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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Long Stretch to Black Point

After lunch and a nap at Raccoon Cay, rather than go fishing again, we opted to see if we could buy any lobster off of Lady Marie, a Spanish Wells fishing boat that joined us in the anchorage. But they had only just arrived and had not yet gone hunting, so we talked instead. They told us they would have some Monday and we would both be anchored in Buenavista Cay.

It was a quick move over to Buenavista. Reefed jib only and we scooted over there at 7.5 knots. When Lady Marie moved over, George said one of his 'stingrays' came out of the water (he means his stabilizers, they hang into the water off of structures on both sides of the boat to reduce the rolling.) This is why we like a sailboat. George invited us over to pick up some lobster. I brought the guys some banana bread and George traded it for six lobster. I am definitely the one that made out on that deal. Apparently they did it because they were thankful that we help out in the school at Hatchet Bay. I hope we get to see George and his crew again someday.

Today was a great adventure - and it was NOT Shari sailing. We were going to leave at midnight, but woke up at 11 pm, so the anchor was up around 11:30 pm. The winds were probably already in the 20's, gusting higher. The moon was almost full and so bright we could see our shadows in the cockpit. Then of course we had to sing a little Cat Stevens. We knew the first 20 miles would be a bit tough with ESE winds against an ebb tide. As Barb says, suck it up Buttercup, and with a reefed jib alone, we got through the worst of it. The route we took heading north moved us further away from the cuts, and that was a help. Just after 5 am, we had four hours of squalls. Our winds were already 20 to 25 knots, so the squalls pushed that to about 33, unfortunately this occurred when we were most exposed on the banks. The squalls would work the waters into a frenzy, then steal our winds and leave us to wallow (3.5 knots for us is wallowing) in the angry seas until the next squall arrived. We learned. When we lost the wind, we turned on the engine and kept Hold Fast moving at least 6 knots until the next squall arrived. Then the engine went off, we screamed along at almost 8 knots, until the wallowing. What a relief to see a rainbow! After that, it was a blinding bright shiny day. Our plan was to leave in the dark, as we expected the trip to take 18 hours, and complete the last legs in daylight. In our opinion, you need daylight to cross the sand bores, because they are always changing. Further, we blazed a new trail on the last leg, on mostly uncharted banks. It was perfect. All sand with no less than 15 feet (at Nassau high), and not a coral head to be found. Now we can cover that territory at night if need be.

When we turned the corner to enter Black Point anchorage, we found the place completely packed with boats. I was too tired to count, but probably at least 75. Many of the boats we recognize from Georgetown. We anchored behind another Whitby42, 'Pilgrim,' and near 'Tilt.' At least we know somebody!

Time to make dinner, watch a show, and sleep for 14 hours!

Love to all,

{GMST}24°06.02'N|076°24.35'W|3/10/2015|5:13 PM{GEND}

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