Great Sale Cay (Cay, is pronounced Key in the Bahamas)
At 8:00 AM we pulled away from the bulkhead in fine fashion as we learned another navigational move purely by accident. The wind was blowing us against the bulkhead and when I tried to steer the bow out into the alley, the wind kept it from turning in that direction. While backing up to give us more pivoting room to make our turn, I noticed while I had the wheel turned toward the bulkhead while in reverse, the bow was turning the direction we needed it to go. So, Gary (Mr. Muscles) and another fellow sailor from the next boat slip, fended (pushed) us off the bulkhead while I kept it in reverse turning toward the bulkhead so the bow would make it’s path toward the fairway. Voila! The procedure worked beautifully and we easily made our way out the marina. (Do you remember the poem, “You Know You’re A Sailor When…”? If not, it can be found in the Archives of our website. The last line of the poem is, “ You know you’re a sailor when you realize there is always one more thing to learn about being a sailor.”
In talking to one of Ed’s boat slip neighbors, arrangements were made for another boat to join our flotilla while going through the shallow channel from West End to the east side of the Little Bahama Bank. Their boat draft is 5 ½ feet and the water was skinny for them. Ed continually called out depth readings over the VHF radio, guiding the other captain safely through the channel to deeper water. Once we were through the channel, the other captain decided he could proceed on his own to Mangrove Cay.
We saw “fish muds” for the first time today where the water appears to be a shoal area, as the color is lighter. Glancing at the GPS and depth meter confirms it is not a shoal, rather stirred up water. According to the cruising guide, there are several theories of the cause of fish muds. The most common theory is they are caused from bottom feeding fish.
Great Sale Cay is an uninhabited island. Nonetheless, it is a busy anchorage due to proximity. An 8 ½ hour sail from West End to Great Sale Cay was a comfortable day of sailing, so anchoring here for the night instead of pushing onward to other islands makes a lot of sense. Also, after 8 ½ hours, Molly needs to go ashore to take care of business. And after a hot day at the helm, Captain Gary needed a swim in the cool, refreshing Bahamian water – his reward at the end of a fabulous first day cruising in the Bahamas.