We enjoyed some of our best Bahamas sailing ever this week, as the wind cooperated with our intended direction. Last time we were here, that rarely happened.
However, Vinyasa’s motor did work overtime on our overnight trip Thursday from Port Lucaya to Spanish Wells. Fortunately, we had calm seas crossing the Providence channel, a welcome change from the unexpected bashing we took in 2019. And the forecasted scattered squalls remained in the distance throughout the day.
We encountered the heaviest shipping traffic ever that night. Early in the evening I hailed a tanker, Sea Oath, which kept narrowing our closest point of approach (CPA), despite my repeated course adjustments. I wanted to make sure he knew we were in his path. In the dark, it is impossible to visually gauge distance accurately and anything under 1.5 nautical miles with a large ship induces anxiety.
Fortunately, the many other cargo and cruise ships passing us that night kept better distances.
AIS is technology that transmits a ship’s name, position, and CPA, and it would be great if all vessels transiting at night had it. Sadly, that’s not the case.
We arrived at Spanish Wells Yacht Haven mid morning, and soon made our way to Buddha’s for a celebratory lunch, followed by recovery naps onboard.
We expected the winds to pick up considerably as a winter storm barreled up the east coast of the U.S. The marina was fairly protected, and we only saw sustained winds in the high 20s on Saturday. I enjoyed walking around town, especially the ability to cross from shallow turquoise waters on one side to the Atlantic on the other in just a few short minutes.
On Sunday, we enjoyed an excellent day sail to Glass Window Bridge. We timed our passage through Current Cut to coincide with slack tide, and dropped our anchor at 3:30 p.m. within sight of the bridge. Watching waves cascade through from the Atlantic side was a relaxing way to while away the rest of the afternoon.
The wind was still in our favor yesterday for a lovely seven hour sail to Rock Sound. It was punctuated by elation followed by dismay when Allan caught a 3-foot long barracuda on his hand line, and we weren’t able to catch and release it alive. He’ll wait for deeper waters to cast the line again, hoping for mahi or tuna.
Today we dinghied ashore to buy some fresh vegetables and have lunch at Wild Orchids, a small restaurant in Rock Sound that caters to cruisers with a nice dock, free wifi, and a bin to dump garbage. That’s a winning trifecta!
Tomorrow we intend to cross to the Exumas, and try our luck snagging a mooring ball at Warderick Wells. More about how that goes next time.