Sunday, June 14, 2009

Amazon Adventure #29. A dash for Stocking Island.

                                                                                     The Cut.

From the journal:

Jan 29.
Family conference first thing. We all decided that as we were so close to Georgetown and Stocking Island ( 30 miles) and with the wind favourable in the NE we might as well make a run for it. We left Cave Cay under the puzzled eyes of some plastic yacht people. Don`t think that they ever understood that we preferred to anchor shallow and rest on the beach for half the night. That would be their worst nightmare.

The wind was gusty and strong as we left under the genoa and sailed along a shallow winding channel marked on the chart. There came a point where to follow the channel would mean a big dogleg so we turned right and crossed a big sand bar. It seemed only a few inches of water with sand and small coral lumps under our keel. We were going like crazy through the water but a strong tidal current flowing the other way made us slower over the ground. - just as well!

The wind went more into the east and slackened after lunch so up went the main. We really zipped over the shallows in the gusts. Eventually we exited into the open sea through a narrow cut in the hope of finding more wind and had to start the engine when we drifted toward the cliffs. We kept motor sailing along the coast in steep seas. A wave suddenly broke nearby on an isolated rock and we edged a little farther out!

The wind increased as the day died and Georgetown was still a long way off. We were surfing along in a race with the dark. I worried about breaking waves at the entrance channel just like happened near Little Harbour but in the end we followed the chart and slid across the shoal section with no problems. We were then in a final race for the bays of Stocking Island and I had never seen Amazon go so fast! Just when we thought we are at top speed we transitioned in a flurry of foam and rocketed forward. Amazon is heavily laden with all our family and supplies so she is wet when bucking into the waves, but here in the sheltered lee of the Island at last, we could carry sail that would lift a hull if we were not so heavy!

We groped our way into the bay by spotlight and found many boats at anchor. Two anchors out, a line ashore, quick, up with the tent and down came the rain. The rain stopped before bedtime so down with the tent and I got a lovely night`s sleep under the tarp. Bill.

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