Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pineapple Cays

We are anchored off South Palmetto Point, on the western shore of central Eleuthera and just south of a small group of tiny cays known as the Pineapple Cays (map). It is a lovely spot and today's weather is perfect to just relax and enjoy it. We are getting a strong WiFi signal from the nearby settlement, the best we've had in weeks.

Nice homes along the shore of South Pineapple Point.

We ended up being pinned down by weather in Rock Sound for another two days after my post from there. Fairly strong westerlies had most of the other boats crossing the harbor to the lee of the windward point, but with our tender now on deck and stuck on the boat for a few days we opted to stay close to town to get the sporadic WiFi we were picking up. I even went up on deck and moved the antenna for a better signal.

In hindsight, yesterday was probably too soon to leave, but we woke in the morning to a calm harbor, and the forecast had eased up slightly. A serious, sometimes fatal disease among boaters is known as get-there-itis, where a schedule or even just a drive to get someplace causes otherwise rational skippers to get underway in sketchy conditions. We have no real schedule nor places we have to be for a while, so I think instead I had get-outtahere-itis, yearning for a change of scenery. At one point in our stay we heard a boater on the VHF sing "We gotta get off of this boat, if it's the last thing we ever do," Animals-style, and I know that feeling.

And so it is that we weighed anchor even though it was overcast and thus not the best light for seeing the coral heads. I had good bread crumbs coming in, though, and figured we could re-asses, when we made it to the first batch of corals, whether or not the visibility was good enough for safe navigation. As it turned out, we could still see them, just not as far away, and so once we turned off our bread crumb trail it was slow going until we were out of the charted coral field.

Somewhere in all of this it started raining on and off, which made visibility a bit worse but also got us soaked because we needed to drive from the flybridge to see the corals. And once we rounded the point and were in uninterrupted fetch from the west, we had a bit of swell on the beam. We did make it all the way here without Angel tossing her cookies, though, so it was an acceptable ride.

Sheep Cay, to our north, with one of the smaller Pineapple Cays beyond.

As we arrived it was driving rain and heavy chop, and I tucked up as close as I dared into the lee of Sheep Cay, the largest of the Pineapples. We both got drenched while anchoring, but that gave us an acceptably calm anchorage for the night, and I even managed to grill a pair of steaks without getting too wet later in the evening. Skies had cleared and things had calmed down to "glassy" by the time I turned in after midnight.

More wind is coming, and it's a bit too exposed here, so despite the beautiful location, good connectivity, and a rumored restaurant ashore, we will weigh anchor this afternoon and move the seven miles north to Governors Harbour. There is more protection there, although poorer holding, and lots of services in town should we be pinned down for a few days.

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