Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 22, 2014.

My birthday happened while we were anchored in Governors Harbor. I'll just say that there was chocolate AND pie involved. In keeping with the birthday traditions of my people we went out to see if we could kill something. We headed over to Levis Cay and as soon as we got into the water Christy noticed that the docks back in the harbor were on fire.
We never did find out what burned
She was a little freaked and wanted to go back to the big boat. I convinced her that since the Veranda was upwind it wasn't really worth the trip back.

The only fish I saw worth shooting was a huge Tiger Grouper. Evidently he didn't get huge by being curious. As soon as he saw me he split and was outta there. I did find 4 lobster. 3 of them were just too small and the fourth was marginal. I just couldn't see firing up the stove for 1 bug so I spared him as well. Of course as soon as I let him go I ran into a huge crab but since I didn't take the bug I let the crab go too. I did run into several juvenile fish. I saw several Nassau Grouper, a few Black Grouper and even a few Hogfish all no bigger than my hand. I did kill the only Lionfish that I saw and it was a good swim. Even though I got skunked I really enjoyed it.
Three members of the Governors Harbor Rough Riders keep us entertained with a street stunt show.

The next morning around 0900 we pulled the hook for the 40 mile sail NW to the anchorage at Royal Island. We spent part of the trip trying to remember if we've ever had a bad sail along the west side of Eleuthera. True to form, it was another spectacular day in these sheltered crystal blue waters. We sailed into the anchorage at Royal Island after timing Current Cut perfectly and found that there were already 10 boats there. It seems that they've been stacking up here awaiting the next days window for a jump to the Abacos.

So today we were up and underway at 0630. Imagine my surprise when we turned the corner as we left the anchorage and we found ourselves as the 6th boat headed towards Egg Island. A lot of them were smaller, slower boats that had to get started early to have a chance of knocking out the 56 mile trip in the daylight.

Not everybody went north with us and a few came out of Spanish Wells so we ended up with a dozen boats headed to Abaco. The sea state was a little bizarre. Flat one minute then 2 hours of HUGE swells then back to reasonable again. When we got to the cut my ass had been clinching for hours. I don't know why but I hate this stretch of water.
We've never had a problem here although we have seen huge waterspouts here. This stretch just creeps me out. In spite of our speed we were going to get there just after high tide and have the current ebbing against the incoming breeze. The water also shallows up there ABRUPTLY. You go from over a thousand feet of water to 60 feet in a couple of boat lengths just as you're lining up for the cut. We had the sails full but still started the engine to powersail our way in with as little time spent in the washing machine as possible.

The breeze started out light but after a few hours filled in nicely and we ended up averaging 7 knots for the day as we dropped the hook behind Lynyard Cay in the Abacos before 1500 hours. It went slick and easy and 20 minutes later we were anchored with the Post Anchoring Cocktail in hand.
The trawler is lying at anchor and this sailor HAS to cross his bow to get where he wants to anchor.  There was plenty of room to cross his stern, I don't know how he didn't catch his anchor rode.  He was REALLY close....


S/V Island Bound said...

Happy belated birthday Bill!

Jim Austin said...

Did you ever find out what the fireceas in Gov Harbor?

S/V Veranda said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes

I *think* that the fire was a car in the parking lot

S/V MutulFun said...

2 years ago that same route we saw quite a few large whales off in a distance. As for crabs. I just really never found enough meat for the size of the crab. So I always let them go.