Last night we left Bimini harbor around 5:30 and
went around to the south side of the isalnd, thinking maybe we'd set out very
early the next day to cross the Bahamas Bank to Andros. But as we prepared
dinner, the wind dropped to nothing, the sea smoothed out, and we decided to
leave immediately to take advantage of good weather while we had it. We motored
until midnight, getting about a third of the way across the banks, and
then anchored out there, quiet sea all around us to every horizon, in 10 feet of
water. It was a really magical place -- stars overhead and clear water below lit
by our anchor light. A tangerine-colored moon was setting.
We got up at 6 AM today and finished the crossing.
Up until 1 PM it was all calm, and our wave heights were measured more as
"wavelets" or "ripples." We stopped and anchored and took a swim. Found a big
starfish. Just tried to send this post with a great photo of girls and starfish,
but had trouble, so resending without. Photos may have to wait for a wifi
Then we turned the corner to go down the east coast
of Andros and the wind picked up. Wind from the southeeast, coming over the
Tongue of the Ocean. We had hoped that waves from that side would be broken by
the reefs on the outside, but if they were, it wasn't enough. We had to drive
into 2-3 foot steep chop off our port bow. There was much bow slamming and
spray-throwing. Then the 2-3 foot waves became 3-4 footers. We had to endure
this for about three hours. It wasn't scary, but it wasn't pleasant, either. The
wind kept picking up and the last hour was a bit worse, but we could see the end
Once we got into the sheltered harbor of Morgan's
Bluff, the winds died down and the waves became nothing. The girls noticed a lot
of water on the cabin floor when we finally anchored and it turns out the cover
for one of the ballast tanks was loose and water was coming in. Not a big
deal, but we were glad to know it wasn't a hole in the boat. In minutes
the mattresses dried and we put things back in order.
We feel exhausted, and relieved, and sun and
windburned (despite constant application of sunscreen) and ready to take a few
days off from making passages. We may stay put for a few days and get work
& school work done. Tomorrow is Monday, after all.
We met cruisers in this tiny harbor who have
been living aboard their boats, tied to the dock for 11 weeks. The
marina consists of a gas station and a bar and the brightly
painted and eerily deserted fairgrounds that host an annual Bahamian
wooden boat regatta in July. The closest town is Nicholl's Town -- about
five miles away. The cruisers said they just start walking and someone gives
them a ride.
Our goal is to cross to the Exumas or 1/2 way in
New Providence (not Nassau) as soon as passage weather comes our way again,
hopefully in a few days.