Monday, December 16, 2013

The Berry Islands

After a lovely stay in both North and South Bimini, we had a great weather window allowing us to head east to the Berry Islands, a chain of islands and cays lying on the eastern side of the Great Bahamas Bank.  The cays are uninhabited for the most part.  Some are privately owned.  The Berry's are clearly off the well-traveled path and are not for those seeking crowds or organized activities.  For those seeking unadulterated isolation, this is paradise.  

We left South Bimini at 6:50 AM on Sunday with winds out of the south east.  After a six mile run north we rounded the light at Moselle Bank and assumed a 103 degree course through the Great Bahamas Bank to Great Harbor Cay.  We averaged over 7.5 knots for the entire 12 hour sail.  It was a great sail with 15-20 knot winds and moderate seas on the beam.  In other words we flew (by sailing standards).  Unfortunately, with the sun setting at 5:30 PM, we were not able to enter the harbor in daylight.  The entry to the harbor has two stonewalls about 30 feet apart.  It was somewhat intimidating to enter at night but all went well with the support of Tara, Chad, and Kay.  Once in, we wound through a narrow channel to a well-protected Marina.  After a sampling of the Conch fritters and other treats, it was time to call it a day.

Great Harbor Beach
We were pleased to be able to move east as easily as we have.  With the winds shifting to the east and strengthening as January approaches, we will continue to jump in that direction when the weather permits.  This is the challenge of going through the Bahamas as a route to the lower Caribbean.  It is also why so many sailers opt for the longer passages from the Carolinas or north to Bermuda or directly to the USVIs.  That will be for another trip and another time.

Shark by the Boat
For now, we feel we are in paradise and enjoying our visit with Tara and Chad.  Unfortunately, they will be returning to Vermont at the end of the week.  This will mean we have to leave the Berry's and sail to Nassau so that they can ferry back to Florida.  From Nassau we will again look east and head for the Exumas.  We hope to spend a good deal of time there before the longer passage to Porto Rico. 

Thanks for following....

No comments:

Post a Comment