D103-105: Lee Stocking Island (2/11-2/13/2020)

On Tuesday, 2/11/2020, we left Emerald Bay Marina about 0722 in a late rising tide so we could have plenty of depth in both Emerald Bay channel and Adderly Cut when we arrived at Lee Stocking Island . We sailed the first half of the trip with Genoa only, but finally added the motor when the wind started to die.

As we entered Adderly Cut, we encountered very high winds at the northern tip of Lee Stocking Island. The channel to the anchorage hit some uncomfortably shallow depths as we entered, but we made it to our target anchorage. Two other boats were there already, but we anchored well ahead of them and closer to shore.

We anchored near the old research center at Lee Stocking Island. After setting the anchor, I decided to dive on the anchor to make sure we were set. Everything looked good and the Spade was buried in the hardish sand. We anchored in a fairly shallow spot, so I monitored the depth and the lowest I saw was 7.2 feet, which left me 1.5 feet under the keel. Shortly after our arrival, the catamaran name Lord Charlton that had been anchored there before us pulled up their anchor and came closer to us. He dinghied over later and introduced himself.

He explained why he moved (to get shallower water and more protection) and told us that he was from Williamsburg, VA, which is just down the road from us. Small world. Very nice guy. I read later that Lord Charlton won the around the island race at Georgetown last year. I hope he can do it again.

We lowered the dinghy and mounted the motor, then headed to shore to explore Lee Stocking Island. With my old research background, I found the old abandoned marine research center both interesting and disturbing. I hated to see the research end. Looks like they all left in a hurry. You can see in the photos below that they left all the holding tanks, aquariums, and other research equipment. They even had a generator that looked brand new.

On returning I made RO water and we relaxed to watch the view. We had a nice night at anchor, but felt some swell or bumpiness around 1:30 am. Not the worst we have experienced.

History of Lee Stocking Research Center

In 1984, the Perry Institute for Marine Science created the Caribbean Marine Research Center (CMRC), which was designated as one of six National Undersea Research Centers under the auspices of NOAA, and The Perry Institute‚Äôs CMRC facility on Lee Stocking Island was one of the most productive marine laboratories in the world until its closing in 2012. Now, the Perry Institute has adapted from a site based research facility to a program based institution, conducting research throughout The Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean in partnership with governments, international NGOs and local organizations throughout the region. The Perry Institute also supports global research into the status of threatened and endangered marine species. Taken from http://www.perryinstitute.org/who-we-are/history-of-pims

We stayed another full day and did some exploring with the dinghy. We had hoped to do some snorkeling, but the winds were too strong and the waves too big. We did check out a few reefs with the glass-bottom bucket. Overall, it is a beautiful island. We did not cross over to the beach, but other cruisers told us it was beautiful.

Be sure to click on the photos below to see the full image.  

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