Post-chicken drama, we sailed from Fort Lauderdale to Great Harbor Cay, in the Berry Group of the Bahamas.
It was one of those passages you aspire to — 10 knots on the beam, flat seas, sparkly stars, just enough boat traffic to know you’re not alone in the world (maybe I’m the only sailor who is happy to see ships at night but I get lonely quickly!!) and in the end we had to drastically slow ourselves down to arrive with the sunrise and not any earlier.
There have been so many highlights in the last 10 days I don’t know where to begin.
So I’ll just say that if I could time travel back to sad little Leah of one year ago — the one stuck in a boatyard with projects and broken things all around, wishing she was here — I’d tell her to hold on. Great things are coming.
The future is bright beyond belief.
And one day you will look at your husband and tell him, “I would redo every day in that boatyard, just for this one week in paradise”.
For anyone who is interested in the cruising / route details…
The dinghy trip through the mangroves in Great Harbour Cay is TIGHT but 100% worth it.
Sailing upwind into trade winds to get around the top of Great Harbor Cay was tough, but hiding behind Soldier Cay felt like we’d arrived. And the reviews about the sharks seem to be accurate — we had three under the boat within minutes of anchoring.
The pass to get behind Hoffmans is also TIGHT but we made it in (5’ draft) with a few 6’ draft friends on a 3’ high tide. Then we felt a little trapped, and took the aptly named “Devils Passage” to get back to an anchorage that wasn’t tidal restricted (by Fowl Cay). Our 6’ friends bumped in the passage, but we actually didn’t see anything below 6’5” and that was on a 2.7’ high. Converting from meters to feet is becoming second nature.
We left the Berries at 6am and lucked out with a straight southerly and one speedy tack to Spanish Wells on Eleuthera. That was our first full day of Hydrovane sailing and Itchy did incredibly well. The motion is noticeably friendlier when the windvane is steering.
We put our much smaller jib on (rather than our big but kinda baggy Genoa) — a job that turned into a day when a loose roll pin in the furler foil had to be bashed back into place via bosuns chair up the mast — and that gave us a nice lift in our ability to point. The winds are always from the SE and we are consistently headed South or East. But if it’s not challenging, it’s not worth doing, right?
Lastly, Papa Scoops ice cream that opens at the ungodly hour of 7pm (we go to bed reeeeal early on Brio II) was worth the late night. There are only two flavor options (Vanilla might be the best) but they’ll let you taste test if you ask nicely.
We don’t know exactly where we’re headed this week, but that’s all part of the fun.
And yes, this is the first time I’ve had full bars of signal and I am excited to be connected again 🙂
Oh Leah! I am sailing with you! We made landfall in Barbados after crossing the Atlantic (same year as you) and sailed up through the Islands (much easier). The Bahamas are stunning and I remember white knuckle sailing for whole afternoons across the shallowest stretches. Yes, it’s all worth it. ❤
Haha yes exactly! We thought the ICW was good training but this makes us really appreciate our shallow draft / centerboard 🙂 It is certainly spectacular here!
It all sounds wonderful! Sooo happy for you!
Thank you Rosemary — it is wonderful to be here!