Bimini to West Bay, New Providence

wind on the nose and rough. We expected a flat banks with white/blue water but instead we had 3-4 ft waves and strong current in the dark blue water. About half way across the banks we noticed the temp on the  hard working engine gauge was rising. Brian checked all the systems on the engine and spotted shredding on the belt for the water pump. He had a spare belt ( 🙂 that’s my man!) so we drifted about a mile while Brian and Chris repaired the engine. This set us back a bit so we did not make the anchorage outside NW light.

 

 

Had to anchor here for the night. Not ideal, but the best we could do. The anchorage was very rough, dropping down a few steep rollers with steady beam waves. There was a moderate amount of night time traffic. We rigged extra white lights at the bow and beams, along with the very bright dodger rope light, and our top mast anchor light. With the reflective tape I added on the permitter  of the boat last month, we should be very visible for traffic to avoid us. We left our Vesper collision alarm on and Chris slept in the cockpit with the Chartplotter( interfaced with the Vesper). We also reiterated our collision course plan of ditching the anchor to avoid collision. More than likely, there would not be enough time to crank the anchor and chain back in if collision were imminent. but it only takes a second to pay it out to the rope section, where we could cut and run. We all know where the emergency knife was strapped to the mast if we needed it. Thankfully the anchor held, no real traffic concerns Chris reported in the morning, and we were off at 6 am Tuesday making for NW light.


I have waypoints marked for the abort point to New Providence. We were cutting it very close in order to reach anchorage with good light. I voted to head for Morgans Bluff, but the boys wanted to keep going and make for West Bay. So West Bay it is.

 

The boys got the boat to West Bay by about 6:30pm. I was down for the count by about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Way too much rough weather for my brain to handle. Brian got us safely anchored and Chris got the dinghy and motor in the water ASAP to walk scupper.


Scup and Chris snuggled up

 

Making for West Bay. Brian is pretty fatigued at this point..

 

It seemed to get rougher and rougher as we headed out past the NW light to New Providence, we are now in a trench, thousands of feet of water below us. Boat is a disaster!!

 

Brian with a rainbow 🙂

 

We made it to New Providence, West Bay. This pic is taken the next morning. I was too sick to even get up to help them anchor.


They call the beach Jaws beach because many of the beach scenes from the film Jaws were filmed here.


The harbor is lined with rich homes, mostly locals, this is the very exclusive part of New Providence. Hopefully our hillbilly boat won’t cramp their style:-). We are the only boat anchored here.


To the west there is an island, with surrounding reefs. Actually, we are totally surrounded by reefs. Tour boats anchor just to the lee off this island. We think it is for wall diving. Brian and I will check it out as soon as we can 🙂


Some crazy billionaire Canadian fashion tycoon owns the property on the point. It is a Mayan temple theme (??!!). It can be rented for a weekly rate of $45,000. Or you can get a beautiful boat and anchor near it for free 🙂


First morning at West Bay I dove the anchor. The bed is supposed to be a mix of soft sand and rock. The NE side of the anchorage, where we are, has the best holding per the chart books. I found that we had drug anchor, probably during the anchoring process when we back down on the engine.


The anchor was just lying on top of the seabed. I dove and dug the anchor tip into the sand. I then had brian turn the engine on and reverse, hoping to lock the anchor into the bed. At 1600rpms, the chain pulled up, showing load, but this was about 50 short of the anchor. The anchor showed no signs of load. So I had him up to 2000rpms, still no pull on the anchor, pull stopped about 15 feet from the anchor. He then cranked it to 2600rpms and bingo, the whole anchor chain lifted and the anchor dug in about 3-4 inches. It was very interesting to see how much RPMs it really took to move our anchor. We had about 75 feet of chain out(3/8 BBB). I will dive the anchor daily to check the status 🙂 it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.:-)


The seabed after our anchor drags on top of it. Thankfully, the sea grass looks mostly unharmed. Swimming around I saw no other scars from anchoring, the bay looked very healthy. Rumor has it the park to the south side of the bay wants to put in mooring buoys. Brian and I will go by the park rangers HQ today to use their dumpster and see if we can donate to the mooring fund. If I had my druthers, I’d have mooring fields instead of anchor fields. The sea life and overall general health of the aquatic area does so much better when the seabed is healthy and intact.

 

Next day, anchor is digging in nicely. Brian payed out all our snubber ,30feet, due to increase in winds.

 

Chris calls scupper meatball. As you can see Scupper has Chris wrapped around his little paw.

 

Brian took Chris to shore to catch a plane back to California. We will miss his quick wit and helpful hand. Scupper had grown very fond of him. We could not of done the trip across the Gulf Stream, then across the banks, without his help. Thanks Chris!!!


I hop in the water every day around noon. I feel so much better in the water. My head pain decreases, my nausea goes away. I could stay in the water all day! Brian jumped in today too, I got back onboard to keep scupper happy. 


Scupper gets very unhappy if brian and I both get in the water. So we usually take turns swimming or bring scup in the water with us :-).

 

This little guy followed me everywhere as I swam out to the anchor, then explored a nearby deep reef.


This deep reef ( coral isn’t tall, but a small mound) is about two boat lengths off our stern.


The seabed around the boat is mostly sand and sea grass.

 

Brian and I will head for Rose Island on the east side of New Providence. It will be easier to get to the marina if we take a northerly route. We need to fill our water tanks sooner or later. Last time we filled our tanks was in Marathon.

 

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