Winds are to shift to a southerly direction, so it’s time to move to the north side of Rose Island. We love to anchor at this little Cay called Green Cay. So beautiful and lots of sea life and shells to keep us happy.
Our route to Green Cay.
At green Cay. There are no pics of the ride to green cay, though I wish there was. We were caught in a rage coming up though the pass. Seas were crazy steep with breaking waves. Clearly we timed the passage badly, luckily we had the current with us so we powered on through. We did have green water all the way to the cabin top, crazy! Brian was at the helm and handle the waves magnificently:-), and the boat, so strong, took the beating with grace. So here we are, two hours latter, safe and sound at green cay thanks to a beautifully designed and built vessel and her equally beautifully designed captain :-).
We anchored on the south west side. We do get some wrap around swells from the western point, but this is the best spot of clear sand for our draft. We don’t want to swing into the grass as the turtles rely on it for food, our anchor chain would ruin a 100 foot swath of it. For good clear sand this is best spot.
After we set the anchor I swam the perimeter to make sure there were no shoals or coral heads that may be in our swing radius. Lots of live shells scattered about.
This sand dollar is clearly dead so I snatched him up for my nephews.
I didn’t see this little shrimp when I took the picture :-)
Alive and kicking, so I left him in place.
Lots of beautiful star fish, all living. Hopefully I’ll find an empty star fish shell for my nephews shell collection
This fish drifted and weaved like a piece of sea grass, was hard to spot him he was so convincing.
I’ve only seen these creatures empty shell, it’s nice to know what they look like alive :-) this is a huge shell, little smaller than a football. Called heart urchins.
My bounty from my first swim at green cay.
A small conch on top of a carrier shell. I thought the carrier shell was empty, but I left him in a pool of seawater while I kept swimming ( just in case). Latter, I checked on him and sure enough it was alive. I put him back in the sea, he was gone within a few minutes( fast little guy!). It was a very unique shell, these critters use empty shells to make their home.
The conch that was sitting on top of the carrier shell. I wish I had the foresight to get a better pic of the carrier shell, the construction was quite genius.
A big beautiful cushion star fish.
Brian, scupper and I heading to shore. Green cay is a private island but we are allowed to walk on the beaches up to the high tide mark.
Sandy island to our west.
We gathered a couple conchs for the nephews, not perfect, but I like shells with character.
Sunrise. We got no rain from this.
No pictures taken this day, I called in sick :-). Brian did take me to the beach and we coasted alongside the dinghy over some cool terrain on the way back to the boat. I saw an enormous green turtle and a even bigger shark, 10-15 feet long. The shark was swimming parallel to the dinghy but drifted out of sight after a few seconds. This shark looked like the same one Brian spotted a few months ago when we were here last. It was in the same area of reef. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel well enough to take more pictures. I’ll check out that part of the reef, maybe we will get lucky and see him again. Our time here in the Bahamas is running down. We need to get our fill while we can.
Moonrise with my fisheye lens. It is a cheap lens so I don’t get many good pics from it. Still, it’s fun to play with.
Scupper frolicking on the beach.
Today I’m ready for snorkeling. I’ve got my skin suit on with t-shirt, weight belt, and booties. I feel like an away team on Star Trek, but as long as I’m not wearing a red shirt, I’m good :-).
Brian pulled the dinghy with scupper aboard while I swam about to get pictures.
I almost swam right over him :-)
Turtles!! The water is cloudy because they are like lawn mowers eating the turtle grass. The clearing of the grass if from them, it’s amazing how much area they can clear. It also really brings home the importance of healthy seabeds so these beautiful creatures have food to eat.
The water was murky for about 50 yards before it cleared up again. It actually got very cloudy after I took this shot, which was a bummer because this is where I saw the huge shark the day before. I so wanted to get a good picture of him, enough so, that it overrode the fear of swimming in 10-15 foot visibility while looking for a 10-15 foot shark :-).
We thought this was a golf ball :-) so cool.
Two competing corals.
This anemone was very large, the fingers as thick as my fingers.
Chanting to myself that there has been no barracuda attacks on swimmers who were not spear fishing, I swam up to this big guy to get a decent pic of him. This irritated him and he moseyed up to ME. I took the retreat posture and he calmed down. whew. Later I realized my nice new weight belt has a big shiny silver belt buckle, barracudas are especially fond of shiny things.
The fish are always zipping by, hard to get a clear picture of them. There was thousands and thousands of fish as we swam the length of the island. I got four to cooperate long enough to get a clear shot.
Luckily, the coral is slow moving :-)
The reef ended abruptly into this sandy wasteland.
This huge conch was beautiful and alive, so he was left alone.
These looked like dandelions, cool.
A variety of plants like this use photosynthesize to extract calcium carbonate from seawater to make up their thin skeletal frame.
Look closely :-)
That is his actual camouflage, he is not under a layer of sand. I think they are called peacock flounders.
Our last sunrise at Green Cay. Bummer.
About 7:30 am, so it is kinda dark, but the water is so clear! I’m standing on deck to take this photo. We are in about 12 feet of water.
Saying goodbye to Green Cay. We need to head to Nassau to pick up our friend John Henry. He is helping Brian get Rain Dog to Bimini. It is a two day run to Bimini and we are never sure if I will be able to help out on the boat. My Brain Has been acting up lately, I think my ICP is high.
Sailing past Sandy Cay. Nassau is only about two from Green Cay to Nassau.
Sea buoy marking a reef and our turn south towards
Scupper helping me navigate
As soon as we got close to Nassau Harbor we called harbor control on 16.
Scupper is not impressed with the hustle and bustle of the harbor.
Besides the many mega yachts throwing huge wakes, there were some cool vessels working the harbor
We stopped at hurricane hole Marina to fuel up and fill water tanks.
Our route into the marina. Notice the two bridges on the chart.
John Henry:-). We are so blessed to have him aboard and helping out.
We left Saturday morning for Bimini. Five minutes into John Henry’s trip with us we “kissed” a bridge. Poor John Henry, he was probably wondering what he got himself into. This pic shows the brisk current we were traveling against.
When we left the marina, we made a b line for the fuel dock. But, there was a bridge between us and the fuel dock. With the dodger, rain fly, and being a bit sleepy eyed, we never computed that there was a bridge to contend with. Thankfully, Brian was going very slow against a very fast moving current. We kissed the bridge at about 1.6 knots. I say “kissed” because the mast never hit the bridge ( I think), but the rigging did. I was down below slacking on my first Mate duties. When we hit, it felt like we had collided with the dock with our bobstay, a springing sudden stop. But..but..we don’t have a bobstay??? And we are in the middle of the channel. When I jumped up into the cockpit to see, Brian said with shock, “we hit the bridge”. The mast was standing proud, I could see no immediate damage. There were many locals and tourists watching our goof, some yelled out very helpful advice ;-). i promptly checked the state of our rig more closely( rigging, mast, chainplates etc), I even checked the heel of our mast as that, along with the chain plates would be the main points of stress, everything looked fine. The bridge looked fine too, no marks anywhere that I could tell. Meanwhile, Brian is still fighting a 4 knot current and getting his bearings on where the exact middle of the bridge is. We made it to the fuel dock without any more mayhem. The attendant at the fuel dock told us of another sailboat doing the exact same thing a few months before, but his rig broke up in five pieces. Man oh man am I glad Brian bought such a wonderfully over built vessel! Later I went up the mast( I have pics I’ll post soon) and I saw no indication anything whatsoever that we even hit. Last time I was up the mast was about 5 months ago, nothing has changed. If we hit harder I would be suspicious of an unseen damage, but we dodged a bullet. When we get back to the states we will have our professional rigger take a look. Pacific seacrafts rock!
After fueling we cleared the second bridge and made our way through the Nassau harbor.
Passing the big Atlantis Resort.
Clearing the west side of Nassau
Brian, ever vigilant, looking for possible collision situations.
John Henry :-)
Scupper, not liking the idea of a two day leg.
Dead calm, smooth seas.
Brian sees something out there, something red…
Brian heads over to the sighting to see what it could be.
I’m able to snag the object with the boat hook.
A heart shaped balloon. Sweet, but it doesn’t belong out here. Many sea critters are harmed by these balloons. Glad Brian’s eagle eyes spotted it. Good job my hero husband :-).
Scupper enjoying the view. I think he wants me to read to him, we are on a sci-fi kick aboard Rain Dog, reading Peter Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star. Very very good read.
Sun is setting.
Not a lot of wind but the seas begin to roll. Scupper and I are feeling a bit peaked.
By 10-11 pm, we anchor on the banks. The red dot is the moon rise. Blood red moon. The waves were getting pretty uncomfortable, this was the best shot I could get of the moon. The colors are accurate, no photo enhancement.
Blue dot shows where we anchored.
I woke Brian up at 4 am asking if we could get moving. The anchorage was very rolly and I was sick as a dog. ( this is a pic many hours later).
Nearing Bimini. John Henry was a big help, always willing to take the helm. We were all checking our phones for cell signal. We lost signal leaving Nassau and did not get it back till abreast of Bimini.
Scupper and I are so ready for calm seas. I try to explain what happens when I get sick, it’s not your average sea sickness, it’s kinda like getting stung by a bee. Each harsh movement, change of direction in the momentum, I feel a mild to not so mild zap in my head. There is a general head pain too, and all around body aches :-). Quite a mess I am.
So no grand pics of landfall, or even of the wonderful beaches we passed heading down to the south side of Bimini. I was laying down in the settee, pretty grumpy too! Once we got settled in the marina, Brian thought the anchorage would be too rolly and hot for me, I started to feel better.
We call it hurricane hole marina, but it is a Sands Resort Marina. It is a bit cheaper and it is out of the hustle and bustle of Alice Town’s busy channel. We met another cruising couple scoping out the marina in their dinghy. They had their boat at Browns when a big mega fishing yacht threw a huge wake. It ripped out all their cleats and did some minor cosmetic hull damage. They were hoping to move their boat over to hurricane hole that moment, but they draw 6 feet, from the active captain reviews, they need mid to high tide to get in. I’m glad we picked this marina. I did not want to stay up in Alice Town, you have no protection from the wakes, and are totally at their mercy.
Brian and John Henry checked out the ship store and restaurant at the marina. They said the food was really good.
Customs and immigration on premise.
We will rest here for a few days. John has to get back to Nassau, we will miss him!!
We then will head for Dinner Key. We originally planned on Fort Lauderdale but was told by cruisers that just left from there that a big boat show is going on and it is kinda crazy. No thanks! Dinner Key it is. Since it will be just Brian and I , we need a smooth crossing. Seems like things will be good for crossing on Sunday(5 days from arriving at Bimini)