We were so exhausted the previous evening from our day’s passage that we could not keep our eyes open past 8:30, so we retired early. The alarm sounded at 6 a.m., waking us so that we might prepare to weigh anchor at seven o’clock. And, so, at seven the anchor was lifted from it’s sandy burial, and we began our six mile trek out of the anchorage and up around the north side of Great Sale Cay. From there, we turned ESE for another 33 miles to Crab Cay, the site of our next anchorage.
The day began with 1’ waves through which Beatitude could motor just fine at 7 knots. Soon, though, the waves began to pick up and resumed their conditions of yesterday afternoon with 2-4’ seas throughout the day. The wind was from the east all day long blowing 20-25 knots. Beatitude’s bridge deck repeatedly slammed into the oncoming waves sending spray, at times, up over the bimini. As it was, the brisk east wind blew the tops off the plentiful whitecaps sending a fine salt mist over our vessel (and everything on it, including me). The sun was shining brightly most of the day, creating a picture perfect scene of deep turquoise waters filled with white capped waves, set against a pale blue sky.
Despite the lunging and rocking motion of Beatitude as she slogged through the oncoming waves, the day wasn’t miserable. Cindy is really progressing with this sailing/cruising thing. She used to complain about the smallest discomfort when beating headlong into wind and waves. Perhaps, the motion of crossing of the gulf stream has tempered her expectations to the point where she doesn’t mind banging into 4 foot waves. I’m quite proud of her. She did very well each of the past two difficult days crossing the Little Bahama Bank. Additionally, neither of us have been seasick. We’ve taken meclizine each morning and evening, beginning with the evening prior to our departure from West End. We’ve found it to be very effective.
Shortly after 2:30 p.m., we pulled into the Crab Cay anchorage. Crab Cay is a small island which continues off the northern tip of Great Abaco Island. We tucked up as tight as we could into a crescent beach area which offers excellent protection from east winds. The entry into the anchorage is easy and there is plenty of sand everywhere which offers good holding. Bella Luna and Beatitude had this idyllic anchorage to ourselves.
Having been stuck on the boat for 2 days, I was anxious to get off and do a little exploring. So, after setting our anchor, we hopped into Dalí (our dinghy) for a quick trip to shore. We walked along a rocky, palm tree-lined beach, waded in the amazingly clear water, and took a few photos prior to returning to Beatitude. Before making it to the beach, we took our clear-bottomed bucket (aka, underwater viewer) to visualize our anchor. It was comforting to see that it was buried deep within the sandy bottom in 9 feet of water.
Gord and Debbie Moon offered to reciprocate our kindness from the day before, and invited us to dinner aboard Bella Luna. So, at 6, we again boarded Dalí for the hundred yard trip between the two anchored vessels. Bella Luna is a beautiful vessel, a 2012 Antares 44i, made in Argentina. The Moon’s were gracious hosts, and had prepared a stir fry for us with wonderful vegetables, chicken and rice, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Once again, we so much enjoyed sharing about lives over dinner. We feel a special kinship with Gord and Debbie. We are so thankful that God has brought us together and that we were able to cross the Little Bahama Bank together. If not for Gord, Beatitude would probably still be sitting in West End. I was more than a little apprehensive about the conditions to cross the Bank, but Gord, who has more cruising experience than I, seemed comfortable with the crossing, so we decided to go for it. I’m glad we did!
The winds continue to be 20-30 knots tonight and tomorrow morning with gusting winds in the a.m. We will likely stay put at Crab Cay in the morning. We will either leave around noon time for Green Turtle Cay or spend another night at anchor here and go on Wednesday when the winds are expected to blow at 15-20 knots.