April 12, 2010.
We decided that a few nights in the lee of Lynyard Cay was plenty. There’s a bit of unpleasantness headed our way starting late Monday. It’s going to blow for 3 days between 20 and 30 knots outta the northeast. Theres good protection here in Lynyard but I’m not sure if I can stand another 4 nights here. Its time to move north a bit.
We opted to head 25 miles north to Great Guana. Contrary to what I had assumed, Great Guana is not a remarkable pile of bat shit. It’s a long slender cay that boasts some of the biggest tourist trap bars in the Bahamas. Great Guana is also just a few miles across the Sea of Abaco from Marsh Harbor.
We raised the hook and sailed a convoluted course northward. The Abacos are fairly shallow and you have to pay close attention to your course. We sailed with full main and a heavily reefed genoa in 20 to 25 knots of breeze on just about every point of sail. We dropped the hook right up next to shore in Fishers Bay on Great Guana.
The Abacos are sometimes referred to as “East Florida”. Its here that you’ll encounter pasty white, sock and sandal wearing tourons so common in Florida. Why do they call it tourist season if you can’t actually kill them? What has a larger impact on us is the fact that there are a number of charter boat companies operating out of Marsh Harbor.
It’s not unusual to be sharing an anchorage with a Moorings charter boat. It’s very common to have people driving a boat that they’re completely unfamiliar with trying to drop crappy undersized ground tackle right next to you. Listening to these people on the radio is absolutely frightening. You watch them drop an anchor and immediately back down on it as fast as they can. The anchor skips across the bottom for 200 yards before they retrieve it to try again, again and again. God forbid that after several attempts the finally get the hook to set just about on top of you. They think “Thank God that’s over with”. Think again Tonto, try again.
Last night Solitaire, Savage Son and we were anchored in a cluster because it’s easier for us to get back and forth from boat to boat that way. Evidently this institutes the herd mentality in the average charter boat captain. They think “They’re all anchored right there in a little wad so there must be something wrong with the rest of the island”. A Moorings Catamaran with 3 couples came in and decided that the other thousand vacant yards of the island just wouldn’t do. They had to anchor right in our midst. I teased and laughed at Solitaire on the radio as the interlopers dropped the hook over and over right next to them.
Solitaire thought they had the last laugh when after repeated attempts the catamaran pulled the hook and made a beeline straight for us. Evidently these people had metallic rectums and I’m an asshole magnet. Christy was grilling a steak on the aft deck while I was in the cockpit as the catamaran came down our port side only 20 feet away. We didn’t even have to deploy the “Bitch Wings”. Just the “Dead Eye” stare as they muttered something about us being from Jersey as they moved off 300 yards to resume their anchoring fantasies. Thank you Tony Soprano.
As aggravating as their lack of skills or common sense can be, they are a lot of fun to watch, as long as it’s from a distance. Like this guy. I watched him for 5 minutes after he "deployed" his head sail. Then it was circle after circle while he corrected whatever had gone wrong for him.
I can't wait to see how he handles anchoring....