Oh, What a night! I mentioned last time how that there was crazy current and wind in the Allens Cay anchorage. The anchorage consists of a strip of water between two narrow islands running north and south on either side. There is also a small island on the south side. Water comes in from either the north and south and provides for a strong current through the anchorage. Besides dealing with the current, during the night, the wind clocked around from the north to the south. When we pulled into the anchorage, all the boats were all lined up nicely and pointing in the same direction. If only they had stayed that way. Around 12:30, we awoke to an unusual noise. When I went above to check on the source, I found the monohull (which was to our right when we first anchored) bouncing off our port bow. I yelled for Cindy to grab fenders. After separating the two boats, I fired up both engines to be ready to act if needed. Well… it was needed. For the next five hours, the boats in the north end of the anchorage were all dancing to there own tune. They were pointing in any and every direction and some were swinging in circles. It was as if a giant billiard game was being played with boats instead of balls. There were three boats just to our north which were all hitting each other. After our initial contact with the other boat which awakened us, Beatitude was bumped no more. But, she would have been if not for our overnight vigil. As if to make one think that the whole night was just a bad dream, an illusion, at 5:30, all the boats lined up perfectly, each pointing in unison to the southwest. Our fatigue, however, served as assurance that it had been all to real. It is obvious (not just from this night, but from previous experiences), Beatitude does not do well with current and wind together. We’ll have to try to find anchorages with little current in the future if possible.
Well,.. We’d had enough. So at 6:30, we raised our anchor, motored out through the pass onto the Exuma Bank and headed south. We followed the bending convex shape of the western side of the Exumas for around forty miles. We motored the entire way since we were heading right into a 15+ knot wind from the south. The ride was smooth enough, as we glided at 6 knots through God’s beautiful, twenty-foot deep crystal clear water. We were tired, but we did fine.
Upon arriving at our destination, Staniel Cay, we turned to port and tucked in to the huge anchorage called Big Major Spot. This place is as roomy as Allens Cay was cramped. There are probably thirty boats in here, but room for thirty more. After our experiences last evening, I found myself a big wide-open space and dropped our anchor in 9 ft. of water. It dug in right away, and we were secured for the night. Although we were tired, we hadn’t had a chance to get groceries in five days, so we took Dalí for the roughly one-mile ride into Staniel Cay and dinghied right up to Isles General Store. A sign on the door said the store will reopen after lunch at 2 p.m. The only thing was… it was already 3 p.m. and the doors were locked. We waited around until someone told us the owner lived next door. So, I went and knocked on the front door to enquire when and if it would be opening. She smiled and said she would be right over. There were about 4 or 5 groups of people waiting to enter when she arrived ten minutes later. We quickly ransacked the shelves of the very small store (although she did have a good variety) and then stood in line forever while she opened her mail and made two phone calls to family members while standing behind the counter. Only in the Bahamas!
After reboarding Beatitude, we fried up some beer-battered fish tacos made with the king mackerel which we caught the day before. The food was delicious and we were tired, but we decided to watch a movie before bed. After all, it was only 6:00. We watched James Bond’s Thunderball (in anticipation of an upcoming excursion!).