S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Junkanoo, Baby!

N 25 degrees 04.715 minutes
W 077 degrees 19.795 minutes
Nassau Harbor, Bahamas

We set sail from North Bimini yesterday at 9 AM, and spent the day sailing--and mostly motoring--across the Great Bahama Bank. This vast and shallow table of land varies in depth from about 12 feet to about 20 feet, and the water is clear enough that you can see the the grass, rocks, and sand ridges on the bottom perfectly. After dark fell, the wind dropped completely, and the surface of the water was like a sheet of glass, except on the crest of our small wake, where the phytoplankton lit up like a string of Christmas lights.

At midnight, after some polite discussion regarding the best way to navigate it, we passed by the Northwest Channel Shoals and into the Tongue of the Ocean (not a name I made up), where the bottom goes from tens of feet to thousands of feet within a short time. We passed over an area that approaches 8000 feet. The water was calm there as well, but we can't claim that we could see the bottom.

We had no wind, or wind on the nose, for most of this passage, so it was motoring time again.

Bimini was absolutely terrific, and we would have stayed longer except we had a good weather forecast for an overnight sail, and because of Junkanoo (your homework is to research). More than half the people on the seaplane flight from Miami to Bimini, which we mentioned in an earlier blog, were islanders. Bimini is just a few miles long, and all the islanders know one another... So Junkanoo on Bimini this year will not be the usual festive time, and there were to be seven funeral services instead. It didn't seem like the best time to be hanging around this small community.

Junkanoo in Nassau, however...

We were here three years ago for New Years. The Junkanoo parades started at 4AM on the 1st, and we had a flight later that day, plus a hefty cab fare back to the hotel if we missed the bus, so we didn't see much. This year we will.

Anchoring in Nassau is quite an experience. We started with our best bower (45 lb CQR) and dragged, then added a 12 lb mushroom as a kellet and dragged, then put our 40 lb Bruce in series with the CQR. Dean dove down and tried to help them set. Jill dove in and confirmed that they weren't. The bottom here is an inch of sand covering rock. Because the water is so clear, we can see perfectly that the anchor is lying on its side. In order to hold you, an anchor is supposed to dig into the bottom and wedge itself there. Instead what's holding us now is all that weight from the anchor and chain. But we weigh three tons.

Add to all this that the tide changes direction four times a day, turning the boat 180 degrees and unsetting whatever tiny amount of sand our anchor managed to fetch up on...if it ever did. The only good news is that all the other boats in this area are also barely clinging to this barren surface, so everybody drags together. We're crossing our fingers and toes here as the tide changes...

Happy New Year!

Sent via PocketMail
Email Anywhere


Post a Comment

<< Home