Allen's Cay

Ambler Isle
V and S
Wed 22 Dec 2010 12:18
24 45 623N
076 50 302W
 Rose Island was delightful, but we decided to continue south the next day to Allen's Cay.  This island is famous for it's otherwise extinct iguanas.  Tour boats come daily from as far as Nassau to see them.  So we set a course 30 miles across the Yellow Bank.  The charts show this Bank filled with coral reefs and warn of its dangers.  The first time we crossed it, we tiptoed through carefully.  There are numerous reefs here, but most are deep enough to pass over.   There were a number of sailboats anchored in the harbour, but our favorite spot was empty, so we motored in and dropped anchor.  As we were setting the anchor, a small dinghy with a lone man rushed over to us.  He said, "Meesur, you are in very shallow vater, and I think you vill get stuck at low tide."  What?  We checked our depths, they were ok.  And we were at low tide right now.  "Thanks for the warning, but I think I am ok here." we said.  "Vell, I vanted to tell you zat I have two anchors out, so I vill not swing vis ze other boats."  Aha.  In the Bahamas there are very few rules.  One is that no one uses 2 anchors in a busy anchorage because it takes up too much room.  If everyone swings on one anchor, each moves away at the same time. Also, we must let folks anchor nearer than we would maybe like, because many need to tuck in to the few good anchorages.  When we tried to tell him that, he got very mad.  He was a French Canadian from Quebec.  There are a number of them here every winter.  For the most part they are fun loving, jovial folks, but they seem to dislike English speaking people.      But we sometimes encounter unpleasant boaters this early in the trip.  Maybe everyone is tense after the big trip.