Highborne Cay N to Allans Cay

We left Highborne Cay Marina Tuesday morning, clean and tanked up with fresh RO water. We used the remainder of the Eleuthera city water for washing the salt grime and dog hair that we had accumulated from the time we left Nassau when Maerin had her last righteous bath. We also got all the laundry done after yet another washing machine repair. It seems that waay back at some point, there were some coins that found their way into the drum of the machine. We removed some while we were on the NY canals, and evidently there were some missed. They seem to work their way into the pump after we have a period of idle time, especially when the boat has been pitching and rolling. The result is that the machine will not complete its cycle, and must be reset several times. The repair involves opening the access to and wet-vacuuming the pump to remove the water, and this last time another eleven cents was retrieved. The penny had been there a while, so hopefully all the coinage has been removed and we’ll have trouble-free operation from this point!


We made the 90 minute cruise from Highborne Cay north to Allans Cay and arrived shortly after noon. We anchored in about 15 ft, and got a good set 1st time around. The cay directly off our stern is “ironshore”, typical of most of the shoreline. Very very rugged, and difficult to negotiate on foot. We went ashore to explore the ruins of an old house, and visit with the Iguanas that


populate the Cay. There are hundreds of them, and they have become accustomed to their visitors bearing gifts of food, to the point they are almost demanding in their quest for treats! We returned to the boat, retrieved the dogs and set off for a small beach on the cay next to where we anchored, no iguanas on that one!  Some shore leave for the dogs, some romping and rolling in the sand followed by an exploratory dink ride. The water is clearer here than what we’ve experienced, we continually marvel at being able to look at the bottom through 15-20 foot depths! It’s relatively easy to check the anchor, just stand on the bow and follow the chain as it snakes across the bottom. We’ve been using the clear acrylic bin from the icemaker as our “lookie bucket” to check the set of the anchor. There are about 11 boats anchored in the area, 3 of which are catamarans, one trawler (us!) and the rest sailbotes. Two megayachts lie at anchor a bit south of us just north of Highborne Cay.
Later in the afternoon we broke out our wet suits, fins and masks, and took to the water right off the boat for some snorkeling. It was great fun just drifting along with the current and watching the bottom go by. The wet suit provides just enough floatation so there’s really little effort involved, just watch the show. The colors are stunning. Vibrant and brilliant, coral and fish wildlife alike provide the show, even though the area we were exploring doesn’t have whole lot to see, it was still a great view. The visibility is good enough that as we returned to the boat, we could see the shadow of the boat on the bottom, and see the anchor chain as it dropped to the bottom and trailed off to the anchor. You’re able to gain the dimension of depth that you don’t get looking from the surface, even through a lookie-bucket. The anchor was firmly set in the sand on a bank of the deep channel where we anchored. As we swam away from the boat, we could hear Sammy and Molly on the foredeck of the boat, and at one time looked back to see them both with their noses in the air, howling away. It was short-lived, a few shouted assurances from their purported drowning humans and all was well, they quietly stood watch for the duration of our swim from their perch. Bath time followed, we have learned that salty dogs inside the boat are a mess, and salty, sandy dogs are untenable. A shampoo in salt water is relatively effective at removing most of the sand, and with water at 50 cents a gallon, copious amounts of fresh water, the usual followup for a day at the beach, is out! So a shampoo with salt water, an immersion rinse off in the drink (either by cajoling a jump from the swim deck, or a quickly executed shove) and then a final rinse with the rinse bucket we use for our snorkel gear. We can snorkel, do the beach, and clean up (clean is relative at this point!) all with about 3 gallons of water.
With sunset, came the wind machine cranking back up, we had 20-25 kt winds most of the night, with lots of rolling. Not a restful night; I spent the night in the pilothouse, Barb had some fitful sleep in our bed, but our anchor held solid. As we gain more experience with less than ideal anchorages, we’ll sleep more comfortably, but for now, caution will dictate our anchoring methods! Still, our position is less than 100 yards off the ironshore! A bit disconcerting, but as we discovered during our snorkeling, the bottom does shoal up closer to shore, but the depth carries over 10 feet to within probably 100 ft. of the shore!
Wednesday morning rose with slightly diminished winds, and the predictions are for winds moderating until Friday-Saturday with the approach of yet another cold front, but behind the front calm winds are promised for the end of the weekend into next week. Hurrah!

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