The Burnetts left George Town yesterday for Lee Stocking Island. It was hard to leave, as we all were having a ton of fun socializing, exploring, and meeting cool people. But after our third trip to the same really expensive grocery store, it was time to move on. Because that’s how cruisers do.
The last sentence is an homage to Ze Frank, the hilarious host of many True Facts YouTube videos on wildlife. We have been educating our friends on why the cuttlefish is such an awesome mascot for our boat with this Ze Frank video.
Sailing the Exumas can be challenging because of the cuts, the passages between islands in which the deep Exuma Sound to the east becomes the shallow Exuma Banks to the west. Mel had read an article that the waves and current through the cuts would be worse in hours 3 and 4 after each tide, and so they timed their exit out of Conch Cay Cut and their entry into Adderly Cut that way, and it worked out beautifully. No breakers or strong current at all! Unfortunately, that put us in Lee Stocking right at low tide, and a low Spring at that! This meant we had to anchor outside of a sandbar farther from the island instead of navigating closer into the lagoon, as our Navionics chart said the depth was less than 5 feet, our draft, into the lagoon. Greg mapped out the entry with our dinghy sonar and learned that the low at low spring tide was 4’9”, just in one spot. Aha! We figured out that we could easily make it the next morning, at high tide. We are getting so good!
Alas, no we are not. The night we anchored outside the sand bar, we noticed our boat swinging in a full circle around the anchor. We had failed to see the “Strong Current” arrows on the Explorer charts. The current was North/South and swirly, and the wind was from the East. This meant our boat was pointing so the 20 kt wind and waves were hitting us on the beam, and the waves were bothersome. I mean, catamarans aren’t supposed to ROLL! It would twist our tender ankles. Not acceptable! So at 9 pm Greg and Mel found themselves on deck, trying to power the boat into the wind so they could set another anchor to hold them into the swell. Unfortunately, our ability to do that was limited by the anchor we had already set and were not keen on pulling up on a dark night with another sailboat anchored close by. After 1 hour of frustration and gunning the engines, the Burnetts lost and the current won. Luckily, our swiveled Rocna held great in the sand despite all of the twisting and turning, and the sea gods actually settled things down when we admitted our defeat. Assholes.
So this morning we blithely motored in the high tide and nestled ourselves close to the island with all of the other boats. We then took the dinghy over to Lee Stocking and explored the remains of the Perry Marine Institute, abandoned in 2012. It was spooky. I mean, the stuffed Bugs Bunny chair we found looked really freaked out. We then took the dink over to Leaf Cay and surrounded ourselves with iguanas that went to the Allie School of Posing for Pictures and concluded our evening by talking “footy” with some Aussies in the next boat over. Because that’s how cruisers do!
PS Mel realizes some of the pics are facing the wrong way but she is too tired to deal right now. Good Night!