Sunday, December 27, 2009

Whale Cay Channel to Great Guana Cay

Equinox left the Green Turtle Club early in the pre-dawn hours, about 6:15 am...White Sound was an absolute mirror of still water, gorgeously reflecting all the boats moored there. We were up early to make sure we had enough water beneath the hull as we exited White Sound channel, as it can get rather thin there. Low tide was approaching at 10:10 am, so we were already on a falling tide, but there was plenty of water for us to exit. Ally and Kayleigh crawled out of bed to handle the tender, taking it out of the sound, while Ron and Karyn were aboardEquinox. Once outside New Plymouth, we rigged the towing bridle, retrieved the girls from the tender and set out!
Looking east towards Whale Cay during passage

Whale Cay Channel was rolling with good 4'-6' swells, with the occasional breaking chop along either side, but passage through was perfectly doable. Actually, today's conditions were better than what we've transited through before! Nevertheless, we kept a close eye on the tender, especially when we'd ride over one of the larger swells. We were already in Loggerhead Channel on the south side of Whale Cay by the time the Cruisers' Net came on at 08:30 with the morning weather report and passage reports through the Abacos cuts. I was a bit relieved that the transit around the Whale was so benign. Neither one of us sleeps all that well the night before a passage, and I usually wake up stressing unnecessarily about tides, water levels, seas conditions, and all the other variables that we've tried to take into consideration.

Equinox at anchor off Great Guana Cay

After some discussion, we were soon anchored securely in Cooper's Bay just south of Big Joe's Point. While Settlement Harbor is closer to the docks and Orchid Bay Marina, this anchorage is wider and definitely prettier; we didn't want to be hemmed in without room to swing. Ron and Karyn took a tender tour around the new luxury marina, Bakers Bay, while the girls slept in (naturally). When we returned, we cranked the girls out of bed and headed over to Settlement Harbor and... Nipper's!

Sunday afternoon is famous for the weekly pig roast at Nipper's on the Beach, a candy-colored carnival-like bar/playground for grown-ups! Between the spectacular views of the Atlantic on a long stretch of dramatic beach-front, and the multi-levels of seats and tables around the main pool, there's a lot to see and watch. The drinks are cold (the Frozen Nipper's rum punch is probably the strongest on the planet, so beware!!) and the sunshine hot. Everyone starts dancing mid-afternoon, and soon the dance floor (and tables) are in full swing! Fun!! We ended up talking with a pair of fun families Texas and Colorado, respectively, whom we'd met last Wednesday while dancing with the Gully Roosters. They own a house on Green Turtle Cay and came over to Nippers for the afternoon, so we had quite the crowd to talk and dance with! It was a great time -- as always!!

Sign at Nipper's dock in Settlement Harbor

The pool at Nipper's

Stairs leading to the beach

Ron teaching Ally how it's done -- dancing up a storm

Just part of the dancing scene at Nipper's

We stayed until 4:00 p.m., when we left hot, sweaty and full of smiles after all the dancing and good times. We wanted to get back to the boat, as we never feel totally comfortable about leaving the boat on anchor unattended for long stretches of time. (No matter how benign the conditions or well you set the anchor!!) We watched the sunset before a light dinner, and an early bedtime!

Sunset from our anchorage, back aboard Equinox for the night

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