South we go
Tomorrow, as we set sail from Rum Cay towards Mayaguana, we will be firmly establishing our intention to continue on down “The Thorny Path.” One could make it as far as this without doing any real night sailing. No further though.
We are as well prepared as we are going to be. Repairs have been made using what parts we had or could obtain (too bad there’s not a West Marine handy). Our fuel tank has been topped up with what gasoline we had on hand (there is presently no gas here in Rum Cay). Waypoints have been entered into our chartplotter to various stopping points along our intended path. Various guidebooks have been consulted. The weather forecast has been checked and double checked and for once, we’re looking forward to doing some motoring (the often-brisk trade winds, although quite likely still on the nose, are supposed to abate for the next 3 days). In fact, if they lay down enough, we may just continue on to the Turks and Caicos, or further!
Our departure time of 9:30 AM has been chosen to place us at Mayaguana with good light to navigate through the coral-heads of the Abraham’s Bay anchorage. Of course, given our extremely-limited experience, our ETA could be way off. If so, we’ll deal with it, slowing down if we’re going too fast or choosing another safe stopping point if we’re not making fast-enough headway.
From The Southern Bahamas Cruising Guide by Steven J. Pavlidis:
By Captain David Mathews, s/v Tao
When you’ve done Stocking Island, up the hill
And told your lies at Chat and Chill,
Checked Peace and Plenty, Two T’s in turn,
Now put Chicken Harbor to the stern.
Dreaded cold front’s on the way,
Wind’s gone south, it’s time to say,
“Conception Island here we come,
Your eastern side will be some fun.”
Feeling smug’s a wee bit catching,
Wind a’howling, but seas not matching
Raise a glass, boat’s set to go
All waiting for Herb’s weather window.
Frontal passage does its thing,
Back of the front has a certain ring.
Reefed main and spitfire is our dream,
Just love that breeze abaft the beam.
Now we’re out where the big boys play,
Making easting it’s safe to say,
It sure beats slogging under power,
Rum-time soon passing Bird Rock tower.
Shore-leave over, diesel to the top,
Ready now for the next wee hop,
Attwood thirty seems slow to close,
Motorsailing madness, wind on the nose.
Northeast Breakers to starboard side,
West Plana’s fine after this wild ride,
Barrel sponges, big guys, stories told,
Best SCUBA in the western world.
Behold a miracle, the sea got smooth,
Get this wagon in the groove,
On to Mayaguana’s northwest side,
West wind coming, nowhere to hide.
Wind and current, the choppy situation,
Acknowledge Caicos Passage reputation,
But we’re smokin’ now and doing fine,
Ticking miles off the ole rhumb line.
Following sea and sails are light,
Surf Sellar’s Cut and hang a right,
Customs’ coming out and hooks are down,
Passage complete with nary a frown.
Marine sunrise, hot water we’ve got,
Tiki Hut breakfast hits the spot,
IGA shopping and e-mail that works,
Welcome to Provo, Toast of the Turks!
Our Rocna anchor, buried as an anchor should be.
The bridle which attaches the anchor rode to our boat. Note the large “lazy” loop of chain which acts as a ‘kellet’ holding the rode down.
Knowing that our anchor was holding, it was easy to leave the boat to go spear fishing.
Lots of coral, and quite a few fish…
None of which came home with us.
Good thing our friends Wade and Maureen knew where to find stuff.
Here they are with a load of conch.
And they had some breaded Mahi Mahi for us too!
After eating, it was time to hit Kaye’s Bar.
We walked right in to a party!
Who is leading? Rebecca…
Hartley was very kind to me while playing pool.
What kind of bar always brings out free snacks? Kaye’s Bar does.
In this case, they were Tamarind Seeds. Tasty!
On our way home. How sad.
Too bad our dinghy anchor doesn’t hold like our Rocna does! Fortunately our dinghy didn’t make it off the beach. It would have been a long swim back to the boat.
Good bye Rum Cay. We enjoyed our stay here! We’ll miss you, and your free internet. 🙂