Great Sale Cay to West End, Grand Bahama

Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Flag of Bahamas  ,
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We were up with the dawn and out of the anchorage. The anchor was in well and came up with some weed tubers on it. There was one other sailboat in the anchorage and further west 2 motorboats were at anchor, we couldn't see any masts in the southern anchorage which would not be a good place in the SE winds.

It was blowing hard and we sailed with 2 reefs in the main and genoa. We made good speed all day as far as Memory Rock. We saw a couple of boats heading for the Indian Cay passage, but we had been told and saw in the cruising guide that it was probably too shallow for us and local knowlege was required. We knew we were going to get the full force of the 18 to 25 knot winds from the SE right on the nose as we turned south off the Little Bahama Bank into the Atlantic. We furled the Genny but kept the reefed main up to stabilize us as we continued to roll. Dave was feeling the effects and we only had snacks for lunch though by 3pm I was ravenous and had to go below and attempt to make myself a sandwich.

We were happy to see West End appear, it is at the very end of Grand Bahama. We were not happy to see the braking waves across the inlet to the harbour though! Dave maxed out the engine revs while I stood with one foot on the side deck so I could see the channel and help him adjust his course as necessary. Once in the turning basin all was calm and we were soon ready to enter our slip. The dockhand was a bit surley as he had to stay late to see us into our slip and kept yelling at me for a spring line even though he had our bow line and the boat was under control. As I went aft to get to get him a bleep bleep spring line I noticed a nail sticking out of the aft post and jumped to fend us off, I was relieved that we had only a 6" scratch in the gelcoat at the widest point of the hull rather than a scratch all the way to the back of the boat as I feared. We reported the nail to 3 different people and it was removed the next morning. Peter, the marina manager though did not seem to know of our problem was not phased with our damage and was more upset that he had to call out the security staff to take a report in case we made an insurance claim. He offered us a free cocktail and said if he had known about it he would have had someone buff out the scratch. He told us to remind him of the incident next time we stayed at the marina! We had a short walk along the breakwater and ate pizza at the resturant. We reflected on our 2 long days, we had travelled 115 nm in difficult conditions. It had taken us more than a week to do the same journey south in February. We need a day or two to rest as we knew a crossing window is coming in the next couple of days.
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The Islands of The Bahamas are a haven of exquisite white-and-pink beaches, lush tropical landscape, crystal clear turquoise waters and year-round sunshine. There are more than 700 beautiful islands and cays, extending over 100,000 square miles of the Atlantic ocean, offering an abundance of outdoor activities, diverse terrain, world class snorkeling, diving, protected ecosystems and more.

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