31 December 2015
Northern Abacos is far less inhabited than the southern area we have explored for the past three weeks. We sailed in the Abacos 22 years ago and loved the uninhabited northern islands. The trick is that one has to sail through the Whale Cay passage. This shallow passage goes into the Atlantic, the only area deep enough to navigate with a sailboat with a draft of, say it with me, “eight feet!”
Atlantic swells can really build up in these shallow waters and create what is called the Abaco Rage. They say the waves can cause a boat to hit bottom in the 22 foot deep water and have caused a fair share of wrecks. We know that any wind out of the SE will protect this passage as long as there haven't been any severe Atlantic storms.
We had a beautiful sail through this area in SSE winds of about 15 knots. Our Forespar whisker pole made it possible to sail through this slalom passage with full main and genoa. Without the whisker pole we would not have been able to keep our genoa full and may have resorted to main and motor.
Our destination on the north side of Whale was No Name Cay. This uninhabited island didn't have much to offer except for the swimming pigs. We had heard that someone brought pigs to the island and they were quite friendly to visitors. This we are finding is not so unusual in the Bahamas. Pigs do quite well on their own but friendly cruisers are bound to feed them and even fill their water troughs.
Uproar anchored just wests of No Name Cay in the early afternoon. There were several charter boats anchored and with binoculars we saw the pigs on shore. The charter boats left and we dinghied ashore. Momma pig, her seven babies and several other adult pigs greeted our dinghy even before we got to the beach. We brought lettuce and apples to feed them. They were certainly not shy about receiving our gifts. They let us feed them and pet them. The babies were sure cute. Lisa held Sophie while feeding the pigs and they did not mind her presence. Later, we let Sophie walk around. She was nose-to-nose with one of the baby pigs, just her size. Momma was not pleased with the intruder with more than two legs and charged Sophie. Lisa quickly grabbed Sophie up and avoided the encounter.
Beautiful beach and pigs, what more could we ask for!