To Crab Cay

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sun 3 Apr 2011 21:59
Arriving in Crab Cay
As soon as we saw the words Crab Cay, it was a must to visit. Bear said it would be a challenge. Originally we were heading north to Rum Cay but the weather did a turn and the possibility of getting 'stuck' was imminent in a rolly anchorage with little protection from the west. We were up and ready to leave at nine, over the metre below us, sandy bottom and soon out to sea. The wind and sails made for a perfect day - but - heading ninety degrees the wrong way. I went on watch as usual at ten, down came the genoa, engine on and heading to the tricky bit, with VPR (now officially called visible panty ridges). Where the pos cross is (just above the F in Find Ship), is the entry into very shallow water strewn with coral heads. On went the forward facing sonar.
What it looks like. The right hand picture is the important one. I need to see white in front of the girls nose. It can be all shades but blue is to be avoided. It sometimes looks like measles in front but Bear keeps a eye on the water colour, (green and black as a rule to be swung around) and I pick a route between. I also watch the depth on the depth sound, the GPS to keep on track, the clouds as they give a false positive on the waters surface and wind speed for sudden squalls to hold tight through (makes the steering a bit harder). The picture above left shows the sea bed as I have passed over it, useful as it gives a picture of how lumpy or steady the bottom is. Depths below 1.6 metres it has a hard time with and shows wacky numbers. Here it shows 54.2, it should really say something like 1.3 metres.
What that all equates to is the picture on the left, seems like open water is in fact over a grass bank with 0.9 metres below the keel. The picture on the right, seemingly shallow near the rocks, is a deeper channeled, sandy bottom with 1.8 metres below the keel. We can fully understand why there are so many wrecks in these waters, as there are really no rules. You have to get used to reading by machine and not eyesight, a very different skill.
Through a skinny bit, past a sand bank and into the crowded 'anchorage', Beez makes four. Anchor set at a quarter to two in time for a late lunch, twenty four miles later