Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chapter 7: West End to Green Turtle Cay

Having arrived at West End, Grand Bahama, we were still separated from our chosen cruising ground, the Sea of Abaco by the breadth of the Little Bahama Bank. The Little Bahama Bank is a huge shallow sea about 80 nautical miles wide. Most of it is too shallow for navigation, dotted with rocks and reefs. Fortunately, mariners have found a limited number of safe routes from point to point on the bank and the routes cross each other at nodes or junctions. As long as one enters the bank at a safe point and then travels from node to node, one is safe. It's like the way we drive on roads at home.

On the middle of the bank, we were as alone as people can be. There was no sign of people, boats, or human habitation from horizon to horizon. Often there was no land in sight, either. It looked like we were in the middle of the ocean, until we checked the depth gauge and saw that we were in only 13 feet of water!

It takes two days to cross the bank in a sailboat. Conveniently, there is a safe anchorage about exactly half way across, at Great Sale Cay (pronounced “Key”). After a good two-day run, mostly under power because the wind was “right on the nose” we reached a safe harbour in White Sound, Green Turtle Cay.


Brian and Susan Sims said...

Dear Tana and Mark,
We are so happy for your dream come true. You are amazing people. We always knew you had it in you. We will watch with admiration from our post in good old Cedar Falls Iowa! Take care and have fun.
Brian and Susan

Phil said...

Mark & Tana,
We've all been tracking your voyage on Google Earth - what an amazing and exciting trip you're having!!! We're praying for continued smooth sailing!

All The Best
Phil Kruzan & your Friends at
Foster Group

Jason & Teresa said...

What agreat idea to follow your trek on Google Earth. We have really enjoyed following your trek in pictures and through the blog. Sounds like it has been wonderful thus far.

Wayne said...

Mark and Tana,
The first major snow storm of the season is rolling across the Wasatch mountains this afternoon - what a contrast to your photos! We have loved following you or your adventure. We talked before you left about the fact that the Grandin Print Shop was formerly on the banks of the Erie Canal but is now several yards away. You didn't mention stopping in Palmyra. Guess you were trying to keep your schedule. Looking forward to more installments.

Wayne and Gretta

Marye said...

Mark and Tana,
Good to hear about your trip and to see the pictures. Will just have to live it through your eyes. Enjoy yourselves. You deserve it all.