Left Bimini Dec. 19th and slogged across the Great Bahama Bank. It was strange to be in consistent 12' water when you draw 6'. Seas were 3' - 4' and wind 15 - 20 knots from the east. We decided to anchor near the North West Shoal, where it was shallow. All that went without incident, and despite a strong current the anchor seemed to be holding. We slid a few times, but we could slide for 30 miles and not hit land, so we were okay with that. The baby alarm worked great for amplifying the drag alarm, so even though we woke up several times we actually got some sleep since we trusted it.
Angel realized we were doing the overnight away from land thing, and she made peace with the whole doggie bathroom on the bow concept, and has now mastered phase two: The Poop. Great cheers arose when she finally did the deed.
Today we planned to go to Nassau. We pulled anchor around 7:45 am. Taking Angel out to the bow for her bathroom break we found a deceased flying fish that had the poor luck to jump onto the boat. We gave the fish a burial at sea, let Angel do her thing, and started out. Two sailboats anchored near us also pulled anchor. They must have (foolishly) thought we knew what we were doing and decided to follow. Island navigated through the way point at the North West Channel Light marker, and then it was time to hold on. We had a strong current as the shallow water and deep water met, and once into the actual passage there was an East wind blowing 20 - 25 knots. .
The next twelve miles through the approx. 1,000 foot depth of the North West Channel and those east winds made for a wild ride. I sat on the floor after securing everything I could, and tried not to watch the water coming over the bow. It was too rough to move around as we don't have grab bars on our boat, so it was a good time to just hug the floor. Island said the swells were so high he would lose sight of the sailboats except for the top of their masts. He lost sight of them for good after about a mile, so hopefully they just turned around and called it a day.
We decided to go into Chub Cay, as the conditions were not improving. We traveled just under 15 miles and were both exhausted.
Chub Cay Marina
Angel waiting for someone (anyone) to throw her coconut
Good decision! Chub Cay Marina is a beautiful, small facility with tranquil protected waters. We were able to unwind and survey the situation. The only real loss were the two dive tanks that were mounted on the swim deck. Despite the additional tie downs we did lose them. I asked Island how he felt about it, and he said, "Not good." I was glad that was all that went into the ocean.
We are watching the weather and hoping for a change in the wind. We are staying here at Chub one more night, and will decide after looking at the weather if we should continue. It is only 34 miles to Nassau, but we are going to hold out for better conditions.