Yesterday, the 18th, we left West End to continue our journey of exploration of the Northern Bahamas.
We moved to the fuel dock at 07.00 hrs and topped up our diesel before leaving at 08.00 hrs following L’Equipe who took the responsibility to lead us through the narrow Indian Cut. A couple of 7’06” spots, no buoys or other type of markers at all, but a very clear picture of the bottom when standing in the bow.

After about four miles of quite shallow motoring we reached “deep” water, - I say “deep” because it is still only about ten or twelve feet . It is a fascinating experience to be unable to see any land on the horizon at all, but to look down and see the bottom as clearly as if you were looking in an aquarium. Now we understand the cruiser stories of reaching the Bahamian banks and anchoring for the night in the middle of nowhere!! It is entirely possible. For those of you in Montreal and who sail on Lake St. Louis imagine sailing on the lake but being able to see every single boulder, weed, fish or whatever quite clearly. I am not so sure that you would wish to see the bottom of Lake St. Louis quite this clearly but the idea gives you an idea of the sea that we are sailing in

Our first landfall was Mangrove Cay, a very small uninhabited island where we made a course alteration to the East and headed for Great Sale Cay and specifically Northwest Harbour. At this time we were motor sailing but the wind started to freshen and some rather dark and ominous looking clouds, with quite possibly heavy squalls in them, appeared across the bow, so discretion became the better part of valour and the main came down and we continued motoring. Luck was on our side however since although it became overcast all the rain and there did seem to be a lot of rain went around us and barely a drop on us.

The island and our anchorage appeared exactly where it was supposed to appear ( all these islands are very low with small trees so we do not see them much before eight miles out) and by 15.00 hrs we were safely anchored in eight and half feet of water. You can stand on the bow and see the chain and anchor so it is easy to tell whether the anchor is dug in or not!!

Heinz and Jacqueline were soon in their dinghy and came aboard to be introduced to that old favourite of mine, rum and ginger ale with a squeeze of fresh lime juice – very refreshing. The clouds were leaving and the sun was shining once again. After sunset we dinghied over to L’Equipe for a delicious supper – a different type of Shepherd’s Pie, to be called Great Sale Pie and so to bed after a long but very stress free day.


A quiet but busy day today spent at anchor in Great Sale Island. Catherine spent the entire day baking four loaves of delicious whole wheat, sourdough bread with walnut pieces in it. Her first solo effort and a huge success !!! She really does seem to have this bread making down so we can look forward to more home baked bread although a moratorium has been called for a while since the fridge/freezer will not hold any more.

I spent the day getting the dinghy organized with the motor on and we filled up the gas tank from our store of spare petrol aboard. Having worked fine when we put the engine onto the dinghy the engine then quit and refused all attempts to coax it back to life.. I will have to spend a day soon taking that apart – hopefully it is nothing too serious.

Supper was, once again, aboard L’Equipe where we were treated to a hot, spicy and totally delicious stew and so the day ended! We shall leave tomorrow the 20th.

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