Norman's Cay

Mon 5 Apr 2010 23:33
24:35.861 N
76:48.344 W

We took a last hike on Shroud Cay this morning, and swam over on the beach on the other side of the headland from our little creek anchorage. The water was crystal clear and the sand was white ripples. There's a sad leavetaking now at every cay.

We had a beautiful sail for the 4 or 5 miles up to Norman's, close reaching in a strong ENE wind. We had thought we might go all the way to Highborne today, but the west side of Norman's was very rolly, even though it should have been calm there on the lee of the island. Since the west coast of Highborne is oriented pretty much the same, we figured anchoring there wouldn't be very comfortable. So we came around into the shallow bay on the south side of Norman's and tucked ourselves way up against Boot Cay on some large sandflats. And here we sit as the 15-20 knot wind blasts over us -- high and dry and not rocking a bit. We'll float again during the night, and I may get up and move us out further so we have flexibility in our departure tomorrow, or we may just wait and leave here around 2:00 tomorrow. The boat traffic from Staniel Cay to Norman's is much heavier than it was on the way down. This seems to be the peak cruising season.

Tuesday and Wednesday are supposed to be fairly windy as well. Fine for creeping north along the lee side of the Exumas, but NOT good for crossing to Nassau or Chubb. However, Thursday and Friday look like possible crossing days. If we can go safely, we will get as far as possible. From the Exumas to Nassau is about 35 miles. Then from Nassau to Chubb Cay is about 45 miles. We'll probably do it in two days rather than trying one enormous day. Then we need a weather window to cross the 75 miles from Chubb to Bimini, and another to cross from Bimini to Miami. Here it is April 5, and we were hoping to be back in Miami by April 15. We may get lucky with the weather -- as we did on the way over -- or we may get laid up somewhere waiting for days and days.

Once we get to Highborne and refuel and stock up one last time, our sole focus will be getting home. Though every place is still full of wonder for us, our minds are shifting to a different sort of travel.