Day 28 - Bahamas Cruising (West End to U.S.)
Reefs in main and jib, tacking throughout the night / avoiding fishing boats as we crept towards St Simmons entrance. Arriving too early for high tide and daylight we sailed off - back 6nm and back again to start our entrance under sail. A tricky task as the marked navigation channel gets narrower, the waves break over shoals to the north and shallow water to south of the channel.
Given the possibility of meeting larger ships entering or leaving St Simons/Brunswick port - we decided to alert the U.S. Coast Guard - "a sailing vessel entering under reduced maneouverability" - just in case we needed assistance and to alert other shipping traffic.
More reefs in the main, winds gusting at 25+ knots and high waves - but no choice but to start our entrance ---- thankfully wind direction gave a beam reach enabling us to stay on course between the marker bouys albeit with a heavy sideways drift and roll. Those breaking waves certainly looked close - but then we were only focused on the channel entrance..... no shipping traffic and within 20-25 minutes we were in the calmer waters of St Simons Sound. A quick call to the U.S. Coast Guard to report all was well.....although was that helicopter out for us? No, just practising a lift-off as we progressed up the Sound!!
Except for our next problem - sailing up an even narrower channel and to the marina dockside! Let's just try the engine and properller again should we need it in an emergency alongside the dock - all was quite - no vibration at speeds - had we lost the rubber seal altogether? Well, at least nothing was fouling the prop anymore - a relief : we could motor comfortably up to the dock., Nevertheless, we requested an end t-dock - just in case something happened again.
All tied up - safe and secure! Time to rest and sleep. The mystery of the rubber seal will have to wait until the morrow!
Phil and Di