16 February 2020
Our crossing from Lake Worth to Great Harbor Cay started off with calm seas and light winds. We rolled for a couple of hours in the middle of the Gulf Stream but then the seas and winds were calm again until about midnight. Winds and close together waves on the nose came earlier than predicted so we "bashed" for the remaining part of the trip and arrived in the marina around 10:30 a.m. We had never travelled that part of the Northwest Providence Channel before with its busy commercial traffic. In addition to fuel tankers and cargo ships going in and out of Freeport, Grand Bahama we passed 7 cruise ships en route to either Coco Cay in the Berrys or Nassau. Needless to say, between the conditions and the traffic, it was not difficult to stay awake.
We stayed in the Great Island Marina for 8 nights because of winds. It was difficult to explore much by dinghy because of the weather, but we managed to get in a few nice beach walks and we used the marina bicycles to explore the town and much of the island. Just before we left it was calm enough to dinghy through the intricate mangroves in Shark Creek, a trip only to be taken at high tide.
Although we knew it would be a little uncomfortable because of seas and wind direction, we ventured out of the marina on Weds.2/12 and made our way down to Soldier Cay. We were finally able to anchor in the beautiful blue Bahamian water, drop the dinghy and go for our first swim. The next day we took the inside route along Hoffman's Cay at high tide, well aware that the shallow depths would be a challenge. Sure enough, we bumped several times and had to back off in one spot, but Dave was determined to try to get through and we did!. Next time I think we could fine tune our course a little and make it through without stopping...
We anchored in the channel behind Little Gaulding Cay and enjoyed a beautiful view of the multiple small cays around us for 2 nights. We hiked to Hoffman's Blue Hole and enjoyed a dip in its seemingly bottomless water and we walked several of the gorgeous, unspoiled surrounding beaches. It was our first time in that area and we now appreciate its reputation for having some of the prettiest anchorages in the Bahamas. I could have stayed there longer but we needed to grab a good weather window to move south to Nassau.
We attempted to fish on our way down early yesterday but arrived with no fish and 2 fewer lures. We've provisioned with fuel and food and plan on heading out tomorrow.... destination Exumas! Once again we'll be achieving our goal of getting there by Dave's birthday. Yay! Check out the pics in the gallery...