|The Adventures of
Bimini Chub Cay Nassau
Favourite price samples: :
a mooring at Bayshore Marina..not bad .75 cents per foot...$3.00 a day for water
gas sells for $2.75 US a gallon
beer is 2 bucks a bottle ...will start on the rum as it is cheaper than water.
apple juice or orange juice is $2.75 for 1.36 liter tin
28 ounce container of Joy dish soap $5.75 US
locally brewed Heineken $4.50 at Hooters (and they weren't all that impressive, Janette was referring to the beer and I am not
3 loads of laundry at Pondwash $9.00 US for wash and dry.
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(Occasionally, editorial comments from Don of S/V Destiny Calls, host of this web site and southern waters frequenter, will appear in green italic)
Remember when the alarm clock would ring, sometimes jolting you out of either a deep sleep, or an afternoon nap.
This past week sitting at anchor, in North Bimini, we had two occasions to experience these rude awakenings...and neither was by alarm clock. On Monday the 20th, a sailboat entered the harbor and proceeded to drop anchor. The boat, a 36 footer with very high freeboard (for you nautical newbies that is the distance between the deck and the water, the more freeboard the more the wind can push your boat around). Drop the anchor, back up, drag anchor. This went on, without exaggerating, for a minimum of two hours. Finally he seemed to be settled. Considering that there was absolutely no wind and only the current to deal with, I was a little concerned about this fellow.
As Monica would have it...it started blowing out of the north at about 3 oclock in the afternoon. Our anchor dragged a bit but we managed to get it back in rather quickly...but there the seed had been sown. If I just dragged anchor now, would it happen again.
As the evening progressed, the wind piped up and we went to bed in a fitful sleep, constantly waking up to make sure we were still holding the bottom. At about 3 oclock in the morning we both hear a loud bang on our bow. I scurried to the cockpit just in time to see a boat a few feet of the bow and moving away. It seems that he had been trying to set his anchor once again ....but to no avail. He eventually ran his boat aground in some sand to await sunrise so he could go into one of the marinas. The damage done to our bow was a few scratches and a destroyed set of running lights.
But the rude awakening I never would have anticipated happened the following Thursday. When at anchor it is usually early to bed and early to rise. As it would have it I was rising early if toy know what I mean. When all of a sudden I hear a very loud blast of a horn. Curiosity getting the better part, I grab a quick look out the cockpit , to find the bow of a 100 to 125 foot oiler, no more than 50 feet from my stern. Hey pretty exciting stuff. I ask Janette to hand me a camera, when over the loud hailer the captain says something that is completely incomprehensible. There is some activity of crew members on deck that were waving in my general direction and the boat seemed to be posturing to navigate between me and the other boats at anchor. The best thing to do was get on the radio and ask the captain what was what. He politely told me that he had to make a delivery at the power plant, which I had chosen to anchor off of. So at 7 oclock in the morning, with cobwebs in our eyes, Janette and i had to haul in the 70 feet of chain and anchor, long with our secondary anchor to let the oiler maneuver to his dock.
After having spent some blustery days, we finally left Alicetown on Saturday November 25th. Our next destination Was Chub Cay. There are two methods of getting to Chub, you can do it all in one run of about 16 hours or by anchoring on the Great Bahama Bank midway. We opted for doing it in one run. Since we are not familiar with these waters It was decided to leave early to our jump off point off, of North Rock Light.
With a nice breeze coming from the north, we set the Genoa for a lazy sail towards our next mark , North West Channel Light. For those of you who are navigationally challenged, the Great Bahama Bank is a huge piece of water whose average depth is about 12 feet , with the odd spot that has rocks not far from the surface. Since our odds of hitting these rocks is far greater than winning the lottery, lights are placed on or near these rocks so as to avoid them....but I would never go anywhere passing these aids in the dark.
At 18:30 Janette went down below for a nap and so we started our evening watches, of 2 hours on and two hours off. At 19:00 hours a mist started developing and by 19:30 we were completely shrouded in fog with zero visibility....oh joy. The following morning we did not get acceptable visibility till about 30 minutes before sighting the North West Channel light.
We arrived at Chub at 11:00 after having been underway for 18 hours, some sailing, some motoring, and some motor sailing. Chub can best be described as a private club. It lies at the bottom of the Berry chain of Islands, and has not much more than a Marina and resort.
We rowed ashore for a short walk on a very beautiful beach, being careful not to step on starfish, sea urchins and tiny conch.
We are now sitting in Nassau at the Bayshore Marina. We will spend the next few days replenishing resting, being tourists, and yes going to the casinos. Our next stop will be Highborne Cay.
Anchoring with a sense of humor lacks in North America. People here "have their space". Anchor within it and the evil eye (or worse) will be your greeting.
It's all about experience really.
Not experience sailing but experience on the water. The more time you spend on the land, the lower your thresh hold for anchoring mishaps generally will be, as will you ability to accept others within your space. The Bahamas is the learning ground for North Americas to deal with the rest.
The further south you go, the closer you will anchor to others.
Jim and Janette have a high level of "crap dealing skills". We all have some, and maybe Jim, dealing with life as a semi adult in the entertainment industry has helped. (he's a well knon cameraman)
Loosen up as soon as you can and enjoy the ride is excellent cruisers advise.
The Great Bahamas Banks is the only bank I will personally cross at night. And only for the route I know, the route that Borean took. Crossing banks in the Bahamas is a recipe for disaster. The Fishing boat route from Bimini to NW Channel Light is well know amongst fisherman and many cruisers, the only rule is to cross onto / off of in daylight.
This is my, and many other's opinions.
Have a great time in Nassau Borean.
We all wish we were there.
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