We left NoName with light winds and 3 foot seas so we played motor boat for the next two days. We easily crossed the Gulf Stream and spent our first night on the Bahama Banks at Mackie Shoals. If you are heading to the Bahamas you do not want to miss this experience. You are in the middle of what seems like nowhere and you can count Starfish on the bottom in 20 feet of water. We safely anchored at Mackie Shoals in 10 feet and spent an amazing evening star gazing and counting shooting stars.
The next day we arrived at Morgan’s Bluff on the island of Andros where we will clear customs. We hoisted the yellow Quarantine flag and each captain (only one person per vessel is allowed off of the boat) gathered the necessary documentation and headed ashore to clear customs and immigration. We found this process very easy here at Morgan’s Bluff, the Customs officer’s and immigration personnel were very courteous and accommodating. Bingo, we are now legal and were given a crushing and fishing permit for six months. Down with the Quarantine flag and up with the Bahamian curtesy flag!
We spent a quiet night in the protect waters of Morgan’s Bluff before heading to West Bay and Jaws beach in the island of New Providence (Nassau). It is called Jaws Beach because it was where they shot the last installment of the Jaws movie series. We stayed here a few days went snorkeling on one of the local reefs (Yes we saw a reef shark around 5 feet long) and went ashore to get our BaTelCo SIM cards for our cell phones.
From here we went down to Schroud Cay in the Exumas where we would separate from our buddy boats. They are heading to Georgetown and we have to return to Nassau in a few days to pickup our first guests, Anthony, his wife Amel and our two granddaughters Lalia and Maelie. We are so excited and can’t wait for their arrival. They are living in France so we do not get to see one another that often. In fact, this will be the first time we meet Maelie who is 18 months old. We spent three days at Schroud key and explored the surrounding creeks and pristine beaches. The water is so clear here you feel like you are “Swimming in Champagne”!
From Scroud Cay we headed north to Highbourne Cay for a night and then off to Nassau. About halfway from Highborn to Nassau we decided to motor sail because the winds were light. About an hour later the engine quit and we could not get it restarted. We thought we ran out of fuel. But no worries, we are a sailboat. So we sailed the remaining 15 miles at 3 knots hoping to arrive during the daylight hours in order to enter Palm Cay Marina channel. The south side of New Providence is shallow (Yellow Banks), riddled with coral heads and it is best to travel these waters during daylight with the sun high above. We made it to just outside Palm Cay Marina around 5:30 so it was dark and we decided to spend the night at anchor just outside the marina channel.
Our Windless (pulls anchor and chain up) only works with the engine running, so this means Renee will have to deploy the anchor manually (by hand) as I turn the boat into the wind and drop the sail. We hadn’t done this drill in the past but talked through it and were able to make its happen like we were seasoned vets. I notified Demaro who is the dock master of our arrival and he said he was going to leave a Jerry can with five gallons of diesel for us to dinghy in and pickup. We dinged in, put the fuel in the tank and Viola, engine started right up. Since our fuel gauge isn’t reliable, I have been calculating our fuel burn rate and trying to keep up with our fuel supply in this way. Did I miscalculate?