To The Bahamas, Part 11: Hawksbill Cays to Crab Cay

2012-04-14; 17:00 — Tucked behind Crab Cay

We had a serious scare around 06:00 this morning! Barbara and/or Frank awakened with a start as they realized that there was an alarm going off. I raced to the nav station to look at the chartplotter and saw that it was, indeed, our anchor drift alarm that was sounding. We’d dragged, in spite of a very solid-seeming set this morning just after midnight. Worse, we’d apparently been dragging for some distance (and thus some time!) without anybody hearing the alarm. In fact, we’d dragged nearly a quarter of a mile, which could have easily put us badly on the rocks, at high tide no less. (Later analysis suggested that the wind had shifted from an easterly direction to a southerly direction, and our anchor set was apparently “good” only for the easterly wind. I know there’s a lesson here, but I’m not quite sure what it is.)

Happily, we weren’t in any actual danger, so we just started the engine, motored off a short ways into deeper water, and reset the anchor. This time, it held until we got started for the day at 10:30.

April 2012 Dream SeQueL Trip 067 -We re-anchored the ship off Fox Town at 6 am -1

We were all exhausted after staying up so late waiting for the tide to come up so we could get the boat ungrounded, then having been awakened by the anchor drift alarm at 06:00. So we just went back to bed after resetting the anchor and slept for another couple of hours. After that, we got up and had a leisurely breakfast and weighed anchor around 11:00, headed for Crab Cay.

Yes, our goal could, and perhaps should, have been Green Turtle Cay, but…well, as I said, we were tired. To make matters even less attractive, there was a pretty strong easterly breeze today (18 to 22 kts, almost always right on the nose) and the waters are rather narrow for longish tacks. I guess I’m a bit gun-shy after that grounding last night, so I didn’t want to risk running aground again today, and I was just too tired to do a long series of short tacks. So, proving that I’m not so much of a sailor after all, we motor-sailed the entire 3½ hours from our “final resting place” at the Hawksbill Cays to our current location tucked behind Crab Cay for a little peace from the wind. And, rest assured, I stationed Frank at the bow to watch for rocks in our path!

April 2012 Dream SeQueL Trip 075 -Frank guiding Jim away from any dangerous rocka when anchoring near Crab Cay in the Sea of Abaco

Tonight, we’re anchored in about 14′ of water with about 85′ of chain out on our Delta anchor. That’s about a 6:1 scope, which I hope will hold better than we managed last night! We arrived here around 14:20 and, instead of creeping really close to Crab Cay into a little patch of deeper water visible on (all of) our charts, we decided not to tempt fate again and stayed about a quarter mile away from shore in a somewhat larger patch of deeper water.

Tomorrow, it’s on to Green Turtle Cay. I’m especially interested in finding a dive shop there. The granddaughter of a Sheltie rescue colleague and friend of ours, Darla Duffey, told us about Brendal’s Dive Center and how great the proprietors are. If possible, I would like to spend at least part of a day diving and this shop sounds like a good choice to us.

<<All photographs Copyright © Frank Pellow, 2012. Used with permission.>>

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