After a bit of a rocky and rolly New Year’s Eve night at anchor, just off of Rose Island (shift in winds and seas caused our previously calm anchorage to churn up a bit) we pulled anchor and crossed the Yellow Bank – headed to Allen Cay, our first stop in the Exumas!
The main concern on this crossing was a centrally located area heavily populated with coral heads. If the sun is high enough, you can easily see the almost-black areas that you need to avoid, thanks to the crystal clear turquoise waters surrounding them. Just so happens we got there a little faster than expected. Oopsie. This meant the sun would be somewhat in our eyes as we scanned the waters.
Mark took his spot on the bow while I hand steered the boat – following his Flailing Arm directions. If he saw one to the left, he flailed to the right.If he saw it on the right, he flailed to the left. Unless he got distracted, as he often does. And then it was up to the 5′ tall person at the helm to see the rocks from 40′ away in the cockpit… It is all very scientific really.
Had we lingered over coffee or breakfast, or gone for a morning snorkel, we would have had better overhead light.But the anchorage was not comfortable and we were anxious to get a move on. Everything worked out just fine. We slowed down and took our time, then we carried on toward Allen Cay.
There is a beautiful cove – two actually, where we hoped to anchor. After pulling in and seeing multiple boats in a narrow area surrounding a shallow sand and rock bar, we turned around and anchored just outside the cut. We are very nicely protected from the east winds headed our way for the next 2 days. Apparently it is blowing 20 knots just on the other side of the land, but we just have a nice breeze. And if we were to drag anchor, we have miles and miles and miles before we run into anything. That is my kind of anchorage!
Mark caught 2 fish today: a large barracuda while we were under way and a remora while at anchor. Both were released. Barracuda in this part of the world tend to have ciguatera. No thank you. We released the remora before reading that they actually taste good. Hopefully the guy is grateful we spared him and swam off to clean the bottom of our boat for us.
We had a very traditional southern New Year’s Day meal of black eyed peas, greens, ham and cornbread. It is supposed to bring luck, money and health. And for the most part, I would say it has always worked for us. We didn’t see any reason to break tradition just because we are on some deserted island!
After lunch/dinner, we dinghied around and checked out one of the beaches. Molly chased iguanas and I hiked up a hill to place 4 rocks on the cairn. We also noticed even more boats had piled into the anchorage. I am noticing lots of herd mentality going on out here, but that is a post for another time.
Tomorrow we have a lovely day of snorkelling, beach yoga and a bit of house cleaning to be done. A weather shift is possibly headed our way, so we will also pick out our next anchorage further south – based on the upcoming winds. Just another day in the life of cruisers!