As you might recall Magnolia planned and did depart Fort Pierce, FL Wednesday for Abacos, Bahamas. As it turned out, only three things went as planned….
The forecast was for a lovely south wind which was perfect for this passage, by the way we did get our 10-12, I just underestimated how much we would need…the thought was we could sail across the Gulf Stream and right up on the banks of Bahamas. Well it was I who underestimated the amount of wind required to drive Magnolia south and east across a 2 knot current. All the back seat sailors can hold opinions…my responsibility. After giving up 4 miles to the north, I gave in and fired up the engine…
As the track below shows, you can clearly see where the Gulf Stream starts and ends!
About 1600 the first of the widely scattered squalls to 30 knots arrived..widely scattered obviously means different things to different people…we would say “widely scattered moments of 15-20 knots followed by several more constant gusts to 40, Magnolia has ever been washed cleaner than by the amount of rain we received. A friends boat, Sagwa from Quebec Canada can be seen below.
Pictures just cannot capture the shear energy of the ocean waves.
Things settled once we got up on the banks and over towards Sale Cay, and the moon came out right on schedule at midnight, just could not see much of it till about 02:00 on Thursday morning. We we pressed on across the banks over night passing Coopers Town, Little Abaco Island about dawn on Thursday.
As Magnolia progressed down Great Abaco Island the next hurdle was the “Whale.”
The depth on the inside is too shallow for Magnolia to make it behind Whale Cut so we are forced to make a quick jaunt out into the ocean and back in on the other side of the cut. Because of the tides, currents and northern exposure this can be a treacherous cut if the conditions are not ideal. Remember those south winds? Well they made of ideal conditions and thankfully, after the night before..the Whale was a cake walk!
After clearing the Whale Magnolia proceeded on to Marsh Harbor where we anchored over night and rested up. First thing on Friday we cleared Customs and Immigration. We took the opportunity to run the water maker and produced about 30 gallons of fresh water to top up our tank before taking a mooring ball in Hope Town.
After a relaxing afternoon and between rain showers we hopped in the dinghy and headed for Wine Down SipSip for a flat bread.
Nothing says Hope Town like a flat bread!
Magnolia did take quit a beating and have a couple minor repairs to take care of but hopefully head for the Exumas later next week. Be Safe, Vessel and Crew are well on this end.