Long Island- Salt Pond

With the prediction of “trawler weather” holding for the following week and beyond, we decided to join Luc and Hélène aboard Innu and make the trip to the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Islands. Since the week of fair weather coincides with the time we have until our guests arrive, We’ll be able to make it down the chain to Ragged Island and back to Georgetown before we’ll need to make the day’s run back north to Staniel Cay.

The Jumentos and Raggeds are areas less cruised. The Jumentos are uninhabited, and there are only a few settlements on the Raggeds. Our first day took us from Georgetown to Salt Pond on Long Island. We visited Long Island last year. At 80 miles, it’s the longest island in the Bahamas archipelago. There are a few good cruising spots on the island, but it is not one of the more popular cruising destinations. Our stopover was essentially an overnight stay with a late departure the following morning to play the tide on the west bound leg from Salt Pond to the waypoint where we turn south. Since Innu’s 6 ft. draft makes passage through the one section of the route most prudent on a rising mid tide, so our departure was timed accordingly. Since we draft a foot less, we are designated the lead vessel and “lookout” as it were! It makes the trip much more enjoyable with this arrangement! There are some areas where charted depths are right around 6 to 7 feet, but the charting in the Bahamas is based on datum, or the lowest historical reported depth. NOAA charts use MLW (mean low water), or the calculated mean of the normal low tides. A fine point, but generally, you can be relatively confident that you won’t encounter depths any lower than the charted depth. As it was, neither boat had any problems.

We have observed, as we were told, that the water appears to be a bit clearer here. We could clearly see the bottom 25 feet below as we cruised along at 6-1/2 knots. I should qualify that seeing the bottom means being able to discern individual blades of sea grass on the bottom. Simply incredible. The hues of the bottom vary from greens to emerald, turquoise blue to radiant aquamarine that fades to yellow and white over the sand bars. With the noonday sun overhead, the water positively shimmers with color. No amount of description or any photograph can do justice to the beauty of the water here, it is positively mesmerizing.

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