25:04.54N 77:18.99W Nassau Bahamas.
The 4 day, 410 mile from Soper's Hole in the BVI to
Cockburn Town Grand Turk was relatively easy, although we were faced with long
periods without wind and had to resort to motor-sailing. En route, we managed to
land our largest tuna thus far and it provided excellent eating for 3 days.
Approaching Cockburn the water goes from being hundreds of metres deep to less
than 3 very quickly and you have to weave a careful path through the coral heads to find a sandy spot to drop
This pattern of making an approach through the reef
and mooring or anchoring in very shallow water would continue until we
We explored Grand Turk, and found Cockburn Town
rather quaint and then moved on to the island of Providentiales in the
Caicos. We had considered making a crossing of the Caicos Bank, but with a 6
foot draft and faced with 35 miles of water less than 10 feet deep, liberally
sprinkled with coral heads just below the surface, prudence dictated another
overnight passage around the islands.
We overnighted in Turtle Cove,
Providentiales, a small marina where we found ourselves making our
approach with only 2 inches of clearance below the keel; we were grateful
to be able to follow the pilot boat through the reef. Unfortunately the marina
management were unfriendly, the facilities very poor, but still extremely
expensive and most of the berths were too shallow to be useable.
We were pleased to continue on to the Bahamas. We
cleared customs at Mayaguana, which is undeveloped and unsophisticated, yet the
local people are very friendly. This is in great contrast to those areas
developed for tourism, where prices and attitudes are
We continued to Rum Cay, another very shallow
approach and tiny marina. Because it was a small community, people were very
friendly, with the sports fishing boats giving us some excellent tuna and dorado
and another resident running us the 3 miles into 'town' for some much needed
Each day we usually snorkelled amongst the coral in
the beautifully, clear, warm water, but declined to join the scavenging nurse
sharks in the basin at Sumner Point marina!
By now we were cruising along the shores of
Elutheria having successfully navigated through the Davis Channel, into
relatively shallow waters that stretch all the way to Nassau. We
spent a couple of nights at anchor in Governor's Harbour, where we took
full advantage of the well-stocked grocery shops and found our
first Laundromat for over 2 weeks. The luxury of going to sleep in fresh
sheets cannot be over-estimated!
We are now at the point furthest west on our cruise
and from now on, each mile sailed will be a mile nearer home. We plan to spend a
week in Nassau Yacht Haven, in the outskirts of Nassau. Another crew change will
see us joined again by our old friend Steve, who will help us make the 8 day
crossing to our next port in Bermuda, where we will become part of the ARC