January 26-27, 2010... Journey to Little San Salvador

Another cold front came through with a vengeance on Tuesday morning at 4:15 am. It woke us up; once we determined we were firmly anchored and the hatches were closed against the rain that would fall, we went back to sleep. Then up again and underway by 7 am for the 40+ miles to Little San Salvador. The wind was strong enough for sailing and we had no trouble sailing down the 'whale tail' of Eleuthera. But when we needed to turn up to the east for the ocean segment across, the weather helm was tough and the seas were 5-8 feet. John eased the main and Patti insisted on a reef in the sail and we sped along to our destination. John manned the wheel for the crossing and was rewarded with double rations (of cookies) for his efforts. Anchoring was easy in sand, but we rolled in the swell for the night. And the north wind was cold.
Wednesday was exploration day. Splashing the kayak, we set off to learn about this place. First stop was the cruise ship area. We talked with the staff and learned that three ships would be in this week - one each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We are anxious to see how things change when the ship passengers descend. This island is blissfully peaceful without anyone else here. And we can't get over the gorgeous scenery -- green hills and blue water. Well, we set off for the southern coast of the island, hand-drawn map at the ready, to find the inlet to the large inland pond. Of course this would take us up into the wind (E-NE) so we were immediately challenged. Then we couldn't find the inlet. About to give up, John spotted the entrance. Through the toughest waves and swells yet, we headed in. We found ourselves sitting in one place paddling furiously; then moving back. The current and wind were opposed and we were losing! We got out of kayak and Patti towed it toward the pond. This current had to be 3-4 knots against us. We finally beached on the mangrove shore and tried to figure out if we could paddle on. We tried, but the current had us beat. So, we let it take us back towards the sea and we beached again to eat our power bar lunches and try to gain enough energy for the transit back. Nice thing about the trip back - most of it would be downwind. Back to Anhinga for rest and reading.

Half Moon Bay, Little San Salvador: +24° 35' 1.86", -75° 57' 40.62"

1 comment:

  1. John, You seem to be in between tiny, lightly unpopulated islands, as the adventure continues. If it is still technically feasible, please go back to plotting your path on the map, as well as telling the great stories in the blog. I admit I look at the blog with interest and often envy almost every day and love seeing the blue line and flags marking your progress. Lately I've just had to imagine it. Safe travels, Bill H