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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jensen Beach to Treasure Cay via Port St. Lucie

Yay! We are in the Bahamas and just put a lot of miles under our keel in less than two days, considering that we stopped on the banks for about five hours of shut-eye! Since Myron kept you up to date on our progress, I will just give a few little details that you might find interesting.

We almost did not leave Friday. Myron got up late Thursday night and checked the weather. The forecast was for higher seas than we prefer. The next forecast in the morning was back down to three to four foot seas. We had a few seas that were more like five or six and quite steep. Violent enough to toss my teapot from the port stove to the navigation station, sharing water throughout the distance between. Thank God those types of seas were infrequent.

Myron had checked with BoatUS about the depths for the Port St. Lucie inlet. The fellow told us it would be no problem. He was absolutely right as we mostly saw 20 feet or more and only once saw 17 feet. And that was just after low tide. It was well marked. We have always exited that inlet, but now I would even enter if need be.

There was some indecision as to whether we would pull in to Great Sale Cay for a day or keep on truckin', but as we approached Great Sale Cay we just could not pass up a romp in such favorable winds all the way around the north. We had forecast winds of 20 to 25 with gusts of 30. We saw it all and were regularly doing more than seven knots. We kept reefing down and finally had to put the main away, otherwise the auto pilot (we call him 'Ziggy') could not keep up. Much over seven knots and one of us had to take over the helm. I saw more than eight knots as we approached Crab Cay and Myron saw the same as we rounded the corner. At one point when we were preparing to jibe, we had pulled in the main, and I was about to put the preventer in place on the starboard side when Ziggy completely lost control of the boat and the main did an accidental jibe to port. We had not completely hauled in the main sheet, so it was a hard jibe. Then it jibed back to starboard. We later noticed that the upper batten on the mail sail was broken. I am sure it happened when Ziggy zagged.

We felt the best anchorage in these northwest winds was outside Treasure Cay. That was a long haul for a day's run, but the winds really made it happen. The Whale Cay Cut was the only question, but we did not see any horrible breakers on all the reefs leading up to Whale Cay. The waters outside were lumpy, bumpy and confused. The strong winds kept us moving along over seven knots which makes the seas more tolerable. We had one rough tumble and a shelf in the aft cabin had a book sale all over the cabin floor.

But as dad told me on the phone the other night "all is well that ends well." We were anchored outside Treasure Cay just after 5 pm, got our showers, and had a ginger beer to celebrate. I am sure after we have a snack our eyes will be heavy!

Love to all,

Posted via Ham Radio.

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