Friday, April 30, 2010

Back North to Highborne Cay

We cruised early this morning, up and out O’Brien’s Cut well before we needed to, wanting to take advantage of the slack water on our exit through the cut there. When the ebb tide opposes the wind, the cut gets nasty rough even in the lighter winds; in a good blow, the waters flowing through the cut can get into a "rage" where it really isn't passable. Today, though, it was an uneventful cruise (always good) under mostly cloudy skies of only a few hours as we made our way north. It was nice to be offshore and not threading our way through the shallows filled with coral heads, but when we arrived at Highborne Cut, it was at mid-tide and the winds were against the ebbing current. Never a good thing as I stated before, especially in the Exumas where the current flow through the cuts can be quite strong! Still, although the winds were just 10-15 knots, the cut was clearly a bit rough so we pulled in the tender off the towline. I jumped in (literally) off the stern of Equinox to pilot Tingum, while Ron took Equinox separately, since we didn’t want the tender to get yanked about in the steep chop of the cut. Despite a few waves bouncing Tingum about, we each had an uneventful passage in to Highborne Cay from Exuma Sound.
We anchored in the lee of the cay amongst a few other boats. Highborne Cay is a privately-owned island with a small marina and fairly well-stocked store, but no other facilities, not even a restaurant. Thus, it’s a highly transient place with many boats coming and going, heading north or south. We are hoping to do some diving here if the wind ever dies down, since we know the wall here is phenomenal. The question is, will the wind EVER die down this year?? Apparently not...!
We had a farewell dinner with Sam and Heather aboard Cloud Nine in the evening; they are heading on north tomorrow, wanting to stay on schedule to reach Virginia by the end of May. We have enjoyed out time with them as they have been so much fun to be with! From their stories of cruising in the Med to their adventures in the Pacific, it’s been an instructive, interesting and very enjoyable time together. That is the real treat of cruising, meeting other boating folks who become friends. It really makes cruising so wonderful!
Sam and Heather, aboard Cloud Nine

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