West End, Grand Bahama to Great Sale Cay

We are now tied to the dock at Green Turtle Cay. I’m posting each of the past few days’ events, from leaving West End to our arrival at Green Turtle, in successive blog posts…

I was awakened in the middle of the the night by a scream, “Go-o-o-o!” I obviously took this as a divine command that we should leave West End on Sunday morning for Great Sale Cay. No more equivocating, just “Go!” Cindy was cuddled up in bed behind me as we both laid on our right sides. That means her mouth was about 6-12” from my ear when she shouted that imperative. She told me that she dreamed she was being arrested. What for? She can’t remember. Oh, well. So much for my divine command theory.

Nonetheless, we went. Before we left, however, we reduced the West End rat population by two. Shortly after turning out the lights to sleep, we heard one of the four traps that we had set out on deck go off. Templeton was gone. When morning came, I found Templeton’s comrade in one of the other traps. I don’t like to kill creatures, even rats, but I can’t have them on the boat.

The Admiral putting away the fenders as we leave Old Bahama Bay.

The Admiral putting away the fenders as we leave Old Bahama Bay.

At 7 a.m., both Beatitude and Bella Luna (the neighboring catamaran who is also traveling to the Abacos), pushed away from the dock and headed out to sea. We travelled NNW for about a mile or so before turning to starboard to make our way through Indian Cay Channel. We were going through at low tide, so I had some concerns about grounding, but we made it through without incident.

The Admiral with her morning tea.

The Admiral with her morning tea.

The first half of the day was heavenly. The sky was nearly cloudless, while the water had a light chop all the way through the channel. The setting was beautiful. During the remainder of the morning, the wind built from about 10 to 15 knots (on our nose) and the chop turned into 1 – 1 1/2’ waves. Still, a great day, and much better than I had expected.

The beautiful waters of the Little Bahama Bank over the starboard trampoline.

The beautiful waters of the Little Bahama Bank over the starboard trampoline.

The Admiral making blueberry muffins.

The Admiral making blueberry muffins.

Conditions would worsen as we rounded Mangrove Cay, a tadpole shaped island made up of a cluster of mangroves in a shallow portion of Little Bahama Bank. The winds picked up to 20-25 knots, and the waves grew to 2-3 feet, with a couple of larger waves. We were, of course, heading right into them. The sun continued to shine brightly, and the day was still beautiful, but with the rougher seas, we were not enjoying that smooth, effortless ride that we had in the morning. Nevertheless, it was not horrible, and our day went well with no equipment failures or malfunctions. Bella Luna led the way the entire day. She is a little speedier than Beatitude. This is, no doubt, due in part to her slightly larger engines and slightly less draft (less than 4 feet). But, I’m certain it is also due to the fact that we have Beatitude loaded down like a pack mule!

Our "buddy-boat," Bella Luna, having just rounded Mangrove Key, the half-way point of our days passage.

Our “buddy-boat,” Bella Luna, having just rounded Mangrove Key, the half-way point of our days passage.

Beatitude underway.

Beatitude underway.

Beatitude on the Little Bahama Bank

Beatitude on the Little Bahama Bank

We covered the 48.23 nautical miles in approximately 8.5 hours. We pulled into the northwest anchorage of Great Sale Cay and dropped our anchor in about 9.5 feet of clear water. After the anchor set firmly in the sand, we let out a 5:1 scope and began to tidy up after the trip. For dinner, we invited Gord and Debbie (from Bella Luna) over for lasagna. Cindy had made some the evening before so that we would have a ready made meal for tonight, requiring only some reheating. We also made garlic toast, and our guests brought salad and a bottle of wine. We had a lovely dinner with wonderful food, and an even more wonderful time of friendship and fellowship.

Our excellent anchorage spot with great protection for NE winds.

Our excellent anchorage spot with great protection for NE winds.

The Admiral preparing to lower anchor

The Admiral preparing to lower anchor

The table is prepared for dinner.

The table is prepared for dinner.

Debbie, Gord, Cindy, Barry

Debbie, Gord, Cindy, Barry

We turned in relatively early in the evening in preparation for the next day’s passage of approximately 33 miles from Great Sale Cay to Crab Cay.

A gorgeous sunset.. watching a great ball of fire sink into the seas

A gorgeous sunset.. watching a great ball of fire sink into the seas

Almost gone...

Almost gone…

4 thoughts on “West End, Grand Bahama to Great Sale Cay

  1. Glad all went good.. Beautiful sunset! It’s nice you were able to sail with Deb & Gord some…they seemed like a really nice couple! I really enjoyed being with you all! Thanks again!

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