Cruising Season 2002


[Cruising: March, April, May, June]

After leaving the repair yard February 23rd, we completed preparations and provisioning at Miami Beach Marina and Miamarina.

March 2nd

The weather was generally poor with rather strong easterly winds. However, due to an approaching cold front there appeared to be a brief weather window on Sunday March 3rd. That day winds were expected to be southerly 20-25 knots; strong, but from an OK direction. On Monday, following the front, they were forecast to be 20-25 knots northeasterly; definitely not conditions to be caught in the Gulf Stream. When wind opposed the Gulf Stream flow it can generate large, short and confused seas; very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

We decided to shoot for the Sunday window, rather than wait for several more days. On Saturday March 2nd we left Miamarina and anchored at the Marine Stadium at Key Biscayne. There we met Stu and Elizabeth Anne Bell on Shearwater, another Norseman 430, hull #37 (Dos Gatos is hull #32). We joined them for drinks and it was interesting for us to see the many improvements they'd made to Shearwater. We may pinch some of them for Dos Gatos!

March 3rd

Stu and Elizabeth Anne were planning to go to the Bahamas too, but only for a few weeks, so early Sunday March 3rd we motored down Government Cut, past the Miami docks, and left Florida together.

The wind angle allowed us to sail, but it was strong and we were close-hauled so, with the addition of the Gulf Stream we had a fast but bumpy crossing. Two-thirds of the crew slept through much of the crossing due to seasickness.

We had hoped to make for Cat Cay where we had cleared in last year. It's about 20 miles south of Bimini and a nice quiet marina to rest up before crossing the banks. However, the wind and the Gulf Stream would not let us so we made for the north end of Bimini. We decided to bypass Bimini as a port of entry and make for Chub Cay in The Berry Islands.

Sunday night we anchored with Shearwater near North Rock Light within sight of Bimini. The crossing was a good test of boat systems and we spent several hours re-fixing the boats trampoline which had come adrift. It had been refitted by the yard a few weeks prior!

March 4th

Monday we set off for NW Channel Light and the way to Nassau. Shearwater went more to the north aiming for the northern Berries.

Late Monday the cold front from which we had been running caught up with us and the wind swung round from south to northeast. That in itself was OK but unfortunately we couldn't make Chub Cay before nightfall so we had a very uncomfortable night anchored on the Banks near the NW Channel Light. 

March 5th

The next day, we limped into Chub Cay Marina, re-fuelled, cleared Customs, and got some sleep!

Chub Cay Club is one of several private clubs / resorts / marinas we came across in the Bahamas. They seem to cater particularly to sports fishermen who come across from Florida in there big powerboats, or even fly in their planes to take their boats out fishing. Monday night we ate in the very nice restaurant at Chub Cay Club.

March 6th

Wednesday, we moved out of the marina and anchored in the harbor with 8-10 other boats to wait for the weather to subside. 

March 7th

When we got up next morning at 7:30am we were one of only two boats still there! The rest had left at first light. We left as soon as we could and made for Nassau. As the wind had settled back into it's usual east to southeast, we motored all the way. We anchored just north of Athol Island, at the east end of Paradise Island, Nassau.

March 8th

Friday, we left for the Exumas. After motoring round Athol Island, we passed Porgee Rocks (a major waypoint for boats leaving Nassau for the Exumas) and turned south. 30 miles later we reached Allen's Cay at the north end of the Exuma Cays. Inside the small group is a snug anchorage where we sat out a blow last year. This year it looks like we'll be a bit further south before the next front reaches us.

We arrived fairly early so we had a few hours to go snorkeling. The shallow anchorage has overhanging rocks at the sides which provide home for many small fish particularly juveniles. The islands are home to scores of iguanas - the Bahamas largest indigenous animal.

In the afternoon we called Exuma Park to request a mooring for Saturday, the next day. The anchorage in Warderick Wells, the headquarters of the Exumas Land and Sea Park, is so popular that they installed moorings and set up a first-come-first-served reservation system. We called up and put our name on the list and were told we'd be called around 9am the next day.

March 9th

We received the call and learned that we had mooring 6 assigned to us. We sailed to Warderick Wells and got in around 3pm. Martin dinghied ashore to pay the Park Warden $15 for the mooring, and check out the whale skeleton displayed on the beach. 

We gave Tigger his first water survival skills lesson of this trip.

Then we prepared for our first dive of the trip. At one end of the anchorage is a shallow patch reef with only about 16' maximum depth - most dives on the banks are pretty shallow. However, it made a good first dive of the season. The Exumas Land and Sea Park is a protected area so we saw several huge lobsters that wouldn't have been around long anywhere else. We also saw several large rays cruising by, with associated lampreys.

March 10th

Before leaving Warderick Wells anchorage, we went ashore in the dinghy (new for 2002) and took a hike on the 'Shaggy Dog Trail' to Boo Boo Hill. The trail goes about a mile across a dry creek bed to a small hill. At the top of this hill is an amazing pile of junk consisting entirely of boat names. (click, click, click, click, click, click & click) It's a tradition that passing cruisers leave a mark of their passing on Boo Boo Hill. We did so last year (2001) so this year we were keen to see if it was still there. It was (closeup). Boo Boo Hill is also a great spot for a view over the anchorage.

Late morning, we left our mooring and sailed to Staniel Cay. Our primary mission was to buy lettuce in the store but we hadn't noticed it was Sunday!

March 11th

First thing Monday morning, we dighied around to the Isle General Stores to buy lettuce! There are three small stores in Staniel Cay but the Isle General Store conveniently has a dinghy beach. After the store, we called at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club to dump our garbage. They charged $2.50 to accept our bag.

Then we left for Moosha Cay, another 20 miles south. The principal agenda here is sandollars! By Moosha there's a large shallow bay that almost dries at low water. It's home to countless sandollars (and doubtless many other critters) and Ginger collected over a dozen sandollars in about an hour of snorkeling.

March 12th

Next morning we left the Exumas and set off into Exuma Sound for Cat Island. First we went through Cave Cay Cut next to Moosha Cay. The tide must have been running out fast through this deep and narrow cut because just outside the seas were huge and confused. We had waves crashing over the front of the boat and over us too. A bit further out it settled but it was still a bumpy ride the 40 miles to Cat Island.

We anchored just off Hawks Nest Marina and Resort. We called them up to ask for a dinner reservation but they couldn't accommodate us! Bummer!

March 13th

We left Cat Island for Conception Island. The wind was close to the bow so we motor-sailed the whole way. Luckily the wind wasn't too strong, but the seas were a bit too bumpy for comfort.

Conception Island is an uninhabited protected island that has terrific snorkeling and diving. Soon after arriving we had a quick snorkel on one of the reefs right by our anchoring spot.

Tigger fell off the boat, so he got to test his water survival skills. He didn't do well. He fell off near the starboard hull stern but swam off the wrong way. Instead of swimming a few feet to his custom cat ladder at the stern, he swam towards the bow (40' away). By the time Martin jumped in off the front of the boat he was scrabbling at the bow of the other hull (a further 25' swim). Martin swam with him back to the stern and released him next to the port-side cat ladder! He needs more survival skills practice!

March 14th

We dove two of the dive sites off the Conception Wall on the southwest side of the island. There are 4 mooring balls along this coast, each in about 60' attached to the fringing reef above the drop-off. 

We motored by dinghy from the West Bay anchorage a couple of miles around the west corner. As we rounded the corner we saw a strange boat on one of the moorings. Coming closer, we saw it to be the Nekton Roqual a live aboard out of Fort Lauderdale. 

These Nekton boats, of which there are several, are strange hybrid catamaran-displacement boats looking like big square boxes floating on the water.

We passed the Nekton Roqual and went to the next mooring. We called them on the radio out of courtesy to check it was OK with them.

We went back later to dive another mooring. All the moorings had brand new fittings suggesting that this company had upgraded them for their visit. We had heard last year that the Stella Maris dive operation on Long Island had laid and used the moorings and the Nekton boat may be a new arrival.

March 15th

The next day we dove another dive site mooring. We could see the Nekton Roqual in the distance as it left Conception.

March 16th

We dove the final dive site and then left for Rum Cay. All four of the Conception Wall dives were excellent, with plenty of fish of all kinds, including reef sharks. Each dive has interesting topology, including caverns and swim-throughs as well as the fringe reef and wall.

At Rum Cay we entered Sumner Point Marina and fuelled up. We then moved out into the anchorage for the night. We asked the marina about their restaurant, but unfortunately they were not cooking that day.

March 17th

We spent the day at Rum Cay on maintenance tasks and as a rest day prior to the long haul to Mayaguana. We snorkeled the reef in the afternoon.

March 18th

We left Rum Cay at 06:30 as we had 75 miles to do that day. If we didn't make Attwood Harbor on Acklins Island before sunset we'd have to carry on and spend a night at sea. We had never visited Attwood before and the cruising guides said that we needed to see the gap in the reef to enter.

The only other overnight stop anchorage on the way to Mayaguana is Semana Cay. We stopped there last year and didn't like it! We scared ourselves passing through the narrow dog-leg channel through the reef.

We reached Attwood 30 minutes before sunset. We motor-sailed with both engines and both sails doing about 7.5-8 knots close-hauled. We fairly pounded into the 5-7 foot seas. It was a tiring day.

Apart from the entrance challenge, Attwood Harbor is beautiful. It's a deserted area with a huge sweeping sandy beach.

March 19th

We left Attwood Harbor through the reef without a problem and set sail for Mayaguana. Again it was a long day but we took it a little easier averaging 6.5-7 knots. Again we made it into the anchorage just before sunset! 

That completes the two longest legs of our trip to Turks and Caicos. For two days we saw hardly another boat. The most interesting passer-by was a ship called Ocean Trader out of Belize that looked like a small tanker. She looked familiar - we may have seen her in the same area last year!

Next comes a 45 mile leg to Provo.

March 20th

We spent the day in Abraham's Bay, Mayaguana, resting after our two hard days. We did a few maintenance tasks and went snorkeling in the afternoon. Tigger had another water skills practice. (click1, click2, click3, click4) He's doing better but we notice that he always swims counter-clockwise from wherever he goes in. We hope he falls in at a suitable place!

March 21st

We crossed to Turks & Caicos. Light winds all day so we motored the whole way. We anchored at Malcolm Roadstead near Provo's northwest point. We noticed several dive mooring buoys nearby and as we'd arrive reasonably early, we had our first dive in Turks & Caicos.

March 22nd

We awoke to find Sea Dancer, the local Peter Hughes liveaboard, tied to a nearby mooring. We left to sail around the northwest point to Turtle Cove, and soon after Sea Dancer started that way too. They passed us, of course, and entered Sellars Cut about a mile ahead of us. When we got into Turtle Cove Marina, we found them already tied up there.

We backed the boat into a tricky slip and waited for Customs. The Customs guy gave us a 90-day Cruising Permit but only a 7 day Immigration stay. He told us that we must visit the Immigration Department to extend our stay.

We picked up our rental car from Scooter Bob's and went into town. We visited Immigration twice, but the appropriate officer was not there. They suggested we return Monday.

Anyway, that evening we had our first dinner out for a while at an excellent Italian restaurant Bacci's in Turtle Cove, overlooking the marina.

March 23rd

On Saturday, we took care of our chores. We cleaned the boat, did our laundry,  and topped up our fresh vegetables in a trip to the IGA supermarket.

March 24th

Sunday, we had a quiet day in Turtle Cove Marina, and picked up our first visitor, Martin's son Nick, from the airport.

March 25th

For a few hours in the morning, we scurried around to visit the Immigration Office (they gave us a 30 day extension for $100!) and an Internet Cafe. Around mid-day we left the marina, motored out of Grace Bay through Sellars Cut and around the northwest point to Malcolm Roadstead again. We gave Nick his first easy dive on Thunderdome. This is a strange underwater cage built, reportedly, for a French game show!

March 26th

We stayed at Malcolm Roadstead and did 2 dives; Coral Stairway and Shark Hotel. Nick was keen to see a shark, but no luck. It's strange because we've rarely dived in Bahamas or Turks & Caicos without seeing a shark.

March 27th

We left northwest Provo for French Cay. We took the shorter route through the Sandbore Channel and across the Caicos Bank. We arrived in time for a dive on G-Spot. Nick nearly saw a shark; it came by just after he'd left the water!

When we arrived Sea Dancer was already there on Rock and Roll. Later they moved and spent the night on G-Spot.

March 28th

We had a late morning start as we had to fill our tanks first. By the time we'd motored out to the dive sites, a hoard of local dive boats had turned up. After investigating various options we returned to the anchorage for snorkeling and lunch. Later on, when several of the dive boats had left, we went out again and dived Rock and Roll. In the afternoon we dinghied right round French Cay and checked out the wrecked fishing boats and trawler. We spent a second night at French Cay.

March 29th

We got up really early to get to the moorings before the local boats, but none came! Must be because it's Good Friday! We dived the third French Cay site, Double-D, and then left for West Caicos. Nick finally saw his shark. He was about to leave the water, but still had his mask on, when a reef shark swam by a few feet below the surface.

At West Caicos we tied onto Rock Garden Interlude mooring for a night dive. The night dive was good but we had an uncomfortable night on the mooring. The wind was from the north much of the night and a large swell was coming in.

March 30th

We left West Caicos and sailed to Grace Bay. It was a great sailing day; we were doing 6-8 knots most of the way. At Grace Bay we entered via Stubbs Cut (also known as Club Med Cut) and anchored in amongst hobie sailors, parasailing, dive boats, and other water sports activities. The anchorage was also a bit rolly, but not as bad as West Caicos!

March 31st

We tried one dive site in Grace Bay - Cathedral. It's a nice site, but the visibility was not as good as we've seen at West Caicos or Northwest Provo. After lunch and a snorkel in Grace Bay we entered Turtle Cove Marina. This was a traumatic experience because there was a fairly strong wind blowing across the slip, and one engine failed while we were docking. However we made it without damage to ourselves or anyone else. That evening we had dinner out at Hemingway's On The Beach. Tomorrow Nick flies back to California.

April 1st

Monday morning we took Nick to visit the Provo Conch Farm, the only such farm in the world. We were given a tour of the establishment and shown the conch at the various stages of their development. [picture, picture, picture, picture]

Around mid-day we took Nick the airport, and he finally had his picture taken with Jojo [picture]

In the afternoon, we went to the laundromat and took care of a few chores.

April 2nd

We spent a second day in Turtle Cove Marina, messing with the port engine.

April 3rd

We fuelled up and left the marina. Our destination is the Turks Islands to see if there are any whales left. The humpbacks migrate past Grabd Turk and Salt Cay from January to March each year. 

The first night we simply went around to the south side of Provo and anchored in West Harbour, about 5 miles west of Sapodilla Bay.

April 4th

We crossed the Caicos Bank to 6 Hills Cay, a little south of South Caicos. On passing Sapodilla Bay and the South Dock, we exchanged a few words with r/v Osprey a commercial research vessel that had been docked next to us in Miami for several months.

April 5th

Across the Turks Passage to Great Sand Cay, the southernmost island of the Turks Islands group. The only thing south of here is the reef with the wreck of HMS Endymion. 

[picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture]

Our plan until now had been to spend 24-36 hours visiting the Silver Bank (75 miles southeast) to see if any whales were still around. At this point our weather sources were forecasting an extended period of strong winds over the area. We decided that the current calm conditions would last no more than 36 hours, by which time we needed to be snugged away in a sheltered spot at Grand Turk.

April 6th

We decided to shoot for a few hours on the Mouchoir Bank, asmaller bank 25 miles southeast. We went there and back in a day, spending 3-4 hours on the bank itself. The day was reasonably successful; conditions were calm and we saw 7 whales, several of which were actively breaching. The first two were no more that a few miles from Great Sand Cay.

We returned to Great Sand Cay the same day.

April 7th

We sailed north to Grand Turk and entered the Hawks Nest Anchorage to the south of the island. As the forecast was for days of 25-30 knot easterlies, due to a strong high settling north of us, we anchored in the lee of Gibbs Cay on the east side of Grand Turk. Gibbs Cay is a local snorkeling and picnic spot. 

April 8th thru 11th

We hung out at Gibbs Cay for 4 days as 30 knot winds whistled outside.

[picture, picture, picture, picture]

April 12th

Out to our regular anchorage at Governor's Beach, and a trip into town to buy groceries.

April 13th

We rented bikes from Oasis Divers and spent a couple of hours cycling around the whole island. (It's only 7 miles by 2).

[Cannons, Court House, Salinas, Flamingos, Lunch]

April 14th

We dived at the Old Pier and Chief Minister sites. Then we moved up to the Grand Turk town anchorage.

April 15th

We did a night dive at the Library site, which was just a few yards behind the boat.

April 16th

We crossed the Turks Bank again to South Caicos harbor. We used our spinnaker for the first time this trip on this passage.

April 17th

We bought 44 gallons of diesel at Sea View Marina in South Caicos. The wind and swell was a bit strong and getting in and out of the fuel dock was challenging. We went outside the harbor to take a look at the dive sites, but chickened out! Unfortunately, being on the west side of the Turks Passage, all of South Caicos' dive sites are on the windward side. That means that one needs good weather in which to dive them.

April 18th

We both simultaneously went down with food poisoning or a 24 hour stomach bug!

April 19th

We left South Caicos harbor and went a few miles south back to 6 Hills Cays.

April 20th

Another day at 6 Hills Cays and some snorkeling.

April 21st

We went back out into the Turks Passage and dived at one of the moorings on the east side of Long Cay, south of South Caicos. After the dive, we went south to Ambergris Cays.

April 22nd

We explored Little Ambergris Cay by dinghy. [Beach, Conch Pile]

April 23rd

We stopped briefly at Fish Cays, a little north of Ambergris Cays. [picture, picture] There we saw some Turks Head Cactus which give the Turks Islands their name.

We went further south to the Seal Cays. These are a string of small cays and rocks spanning 10 miles from Bush Cay in the east to White Cay in the west. We stopped briefly at Bush Cay for lunch and then crossed the bank to White Cay.

Approaching White Cay, we encountered a small whale shark! We followed it for a while and Ginger had a brief snorkel with it. The first one either of us had seen.

April 24th

We stopped at West Sand Spit which is reputed to have a good dive site. We couldn't find it and had a pretty ordinary dive over sand with a few small heads.

On to French Cay.

April 25th to 30th

We hung out at French Cay for a few days working our way through all of the dive sites. On Saturday 27th we were visited by the local police (Sea Quest) for a routine inspection.

April 26th - Double-D
April 27th - Rock & Roll
April 28th - Half Mile
April 29th - night dive near French Cay

May 1st

Back to West Sand Spit for another attempt. Ginger called the Sea Dancer live aboard and got some pointers that let us find the site. A much better dive this time.

On to White Cay.

May 2nd

We crossed the Seal Cays again to Bush Cay. [picture, picture, picture, picture]

The on to 6 Hills Cays yet again!

May 3rd

Up to South Caicos harbor for fuel.

May 4th

We crossed the Turks Passage to Salt Cay. There was a good breeze blowing which made it an uncomfortable crossing.

May 5th to 8th

We anchored off Salt Cay and dived for several days.

May 5th - Kelly's Annex
May 6th - Powerhouse
May 7th - mooring #3
May 8th - Turtle Gardens and a night dive on Kelly's Annex

On Tuesday 7th we borrowed two bikes and cycled around the island.

May 9th

We sailed north to Grand Turk. We visited the Immigration Department to extend our visas and the Department of Environment and Coastal Protection to follow up on rumors that we needed a permit to dive in the National Parks (we do not). We also went into town for groceries and to pick up mail.

May 10th

We dived the Windmills site at the south end of Grand Turk and later in the day we anchored off the Arawak Inn and met up with our friends from the California Sport Divers, 10 of whom arrived for a week diving.

May 11th

Dived Tunnels, and bent our Delta anchor!

May 12th

Dived Black Forest and then took the CSD group out for a sunset cruise. We sailed up the island and back in a fresh breeze.

May 13th

Dived Gorgonian Walls and Finbar. Put the backup Fortress anchor on the chain in place of the increasingly bent and ineffective Delta.

May 14th

Dived Coral Gardens and then met up with the CSD group for lunch at the Turks Head Hotel. Later we did a night dive off the Windmills mooring.

May 15th

We dived close to the Government Pier and found a seahorse - which had been rumored to be there!

May 16th

We dived near English Point in the morning and then, in the afternoon, set off for Provo. It was a pleasant trip with light winds and a small swell and we arrived at Sellars Cut, Provo, a little after dawn.

May 17th

We checked into Turtle Cove Marina without incident. We were assigned slip #46 which has a better angle to the wind than the one we had on our last visit, so getting in was easier. In the afternoon we rented a van, took our Delta anchor to the boatyard to be straightened, and did some grocery shopping.

May 18th

Picked up the (now straight) anchor and met some of the CSD group at the airport. We had time to visit the Caicos Conch Farm and get back to the airport for Martin's flight at 2:30pm.

May 19th to 21st

Martin flew to Boston from Saturday through to Tuesday for his son Matt's Graduation from Emerson College, Boston. Ginger and Tigger stayed at Turtle Cove Marina.

May 22nd

Topped up with 25 gallons of diesel fuel, met with Customs to clear out and sailed around to the northwest point of Provo to spend the night.

May 23rd

Motor-sailed 50 miles to Mayaguana, Bahamas. Arrived around 4pm.

May 24th

After checking the weather forecasts and weatherfax maps, we decided to stay a few days in Mayaguana. There's a front due over in the next 24 hours but, more significant is an unusual low pressure area over Cuba and drifting north. There are strong winds around it so we decided not to go further north for a couple of days. Our next planned stop is Attwood harbor which is not well sheltered for bad weather.

Coincidentally, last year we were stuck for a week in Mayaguana by a low pressure area that stalled over the central Bahamas to our north. Let's hope we're not stuck here that long this year.

May 24th to May 27th

Yes, well, here we are and here we stay. Caught up on lots of reading and other pastimes. Overcast a lot of the time and quite a bit of wind and rain.

May 28th

The worst weather is behind us (we think) so we set off from Mayaguana and stop at the Plana Cays. It's only a fair weather anchorage, that we've never used before, but it was quite comfortable this time.

May 29th

A short hop from Plana to Attwood Harbor on Atkins Island. Another fair weather harbor.

May 30th

We decided to do the rest in one long long day, from Attwood Harbor to San Salvador. The anchorage at San Salvador is one we used before and we believe we can enter in the dark if we're later than we expect.

Halfway to San Salvador we hit a huge band of heavy rain; it covered maybe 30 miles of our passage. At one point we were hit by a huge squall which included lightning, very heavy rain, winds of 30+ knots and associated big choppy seas. It lasted about half an hour and was quite scary. During this, we lost our flag; plucked off the rail by the wind. That was the only damage as (luckily) we had put away the sails before the squall arrived.

Still we eventually arrived in San Salvador at sunset and anchored in calm waters off Cockburn Town. However during the night a heavy swell arrived, presumably from distant storms that made us very uncomfortable. The wind also shifted to the south.

May 31st

We dinghied into Riding Rock Marina and walked into town for groceries.

In the afternoon, we dived Witches Cauldron to the north end of San Salvador and then entered Graham's Harbour, a sheltered anchorage on the north side of the island.

June 1st

We tried to leave Graham's Harbour for some diving, but it soon became clear that it would be too rough outside the reef for diving. We stayed a second night at Graham's Harbour.

June 2nd

We dived Riding Rock Wall and Shark Alley, and anchored again at Cockburn Town.

June 3rd

We dived Double Caves and Great Cut and, as the wind was now from the north, we anchored in French Bay on the south side of San Salvador.

June 4th

We dived Dr John's and Doolittle's Grotto and returned to the Cockburn Town Anchorage.

June 5th

We dived Avalanche in the morning and in the afternoon went to Riding Rock Marina for fuel. Unfortunately, they were out of diesel so we were forced to go down the road to the Shell station to fetch diesel in cans. It took three trips to buy 50 gallons, but at least we were full.

June 6th

We dived around the old pier at Cockburn Town where Ginger had spotted a "peafish" a juvenile trunkfish.

Late morning we left for Conception.

June 7th and 8th

Diving the Conception Wall.

June 9th

On our way to Cat Island, we stopped off at the Tartar Bank, a small sea mount that reaches to within 70 feet of the surface, but is surrounded by deep water. We anchored on the bank and did a dive. It was interesting, but we saw little of note. Large pelagics have been reported there.

We went on to anchor at Hawk's Nest Point, and went ashore for dinner at Hawk's Nest Resort.

June 10th

We set off for the Abacos to rendezvous with our next guests, Jan and Michael.

We sailed from Hawk's Nest Point northeast across the bight of cat Island to Little San Salvador. This island is owned by a cruise ship operator and hosts a huge beach activities resort in the only usable anchorage. Luckily no cruise ships were in town.

June 11th

We continued northeast into the bight of Eluethra and anchored in Alabaster Bay.

June 12th

At the north end of Eleuthra is a narrow cut through which much of the water flows in to and out of the banks in the bight of Eleuthra. It's called Current Cut. We had to time our trip to go through when the tide was going out as it flows up to 4 or 5 knots. It was a fun ride! That night we anchored at Royal Island, an excellent well sheltered lagoon.

June 13th

The next day we crossed to the Abacos. We entered Little Harbor Cut and anchored off Lynyard Cay at the south end of the Sea of Abacos, which is a cruising ground between Great Abaco Island to the west, and a string of cays to the east.

June 14th and 15th

Marsh Harbor - cruising capital of the northern Bahamas. It was pretty full and we had trouble finding a spot to anchor. We succeeded and were able to have dinner out and buy groceries.

June 16th

Back down to Lynyard Cay in preparation for picking up our guests from their hotel.

June 17th

We went back out through Little Harbor Cut and went south to Cherokee Sound. After a pause anchored at Cherokee Point to wait for the tide, we followed a narrow and shallow dredged channel into an anchorage in Cherokee Sound.

June 18th

After some navigation errors, and running aground in the  dingy, we picked up Jan and Michael from their hotel (called 'Different of Abaco'). As the tide was right, we immediately crept back out of Cherokee Sound and went north to Little Harbor Cut.

June 19th to 21st

Snorkelling and cruising in the Sea of Abacos.

We checked out Little Harbor (gallery and bar) and Hope Town (view1, view2, view3  and lighthouse).

June 22nd

We dropped off Jan and Michael in Marsh Harbor.

June 23rd to 25th

On our way home. We anchored at Crab Cay and Great Sale Cay and finally, for the Bahamas, at White Sand Reef.

White Sand Reef is home to dolphins and a pod hung around our boat for some time. They stayed even when Martin went into the water to snorkel with them.

June 26th and 27th

Sailed overnight to St Augustine, Florida, where we cleared customs. Then after a  night at Fernandina Beach we reached Brunswick where Dos Gatos will spend the hurricane season.

The end of another great cruise!

The Caicos Bank from space