is VERY shallow at low tide, so picking your way in and anchoring without hitting bottom requires one to pay attention.