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01/04/12 - Tenacious
It’s 00.35 on the morning of Sunday 1st April 2012 and the good ship, Tenacious is resting at anchor off Chub Cay in the Berry Islands, Bahamas (25 deg 23.64 N, 77 deg 50.98 W) Can you find it on a map? At last anchor watch observation (00.30) we were in 7.1m of water, 0.84 nautical miles from the nearest land, being a beautiful silky white beach covered in conch and other sea shells.
After some enthusiastic swimming from the ship yesterday morning, the permanent crew launched the DOTI board and provided a shuttle service to the beach and two of the three wheel chair users along with a good proportion of the voyage crew ventured onshore. Some made it as far as a few meters up onto the beautiful deserted beach before their strenuous effort resulted in them collapsing onto their towels and sunbathing the afternoon away, while some of the remainder ventured approximately one mile across to the far side of the Island in search of the inevitable marina bar. A few of us walked along the beach and reported finding a small reef with lots of different varieties of fish. We returned to enjoy Graham’s fantastic barbeque on board.
Prior to arriving at Chub Cay, we had raised the fore and main sails and traveled through the night, taking the long route and sailing around the very shallow Bahamian sands from Bimini Island. A significant area of seabed in the Bahamas is only two to three meters below the surface and so our big lady, Tenacious, with her 4.7m draft is quite frequently finding herself sailing around these very shallow waters, obviously having to stay in the limited deeper waters.
Another peculiarity of the Bahamas is that the sea shelf drops away very dramatically to depths of some 500m within a very short distance from the shore. Tenacious therefore finds herself in the peculiar position of being excluded from the shallows and at the same time having difficulty in finding level anchorage points with enough water.
Later today we shall sail on to our next destination, Nassau.