Monday 9th May 2011
Distance run: 509 nmiles
We lifted the anchor 1000 on Wednesday 4th - well we attempted to lift it
but the chain got jammed in the hawser pipe and we spent a good twenty
minutes getting it free. Once it was finally up we made our way to the fuel
dock and filled up both the tank and the jerry cans. Apparently diesel is
not always available in the islands as they depend on delivery by tanker.
Fully tanked up, we slipped the lines from the fuel dock around midday and
motored out of Charlotte Amalie harbour towards the Turks & Caicos islands
and the Bahamas. We hadn't yet decided if we would stop at Provo in the
Turks & Caicos, leaving the decision until we knew whether it would be a day
or night arrival and what the wind was like. If we were sailing well we
would pass it by.
We had a good sail overnight, but the winds became light and variable on
Thursday, and the engine was on and off all day. It filled in again
overnight and we sailed well, but again on Friday the winds were very light
and the engine was on for much of the day. During the morning Steve noticed
that the charging light on the engine panel was on, and when he investigated
discovered that a fan belt had broken. So we shut off the engine and
drifted while he replaced it, and then we were on our way again.
The rest of the passage passed uneventfully and in much the same vein. When
we reached the waypoint where we would alter course for Provo we decided
against it. From the waypoint it would be 35 miles out of our way to Provo,
versus 60 miles to Mayaguana, one of the most southerly out islands of the
Bahamas. We decided to carry on, and as we couldn't make the 60 miles
before nightfall, enjoyed a gentle sail overnight and arrived at the South
East anchorage of Mayaguana with the dawn. We had chosen this anchorage
because there are very few reefs here, but there are still some coral heads
to look out for and avoid!
Mayaguana has only three settlements on the island, all of which are in the
middle or the north, so it was like anchoring by a deserted island. .