Berry Islands to Nassau

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Tue 30 Mar 2010 21:35
25:04.56N 077:18.51W
Berry Islands to Nassau
Last week we headed back slowly up the Berry Island chain again - heading back to White Island, the beautiful spot we had found earlier.  As we were heading up we saw a reef off Bond Cay which looked worth a dive, so turned in and put down the anchor for a few hours. The water was perfectly blue, but very cold and so we all put on wet-suits. Willy had us in hysterics as he squeezed himself into one of the wetsuits on board, not ideally suited to his size. And then once he had hauled it over his hips, we realised that he had it on back to front, so we started all over again.  The reef was not very deep and while Willy and I snorkelled around taking underwater shots, Mike tried unsuccessfully to catch another grouper.  However, we can hardly complain about the stick of grouper in our freezer ..there is plenty.
The dramatic Elkhorn coral                                                                              Mike and I waiting for Willy to hop in
Later that afternoon we anchored off Alder's cay, another private island. The Bahamians have sold off a lot of their smaller islands, and visitors are only allowed by invitation. There are various sizes of islands, some home to a development and others occupied by a single owner - often with his own personal runway!
We headed out of Alder's the following morning, waiting for the tides to change so we could get out of the cut. The small distances between the islands have very strong current flows and when the wind opposes the current flow you can get large swells and often breaking waves at the exit. We played it safe, but it was still a rocky exit! Frauke has now become an expert at stashing all things that like to fly around the saloon/ galley during these rough rides.
When we got back to White Cay we noticed that quite a few boats were now anchored on the inside of the second row of small islands, and after bouncing around for an hour or two in the first bay, moved in to join them. Well!  just as well - because we were hit by a big storm. We new bad weather was coming, but did not quite expect it to be so bad. For two nights and a day the wind howled - well over 30knots a lot of the time. Then came the rain, the lightening and lots of swell as the tides changed. It was a very uncomfortable two nights, and non of us slept well at all.  Later we heard that this storm had borne 2 tornados which hit Freeport, the main harbour for the Bahamas, about 65nm from where we were anchored. (and 5nm from Lucaya, where we had been earlier) Sadly three men, working a crane in the harbour were killed as the wind swept it into the ocean.
       Our neighbours in the anchorage battling the storm
Time was now running out for Willy and Frauke, and on Tuesday morning we headed for Nassau. With the weather clearing up, the trip to Nassau and the days following have been gorgeous.  We anchored off the Nassau Yacht Club, as we had done last year, and other than the odd go-fast speeding through the anchorage, it is a pleasant place to be....