Over the Banks to Highbourne Cay

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sat 24 Mar 2012 14:45

Position           24:43.00N 076:49.90W

Date                1445 Saturday 24 March 2012


Today’s title sounds like the name of a bagpipe tune, perhaps I will work on that one.  Typically many pipe tunes seem to be about leaving places, ‘Leaving Port Askaig’, ‘The 72nd Highlanders Farewell to Aberdeen’ and the like.  Perhaps the title on that basis should have been ‘The leaving of Morgan’s Bluff in the pitch dark’ and at 0200 to boot.  Certainly there was not time for piping as keeping to the channel in a good chop and avoiding hitting unlit buoys was quite a challenge. On the latter the buoys had the remains of reflective tape on them which the plug-in light picked up in time to avoid large clangs.


The antisocial hour of departure was justified by arriving at the start of the course over the Banks in full daylight at 0830.  Our course south west down the Tongue of the Ocean was in over 2,000 metres of water; across the bank it was in no more than 6 metres.  Credit for the framework of our waypoints goes to the blog of Suzi Too and for those interested I will list them and our additions at the end of the blog as they provided a route across the bank with no nasty surprises and a fairly constant 4 metres under our 2.1 metre keel.


Looking at the chart and trying to find anchorages with enough water to feel comfortable , good holding and some shelter from the shifting winds is a challenge and with a forecast of the winds clocking as two associated fronts go through the anchorage to the east of Highbourne Cay was selected for sitting out a couple of days.  The island is to the east, a reef to the north and a wide open escape route if things turn ugly.


We will sit out the next couple of days.




Leaving the Tongue          S of Conch Spit          24:47.000N     077:31.000W

North of Shoal                                                      24:45.500N     077:13.000W

North of extensive coral heads                             24:44.560N     077:03.500W

Highbourne anchorage approach                          24:42.370N     076:52.000W