March 31, 2012.
After spending a night at Normans Cay we heard that several friends would be convening at Highborne Cay. Since Solitaire, My Destiny and Savage Son were all headed there from different points we decided to as well.
The wind was less than 5 knots so we took 4 hours to complete the 11 mile “sail”. We got there in time to try our luck on the reef marked to the west of the cay. It was little disappointing as there wasn't really too much structure to be found. I had just taken a 4 pound bug when Christy called out to me.
She said there were several large fish under the dinghy. I swam over and found a school of Almaco Jacks milling about. After taking a large one we headed home to clean up.
There was a well attended dinner on Solitaire and after several hours we headed home to plan our next move. Christy's mom is in the hospital having some spinal surgery. Its important that as we move from place to place we maintain telephone service as we stop each night. So the next morning we headed north to Royal Island, Eleuthera.
As we approached Current Island we once again had phone service. Christy was able to reach her father who assured her that things were okay. With the good news received we decided to continue on through the night. The seas and breeze were perfect for us to sail to Little Harbor, Abaco.
Of course, an hour after committing to the new destination the breeze picked up just enough to have us skimming along at 7 knots over flat seas. This new found speed gave us an ETA at the Little Harbor entrance cut of 0200. Crap.
We reefed down to slow the boat, but the wind saw this adjustment and scoffed at our attempt to be masters of anything. Even while dragging our feet we arrived at the cut at 0500. We've been through the cut twice before and I had saved the route so I wasn't too worried. Conversely, some of the crew WAS worried while Tucker didn't really seem to care.
Trusting that the chartplotter is going to be correct is NOT a good idea. Its spot on 95% of the time but there are those instances where reality and the display are at odds. The GPS portion of the plotter is perfect while the “picture” on the display is off.
Since we had previously used this plotter in this spot I wasn't too worried. I remembered that it had been perfect last time. Even in broad daylight this cut is misleading. The cut is ¾'s of a mile wide but the deep water channel is much more narrow with ironshore off to port and submerged reef to starboard. So even in the daylight you're pretty much relegated to trusting the plotter unless you're "lucky" enough to have breaking seas on both sides which makes the deep water obvious.
The tide was ebbing and the wind was down to 15 knots straight over the stern. We started the engine just in case and sailed right through with no problems. We soon had the hook down in the lee of Lynyard Cay and were fast asleep by 0600.