An update from our Helia 44 owners, Gordon and Louise Coates in the Caribbean.
A few days ago we sailed away from Georgetown, out of the shallow protected waters between the Islands, and headed for the open water on the Atlantic Ocean side of this island chain.
The wind was moderately strong and a sea state to match but as we were going with the swell, with the wind carrying us on a broad reach, we were flying. It felt good to be out on the ocean again – I think I am addicted!
The boat felt good and our passage took us six to seven hours to cover just over sixty nautical miles. Then we had to negotiate re entering the leeward side of the islands by squeezing through a rather narrow cut. We were in six meters of water, going through a gap about two hundred meters wide, with the water rushing into the shallow area on the other side. You could say that we were ‘shot’ back into the turquoise playground which has an average depth of just three and a half meters of water over white sand. The colours are amazing and the water flat, so with full sails up and the wind still blowing hard we scooted along effortlessly.
Our destination was Staniel Cay, said to be ‘the cruising headquarter for the Central Exumas’. It is a popular spot and we are now anchored among some rather incredible craft. Last night some of our neighbors looked like Christmas Trees, all lit up.
The air temperature is around 32 deg and the water temperature around 30 deg. It’s like swimming in a warm bath, in crystal clear water on miles of white sand.
The boats look like they are floating on air as their shadows make the only dark patches on the sandy bottom. Oh, apart from the long dark shape we saw just as we climbed on deck after a long swim yesterday. It was a Gummy Nurse shark, languidly cruising along under our boat. They are quite harmless but needless to say I was glad I didn’t see it when I was in the water!
One of the novel things about this area are the pigs on the beach. They are famous and cruisers come from all around to see them. They swim out to you as you dinghy ashore and happily gobble up any food scraps you have to offer. It’s quite a treat and they look like they are very contented pigs indeed. And why wouldn’t they?
They live on a beach in paradise, being fed daily by the tourists, and snooze under the shade of trees at the back of the beach in the heat of the day.
What a life!
click on the pics to enlarge: