Monday, February 6, 2023

April 9, 2022 Governor's Harbour via Current Cut

We spent some time this morning discussing where we wanted to head next and which cut to take between islands as we head south.  I want to be near a Catholic Church for Palm Sunday and Easter.  Gregory Town is the closest, but I’d have to take the dinghy to shore from a neighboring bay and walk through town to the highway to get to church by 8:00am.  Might be tough.  We decided on Governor’s Harbour or close to it, since church isn’t until 12:00.  We could move closer, as needed, in the morning.  

It was noon by the time we had everything ready to go.  We had decided to through Current Cut, which takes some planning with tide, current, and wind.  The recommendation is to go during “slack tide” when there is the least current.  The guide books say slack tide is 2 hours after high/low tide in Nassau.  But another place says that the tide is 2 hours behind Nassau.  So does that put slack tide at 4 hours after high/low tide in Nassau?  Plus you also have to know which way the water is flowing with the tide rising or lowering.  You want to know whether you are going with the current or against it.  Too fast, and you lose steerage, too slow and you can’t motor against it.  There is enough room to turn around before you enter the cut, if you don’t like the feel of the current.  But we’ve never had to abort.  So here’s what we were facing:  Low tide in Nassau was at 9:10am.  Slack tide is 2 hours after that, which would be 11:00.  It is now 1:00.  We had the direction of the current and the wind in our favor (on our back), so we went for it.  The water in the first half looked “confused” (standing waves with wind and current fighting each other).  And the second half was really calm.  As we entered the cut we were motoring at 7kn.  We picked up to 10.5 kn all the way through the cut and had no problem.  
We made it to Governor’s Harbour in 6 hours.  This harbor is known as a poor anchorage.  It’s hard to get your anchor to set.  The bottom is hard packed sand.  The anchor skips along the bottom until enough sand builds up in front of it to hold it in place, or you find a softer spot for the anchor to drop into.  It took us a couple attempts to get our anchor to set.  By then, the wind direction had changed, and waves were coming into the anchorage from around a corner.  So we were being hit on the side and rocking side to side, not comfortable.  So we picked up our anchor and moved about a mile north to anchor in the protection of Levi Island.  Much nicer!

entering the cut

beautiful calm when exiting the cut

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