April 2, 2009.
Okay, enough of the holiday induced tomfoolery.
Our trip back to the real world was to be something new for us. Usually most boats head down the Exumas to Georgetown. Then anyone who opts to continue on will wait for an opportunity to head east to Long Island where they once again wait for favorable conditions before heading southwest into the Jumentos. So coming back north involves just reversing this course.
We talked to a few boats that favor the back door route. This involves heading directly north from Flamingo Cay to the Black Point settlement which lies close to the center of the Exumas. This route allows you to skip the trip eastward to Long Island. It also allows you to skip the buffoonery of Georgetown as well while saving dozens of miles.
The charts show a route comprised of 8 to 9 feet of water with scattered coral heads for the first 33 miles. More experienced travelers told us that the water was much deeper and the coral heads were not an issue.
They were right. We left Flamingo at 0700 and were sailing along at between 5 and 7 knots for the first 4 hours. As the sun rose behind us the coral heads became readily apparent. We didn’t want to take any chances so we still dodged them as we moved along. Instead of the charted 9 feet of water we were rewarded with 20 feet for the bulk of the trip.
The wind slowly died as the day wore on but we were able to complete our trip running dead down wind, wing and wing before 8 knots of breeze.
Since the wind was dying we decided to break the 80 mile trip into 2 days. We stopped for the night in the lee of the tiny cay at Rocky Point. It was a peaceful spot that offered good protection from the evenings light winds.
The next day started at 0730 with a pleasant 16 miles of sailing before the wind completely died and we were forced to motor the last 20 miles to Black Point.