Great Sale Cay, Abacos

Sunday, June 25, 2006
Bahamas

026-58.980 N
078-13.260 W
Marine forecast for this location

Ahoy from a place where I'd love to know how it got its name!

I don't know if there was a blue light special on cays at some point and someone bought this, but it sure has an interesting name. Whoever bought it sure hasn't done much with it. There's the remains of an abandoned NASA/missile tracking site here, but other than that there's nothing. It's a long cay, almost 5 miles long, but very thin. It kind-a looks like a wish-bone with one leg broken off. What it has going for it is a harbor with protection from 270 degree inside that broken off wishbone part. It's a big harbor that can handle lots of boats. We had 13 in here last night with room for plenty more. The cay is a a great staging area for boats entering/exiting the Bahamas. It has good holding in soft sand/mud in 7' of water. Other than waiting for weather, there's not much to do here as there's no snorkeling and there's nothing on the beach.

This wasn't our intended destination. Originally we were headed to Walker's Cay, but then I looked at the charts and realized that there was no where to anchor with southerly winds. The next choice was the Double Breasted Cays, which were about 10 miles SE of Walker's Cay. There were multiple anchorages which provided great protection from southerly winds. We had a great sail from Allans-Pensacola cay with 15-20 kts ranging from a beam reach (which is good) to close hauled (which means toe-rail near the water). The winds backed to almost due N and the final 10 mile leg to the Double Breasted Cays would have been dead into the wind at 25 kts apparent. You know what, that didn't sound like fun, so I checked the charts and saw that we could sale down wind to Great Sale Cay and wait for the winds to switch to the S as forecast. That sounded like a much better plan, and we had a delightful sail here.

Our plans had been to head to the Double Breasted Cays and then wait for a weather window for our departure to Charleston. It looks like there's a good window today or tomorrow, so I suspect that we'll be underway sometime soon. It's about a 360 mile trip, so it should take about 3 days. However, we'll be in the Gulf Stream, which can add 3-4 kts to our speed, so we should be in considerably quicker than that.

We're one of the few non-Florida boats around here and we're definately in the sailboat minority. The Bahamas seem to have become an extension of FL. The comradery is very different also as most of these people are down here on a short vacation with family and/or friends. Unlike most areas where we've been in the past, they don't have the cruiser's sense of community and pretty much stick to themselves. As a result we've really missed the frequent get-togethers that we had elsewhere.

Another interesting observation regarding FL boats has to do with dinghy envy. It seems that the must-have item for FL boats (both big and small) is a center console dinghy. Instead of sitting on the side holding the handle of the an outboard you've got a seat and a steering where on a pedestal. In the past you only saw this on big dinghies, but now you're seeing them all over the place on 10' dinghies. The problem with this is that it adds a lot of weight and takes up a lot of space. It looks silly too! Of course you've also got the mega-yachts who are now towing the 40' sports fishing boat with twin 250 HP motors. Yeah, that's what I want!

That's about it from here. I just told Sue that we might leave today based upon what the charts show, and she wasn't overly happy. I'll keep you posted.

-- Geoff & Sue
Log ID: 876

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