25 Mar 2013

[Cruise News] Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, Bahamas

Yes, we've finally made it to the Bahamas, thank goodness.  I think I'd begun to believe we would never leave Puerto Rico but after 6 days of sailing, along the coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and with two overnight stops in the Turks and Caicos islands, we're here.  The "weather window" wasn't as good as we hoped / was forecast with us having to motor sail for just over half the time but it was sunny and warm and the seas were easy.  So all in all, a good trip and it's been good to undertake a longer passage again in readiness for the sail to Bermuda next month.

Our two overnight stops in the T&C were at deserted sandy islands (Big Sand Cay and Frenchman,'s Cay) where we were the only boat around,  As we approached Big Sand Cay, a nature reserve, it was obvious the bird resident didn't like the idea of sharing their night-time roosting site with humans.  They didn't exactly dive-bomb us but made a lot of noise as we sailed through the moonlit waters approaching the island.  It was pretty surreal as we could hear all this noise but see nothing.

We sailed across the Caicos Bank to move from one cay to another - the most clear waters we have seen to date.  Despite the sea all around this area being very deep (think kilometres and not metres) the bank itself is only a few metres deep and we had to pick our way across negotiating the myriad coral heads which were easily identifiable against the white sand bottom.  It will prove to be good experience for exploring all the Bahamian Cays on the Bahama Bank.  As the charts state, "Visual Piloting Rules" have to apply to ensure not running aground.

So now we have 3 weeks to enjoy the Bahamas.  Not as long as we'd originally hoped but long enough to get a real flavour for the country.