April 16 — The Current

The sun setting shortly after we arrived at the Glass Window. The wind finally calmed down.

To get to Eleuthera from Royal Island you go through Current Cut. We had read all the usual blah, blah, blah. Only attempt this in broad daylight with no wind and the tide going your direction after a full moon. You must be an expert at visual piloting. Positions are approximate, and the chart and guide makers are not liable for anything.

So we stayed put in Royal Island Harbor waiting for the wind to relax a bit, but it just kept coming. We left at noon on the 16th, sailed the six miles to the cut, dodging the charted obstacles, and then dropped sails to motor through.

The gap between Current Island and Eleuthera is 50 feet deep and doesn’t look too much wider than that for most of its two miles. You can’t really see the whole cut from the western entrance. But since the current moves faster than the boat, once you start going through, you are committed. From the west you pass between two rocky cliffs. There are rocks straight ahead. You turn left to avoid these.

As I looked back and forth from the chart to the cut, Duwan steered. By the leftmost cliff was glassy water, but in the center of the channel tiny waves boiled where the current pushed against our 20 knot breeze. To the right was a hard bar with a line of big rocks stretching out. As we turned left to avoid the hard bar, a beach appeared on the left. It’s probably one of the most beautiful, under-appreciated beaches in the Bahamas. Duwan kept to the narrow channel between the hard bar and beach.

Immediately after the hard bar and line of rocks you make an 80 degree turn back toward them. Since the current was moving us along I had Duwan start the turn a little early. Then turn a little sharper. Then give it more throttle and turn sharper still. The current was trying to take us past our turn into the shallows. Well she made the turn successfully, steered us close beside the line of rocks and over the charted shallows into the Bight of Eluthera.

This bight is much bigger than the one we were in before. The waves had more distance to build up and the seas were about four feet (bigger than we expected). The nearest anchorage was near the Glass Window on Eleuthera. It was about ten miles into the wind (now 20-25 knots).

We raised sails, and with tacking made it more like a 19 mile trip. But we arrived before dark, getting the treat of seeing the Glass Window from the water.

Now we have do have pictures of the Glass Window. But it occurs to me that we need a third crewmate, one who has free hands to take pictures of all the exciting stuff.

3 thoughts on “April 16 — The Current

  1. Michelle Littlejohn said:

    I volunteer!

    • Runs with Anchor said:

      Come on! Bring David!

  2. Suzanne said:

    I am having a fantasy experience reading all your adventures! Thanks for sharing. We miss you in C’town, but love that you all are having such a fantastic time.

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