Monday, April 16, 2007

Exuma Cays - Bahamas


We are currently at Little Farmer's Cay in the Exuma Cays tied up to a dock. If you've been watching the weather on the East Coast out of Florida you may have seen the bad weather and the cold front that came through. Well of course it came to the Bahamas too. We tried to find an anchorage with good coverage from the winds that would clock from South to Northwest and had good holding. The winds were predicted to reach possible Gale force. We had to backtrack south to find an anchorage. The good anchorages were crowded, the holding was bad or the current to strong. By mid day on Sunday we were trying to anchor in a spot that would be good coverage from the southwest to the northwest. There was about a 5 knot current going through the anchorage when we dropped. Our first spot was close to shore to avoid the current but the anchor wouldn't catch, too many rocks. The next spot we tried was great sand but right in the middle of the current. We dropped the anchor there and watched as our boat did circles around the anchor....NOT GOOD. We were very frustrated (and nervous)....we decided to check on the small little Marina and were relieved that they had a spot for us. So for the first time, because of weather, we are in a Marina. The only other Marina we've been in was in Venezuela and that was for safety reasons. Mike kissed the dock after we tied up and then he kissed me, and I didn't even care that he kissed the dock first, cause I was happy.

Farmer's Cay Yacht Club and Marina, isn't quite a marina, more like a dock. We were able to tie up to the outside and sat out the cold front is relative ease. The winds are up to 36 knots and still howling, but we are sitting pretty. There is a restuarant and some rooms for rent here, and we were able to take a shower in one of the rooms :))))))). We haven't eaten here yet, but plan to, they have Veggie Burgers (a big treat for Kim) and Cheeseburgers (a big treat for Mike). We plan to stay here a few days and check out the place.

When we left Georgetown earlier our first stop was Lee Stocking Island. It is a little island that has a Marina Research Centre. Our charts were not accurate and we almost hit bottom as we were trying to reach the anchorage. We settled for a deeper anchorage that was in the current. It is amazing the effects the current has your boat, and that combined with the wind - you gotta watch it. When I was swimming to the anchor to check it, I was barely making forward progress, I really had to swim hard. Going back to the boat was easy, I just floated:). We stayed overnight at Lee Stocking, then headed for Black Point anchorage on Great Guana Cay.

We had planned to stay at Black Point, check out the island, then head up north a bit more. This is when we learned the severness of the next cold front and knew we couldn't stay at this anchorage because it was open to the sea from the South to the Northwest. We would of got slammed. So we head out yesterday (Sunday) and were going to head back to Lee Stocking because we knew it would be protected and had good sand holding. When we left Black Point it was going on high tide, which means the water was coming into the Dotham Cut (a cut is the open area between islands where you can access the anchorages). This meant that the water from the ocean was coming in hard and strong as we were going out...our first mistake. The winds had been high and the seas outside were growing. We pounded out into 10 foot seas trying to avoid the coral and rocks on both sides. Once we're out we realize our mistake - if it was that hard getting out, it was going to be hard to get back in down the road. We hadn't considered the tide changes coming through the cuts (always a learning experience). We were going to try to go back through and take the inside route to find an achorage, but found that it was too rough. We went with the original plan to go to Lee Stocking. The winds kicked up to 25 knots and we were heading straight into them, which brought our speed down to 3-4 knots. We would not hit Lee Stocking until very late. We checked closer anchorages and timed the incoming tide (so as not to make the same mistake) and decided to try the Farmer's Cay. The Cut wasn't bad with high seas, but the current was strong so we were barely crawling through. Once inside is when we did the anchoring dance...and ended up on this very lovely dock. We will probably stay here two more nights, then the weather is supposed to settle (we've heard that before) and we will make a fast line to the States. The weather in the Bahama's has been our most trying, but it has given us some valuable lessons.

Cheers, safe, sound and dry......Mike and Kim on Ka'imi


  1. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Isaw the northeast weather & was really concerned - You guys will really be well salted salts by your voyage end - What an adventure - & you guys are in shorts!!!! love ya mom

  2. Hey mom, I think we will be more like well salted nuts.....we are in shorts, but notice the sweatshirts.......brrrrr.......Love you, Kim and Mike



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