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Friday, February 6, 2015

Anchored in Dollar Harbor

Last night we had an unexpected pre-frontal trough push through, rousting us out of bed with a squall. Squalls are exciting enough in a protected anchorage, much more when anchored in the open on the banks. It made us suffer with fetch for over an hour after it left us. We thought that meant our NW winds were in for the night, but then the wind turned back to southwest. It was confusing to both us and the water.

We both managed what sleep we could get. Our plans to fish were abandoned as we ran out of time going from the banks around to the entrance to Dollar Harbor. During our approach I was on the bow to call out coral heads, but then a squall was upon us. That always adds a little fun. We used the Clarence Town tide tables on our Garmin chart plotter. We reached the shallow entrance bar at 2.0 feet over datum. Myron drove the suggested route on the Garmin/Explorer Charts and plotter and all we saw 7 feet on the shallow bar. It appears to still be good entrance intelligence. Beyond the entrance bar and from Dollar Cay on is where things seem to have changed from the latest charts. The sand has really shifted around and the entrance has become narrow. We ran along close to Dollar Cay and then turned to port to stay in blue water, yet careful to avoid the sand bar reaching in from the west. We hoped to anchor at the entrance of the 'Snakes' (tributaries) for less depth and therefore less scope for anchoring, but the depths held around 20 feet. We concluded we liked the scenery better back in the main channel and dropped here. Since we expect gusts into the 30's, we have over 7 to 1 scope in good holding sand.

After we arrived, the day become sunny and the wind calmed down to about 10 knots. We did some initial exploring but knew our time was limited before the blow was upon us. Myron took advantage of the calm to make the repair on the outboard with the part Paul brought us. All that is accomplished, the boat and dinghy are put away for the blow and it is here.

Last time we were in Dollar Harbor, we only stayed one night. We hope to get many more days this time and explore all around. We will plan out some expedition days, coordinated with good weather and tides. These bright white sand flats, as you would notice if you zoom in on the Google map, are all around us with little tributaries ripe for investigating, as well as empty beaches.

By the way, we have a faint BTC connection. Another plus for this place. Why are we here all by ourselves? I think it is because this is a tough place to get into, the weather and tides have to work out, there are few alternative anchorages around, and there are no stores or bars. All the more reason to stay for a bit once you get here!

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}23°11.14'N|075°15.12'W|2/6/2015|2:38 PM{GEND}

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