Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas

14 feet of water - so clear underway

Up at 6:00 on Wednesday, April 11, excited to be underway to Nassau, we had to piddle around for a couple of hours or more, waiting for the sun to rise higher in the sky so we could pick our way back out through the rocks and coral heads to deeper safer water.  The waters here are beautiful because it is so shallow!!!  
The view all day long underway - photo taken from the flybridge!!!!
The water is also very still today, no wind nor waves, making it so easy to see to the bottom.  We never saw any sign of life while underway - just spotty soft corals gently waving under the water and as we got closer to Nassau, began seeing those puffy coral colored starfish I love so much.
Cruising through Nassau Harbor
Pulling into Nassau in the late afternoon was uneventful, as was getting into a slip at the Nassau Yacht Haven Marina.  This harbor is crowded, busy, has strong currents and anchoring is not advised as holding is terrible....hence, the marina choice....Not much choice!
Surprise!  Who knocked on our hull shortly after we tied up but Jim & Robin Roberts from Adventures, a DeFever 49 that we’d met at Warderick Cay.  We had a good time catching up and discussing the Not So Good weather headed our way.
Finally Fun is in this mess off to the left
Stuck now in Nassau it appears we’ll be here nearly a week as the winds howl and seas build to far higher than we want to tackle.  We really tried to rationalize trying to make it to Bimini - a two day trip from here -  and hunkering down there for a few days while this front passes through.  
Atlantis Resort in the background
As much as we want to be home, and feeling very much like the horse that sees the barn, we finally decided we were taking a chance and a risk if we did attempt ‘to beat the storm’.   
Departing here, we’d have to travel 40 (5 hours) nautical miles to Chubb Cay,  another dot of an island out in the middle of the Great Bahama Bank --- all in very very shallow water.  The winds adversely affect the Bank, driving big waves and making the water even more shallow as it blows the water across the Bank.  We’d have to anchor or perhaps be lucky enough to grab a mooring ball at Chubb Cay, risking getting stuck there for a week if the weather arrived only a few hours early.  Given the weather and with so many boats traversing to/from Florida this time of year, I was also concerned that once we arrived at Chubb, we might find ourselves with ‘no room at the inn‘ -- a over crowded anchorage in really bad bad blowing weather is not where we’d want to be.  
From Chubb, it is another 80-90 NM (10 to 12 hours underway) to Bimini, continuing across the Bank.  We’d face the strong possibility that we’d get hit by the weather rolling in a bit early with no place to hunker down out of it and/or get stuck out in the dark squalls, a very bad thing with all the shallows and reefs.  The race across the Banks to beat the storms could become very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous if the weather arrived a bit early or arrived stronger than predicted. 
Time to play Chicken....pooooo.

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