D110: Staniel Cay - 2/18/2020-2/23/2020

2/18/2020 Tuesday

We left Black Point Settlement at 0830 and put up our sails as soon as I cleaned and stowed the anchor.  We had a beautiful day and could sail all the way to Harvey Cay with Genoa only.  The wind was ESE between 15-19 knots.  Because we were on the west side of Bitter Guana and other cays, we had nice wind without the waves, giving us a smooth sail.  

After coming around Harvey Cay, we turned east toward the BTC tower in Staniel Cay.  I really need to talk with someone about the Staniel Cay banks entrance.  During the last 15 minutes of our approach, we encountered 7 foot depths which always make me nervous.  Eventually, we found the deep channel again without incident.  

We did not find many boats in the anchorage right in front of Staniel.  It looked like most people were hiding over at Big Major, but we wanted to be close to the town so we could quickly get ashore for dinner, laundry, and provisions.  We plan to stay a few days while a front comes through.  The first night was uneventful and we slept well.

2/19/2020 Wednesday

The second day, we decided to try one of the moorings over near Thunderball Groto.  The location looked great because of the proximity to the snorkeling and because it was protected from the southwest.  The mooring was easy to grab and seemed to be perfect.  Right after we got settled and lowered the dinghy, a captained charter catamaran from the Moorings came in and grabbed another mooring.  While picking up the mooring, their dinghy came loose and started drifting toward the snaggy rocks.  I jumped into our dinghy and saved it and took it back over to them.  They were quite appreciative and the captain was a bit embarrassed.  It would have been a said cruise without a dinghy.  

I (Eric) took the opportunity to explore the Thunderball Groto to give Cathy a sense of the degree of difficulty.  It was beautiful.  Fish were everywhere and only two other people were in the grotto when I was there.  The water was crystal clear.  

We went to town twice to look for provisions, but the supply boat had not arrived yet and most of the shelves were bare.  We were able to drop off the laundry to be washed for us, so we did not have to spend the day waiting for machines.  

Unfortunately, we found that the currents were excessively strong at the moorings due to the proximity to Big Rock Cut.  During the night the big mooring ball would bang on the side of the hull.  We stayed for one night on the mooring and decided to move back over to the anchorage, which was also situated in line with the strong tidal currents, but not as bad.  

2/20/2020 Thursday

About 0830, we dropped the mooring pennant and re-anchored just north of Staniel Cay village.  After taking care of some usual chores on the boat, like making water, charging batteries and heating water with the generator, and defrosting the refrigerator, we went back over to the grocery stores.  

Tonight or tomorrow morning, the wind will clock around to the west, but the speeds did not look too bad.  We decided to ride out the west wind in place, because the wind would not stay west very long. 

2/21/2020 Friday

We awoke to the west wind with the wind and tidal currents in the same direction.  About 1300, the wind continued to clock around to the northwest, a direction from which we did have protection.  All went well along with a few squalls.  We  spent the day just relaxing on the boat.   Again most of the other boats fled to Big Major, which is also open to the west. 

2/22/2020 Saturday

The front continued to pass through overnight and the wind had shifted to the north at 18-20 knots.  The wind was perpendicular to the current, which gave us a good ride in the anchorage.  Dinghying around in high winds is not usually that much fund, so I did chores on the boat.  That included changing the joker valve in our forward head.  I had been putting that fun task off for several weeks.  Success but not without some minor cursing.  

Later in the day, the wind shifted to northeast and the ebb current was opposing the winds of about 20-25 knots.  This was not so comfortable but OK and we held fine.  I think we will try Big Major tomorrow before we leave the area.  We have been hesitant to move over there because it is a very long dinghy ride back to Staniel Cay if you need supplies.  

Click on the photos below to see larger images.  

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In