Heading to West Bay New Providence
05 April 2017
Sally Sunny wind in the high teens (knots)
We were up early to join the mass exodus from Morgans Bluff. We were sad to leave as we would have loved to have spent a couple more days on the island and explored it more. The weather had all of us scurrying though to find a safe harbor to wait out the front that was slated to come through on Thursday night.
We bid good bye to Sue and Roger last night. We will miss them, they have become good friends. They are headed to the Berries we are headed to the Exumas. They surely helped us with the gulf stream and banks crossings and all they myriad of tips and suggestions on how to get the best from our electronic equipment especially the single side band.
We had hauled the dingy up on deck last night and with coffee made we hauled the anchor and set sail for West Bay on the west end of New Providence island. We had 28 miles to go all in an area we had never traveled across the Northwest Providence channel. We watched Dancin Downwind head North as we headed East until their sails disappeared over the horizon. We weren't alone though 3 other boats that had been in Morgans Bluff were headed to the same spot. The wind was on our nose pretty much and the swell was uncomfortable. Makes me wonder why they are called swells when they are anything but! A more apt name would be rottens! It was a slog but we made it and approached the channel into the anchorage, which in reality looked more like a open spot with the shore on one side and some odd bits of land around it. Quite open in reality. The shoals that are on either side of the entrance are underwater making the reliance on your charts and route quite important. It does make me wonder how they did it with only a compass.
There were a half dozen boats in the anchorage but plenty of room. We found a sandy spot to drop the hook and settled in for the remainder of the day. We didn't bother to take the dingy off the bow as the plan was to only spend one night and it was nearly 4 before we were settled. The forcast had not improved on our voyage with winds predicted Thursday night in the 25 to 30 kt range with gusts to 50. We had intended to sail to Highbourne Cay on Thursday and anchor there Thursday night but that anchorage has no westerly protection and the winds were going to clock from S/SW to NW/N and then N/NE. Scott was not at all happy about the prospect of relying on our anchor not dragging in that. Fortunately we had good cell service and our cruisers guide. I got on the phone to see if we could possilby get into the marina at Highbourne. Lets just say they were not very friendly and the inn was full. CRAP Ok plan b lets look into marinas on New Providence. With good cell service and the ability to tether to my phone we checked out the new marina on the southern shore of New Providence. This marina owned by a conglomerate that includes golfers Ernie Ells and Tiger Woods. Well...... a bit out of our league with homes on the resorts golf course starting at 5 million. We ticked that one off the list quickly. Next I looked into Lyard Cay on the North shore of New Providence, they had room at 6 bucks a foot. OWWWW Clearly not a marina that wants the unwashed masses at their facility.
We argued about going into Nassau harbor, (somewhere the captain said he would emphatically never go), well you know there was a boat in Marathon called Never say Never ! Ha. If the cruising guide was correct there were only three marinas in Nassau that took transients. I called Atlantis, knowing full well that they would be very expensive but hopefully less than 6 bucks a foot. I never found out because they were full. I was getting nervous when I called Nassau Harbor Yacht Haven what if we could not find a dock. We got lucky they had room for us and a decent rate $2.15 a foot. We made the reservation with instructions to call when we passed Potter's Cay in the harbor for instructions on entering the marina.
With that accomplished we breathed a sigh of relief and I quickly plotted a course to Nassau Harbor and the marina.
The picture is of the inner harbor at Morgans Bluff. You can see the anchorage just beyond the jetty. Oddly I took no pictures at West Bay or on the crossing from