After a mere 5 1/2 hours from Nassau we spot Ship Channel Cay in the Exumas!!!
Since our winds were light and variable with little waves we towed the dinghy to Ship Channel from Palm Cay( Nassau). It rode very nicely. We have a five gallon jerry can of water secured up in the bow to balance the dinghy with motor under tow. The dinghy has a permanently attached towing bridle of amsteel covered in tubular webbing that is spliced to pad eyes in the transom and run through the bow D-rings. There is a SS ring on the bridle that attaches to the towline via soft shackle which allows the dinghy to swing on the bridle, keeping it balanced and true. The tow line is a braid of polypropylene (floats so it doesn’t foul the prop). We have the two bungees on this tow line. One bungee made by me the second bought from Amazon. Mine works better :-). The homemade bungee is a big loop of about 12 strands of 1/8 black bungee, then wrapped in tubular webbing to protect from chafe and UV. We also have a backup tow line made up of the dinghy painter attached to the bow eye, with an extension of strong braided line. This backup line is slightly longer so the towing bridle does all the work
Brian, happy to be on the move.
Scupper, wishing we were NOT on the move.
The Ship Channel anchorage was a bit hairy getting into. Brian stood at the bow to keep an eye out for coral and shallow water.
Our anchorage. Nice deep sand. There are small coral heads scattered about. We had to make sure we anchored in a section that would allow us to swing 360 deg without disturbing any coral.
Rain Dog at anchor. Ship Channel Cay
Running scup to shore. We kept him on leash because this island is inhabited by the rocky iguana (?), so did not want scupper to scare them, or worse yet, get eaten! As it happened we saw no iguanas.
Great little beach. I’m hoping to find some sharks teeth since Ship Channel Cay is known for its sharks and stingrays.
Great sunset. Ship Channel Cay anchorage.
Next morning scup looked a bit hungover:-).
I gave scupper a tiny bite of my delicious breakfast that Brian made.
Snorkeling around the boat at ship channel cay.
A few small coral heads astern of our boat.
The diversity of corals and fish were staggering
My camera ( Olympus TG-3) was a bit fogged up for some reason.
Day two..or three..? Ship Channel Anchorage. What my camera won’t zoom to is the four reef squids in formation. When I drive down to get a pic one dark bluish gray squid turned white with flecks like the sandy bottom, real cool 🙂 I still post the pic hoping you can at least see their formation. They moved about like the Blue Angel, staying in perfect formation 🙂
Brian diving down to check out the cool soft corals.
Brian loves this fiery Red Sea anemone..
It’s a beaut!
Ship Channel anchorage
There is a cute fish blending in with the corals, can you spot him..? Hint, he is around 11:30 o’clock near middle frame, looking straight at us.
Ship Channel. These wonderful oasis of colorful sea life at each coral head. Just beautiful.
- When we anchor, we are sure to put the anchor in a spot that will clear coral heads. But this is a prime example of what a mooring field could do for an anchorage. Not everyone uses 5:1-7:1 scope with oversized anchor, dive their anchor daily, and have a vesper anchor alarm. We see a lot of careless anchoring. Plus “stuff” happens, even to the prudent mariner. A morning field here could minimize anchor impact. The Bahamian Trust is a non governmental organization that is focused on protecting Bahamas ecology, even looking into putting mooring fields into anchorages like this. There are mooring fields further south in the sea park, hopefully the trend will spread. Brian and I became members of the Trust when we decided to cruise the Bahamas. A good way to give back and help the locals protect this wonderful area. We would gladly pay to safely moor here. I hope anchors will be a thing of the past, or rarely used in common cruising grounds. Not a popular opinion among sailors but if we don’t protect these wonderful places, we will have nothing to sail to, the local economy will suffer, the Bahamian people will suffer.
For the anchor nerds: Anchor day one. During the set it drug about 2 feet before digging in.( we didn’t allow anchor to settle before backing down or it probably wouldn’t of drug the two feet.
Anchor day two after full 360 swing at anchor due to counter current and light winds. Still well buried and zero drag. No damage to the seabed but the chain does rub the sea floor.
Anchor day four after strong north wind swung us a full 360 deg. Strong north, west and southerly winds.