December 29, 2010.
We sat in the protected waters of Pipe Creek for several nights including the Christmas holiday. The storm front passed so it was time to get going again. And I had a plan….
We had to wait for a rising tide to leave Pipe Creek. Once clear of the shallows we unfurled the genoa for a downwind run to the settlement at Black Point. It’s only about 11 miles so in less than 2 hours we picked a spot and dropped the hook.
Exactly 4 minutes after that, the dink was down and we were on our way in to do laundry. This was the first step in my master plan. Christy also ran down to the grocery store while I dropped off several bags of trash. Armed with fresh vegetables and clean clothes we headed back to the Veranda to eat dinner and take a nap.
We’d decided to head for the Jumentos. The usual course from this area would involve a 40ish mile jump to Georgetown. Then as soon as you can tear yourself free of GTown it’s a 6 hour day out to Long Island. The course to Long Island is basically Southeast so then you would have to wait for a weather window that would let you run Southwest to the Jumentos. So, if the stars line up just right you can make it from the middle Exumas to the northern Jumentos in 3 days but you better plan on it taking 10 days or more. Unless you have a master plan.
Our plan was to leave at 2200 hours on Tuesday and do an overnighter down the west side of great Exuma to Flamingo Cay in the northern Jumentos. We chose 2200 hours because we could knock out the part of the trip that I was comfortable with in the dark. Then as dawn broke we would be in an area that is reported to be a little shallower and strewn with random coral heads. This would allow us to do a little “visual piloting”. We have done the “back route” before, but did it in the daylight and took 2 days.
As it turned out the entire route was plenty deep and coral heads were not an issue. We had to motor for 4 of the 18 hour trip but otherwise had a pretty relaxing sail. We were the only boat at Flamingo Cay and we’ll be heading down to Raccoon Cay tomorrow as there will be more to do there when trapped during the huge easterlies that are forecast to kick in later this week.