- Katharine Hesmer
DAY 26 | January 8, 2022
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
Highbourne Cay to Norman's Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
The blue dot is our anchorage location.
Woke up around 2:00 am at Highbourne Cay to the boat rolling around. Which led to ME rolling around and not sleeping very well. Not sure what changed overnight, but it went from a pretty flat and peaceful anchorage to a bobbing-around boat. Nothing that would make you feel sick, but not terribly conducive to sleeping either, unless of course you’re Steve, who can sleep anywhere, any time, under any conditions.
(Random side note: While I was fixing breakfast today, I could hear Skeet playing a game on his switch AND listening to the history of Scotland in the 14th century — and no the history part has nothing to do with school. 😳)
After the morning powwow, we determined we should probably seek out a calmer anchorage for KORKZcrew as high winds are expected in the next few days, and we'd much rather get ahead of those and leave today. Ron and Skeet had scoped out a nice protected bay on the northeast side of Norman's Cay known as "The Pond", which was about a 1.5 hour trek from Highbourne.
We saw this awesome modern home along the way that had an entire little island to itself. Not too shabby. Just wonder how they provision! But once you're there, it would be pretty tough to leave.
As we headed south to Norman's, part of that journey was "inside", or on the west side of the islands, and part was "outside", or in the ocean. That's when the real "fun" began. Yikes. It was pretty rough, with seas between 3' and 5', and our little bathtub took a pounding. I've mentioned this before, but even with the best planning, you can't always anticipate what might become airborne in the pilot house, and once you've committed to riding upstairs in the flybridge for the trip, the option to go back downstairs and check on things disappears when it's as rough as it was today. It plays with your mind to hear things crashing downstairs, knowing you can't do a thing about it, and you just cross your fingers that you haven't overlooked securing something really important, like your vacuum sealer. 😂(sorry . . . couldn't resist).
Luckily the "outside" portion of this trek was rather short, but felt like an eternity, especially when we noticed two rather threatening looking squalls off of our port side and bow. Steve wears his life jacket whenever we're underway, and when it's rough like this and we're upstairs, he usually sits on the side of me closest to the front of the boat so I can be sure he's safe and can't slide around. That boy is the best sport imaginable, and never cries, complains, or whimpers, but you can tell he REALLY doesn't like it when KORKZcrew rolls from side to side, and I cannot blame him in the least. He's content just to be close to us. It wouldn't matter if there were a billion dolphins off of the bow . . . if it's a rough ride, he's gonna be glued to one of us upstairs. We give him gobs of reassurance and he does just fine. He's so sweet. His little life jacket (its brand name is Outward Hound 😂) even has handles on it, which makes getting him up and down the stairs a whole lot easier.
You can see the two squalls in this video, so we were kind of "racing" (a questionable term given the snail-like speed of this boat) to get to the anchorage ahead of these storms.
Ron says today's destination of "The Pond" at Norman's is known to sailors and boaters as a "hurricane hole", which means it's a popular, protected anchorage during severe storms. Luckily we weren't having to weather anything THAT serious, but it was nice to know we had the promise of a calm night. The last obstacle we had to get past was a super-skinny entrance — skinny in the sense of the available opening between two land masses as we entered the harbor, and skinny in the sense of water depth. Ron and Skeet looked at their charts and our depth and pulled it off without any trouble, and Steve and I breathed a sigh of relief just to be out of the incessant and turbulent chop of the ocean.
Here's the narrow entryway to the anchorage at Norman's Cay
Here was our reward for weathering that awful ride: white sandy beaches and gorgeous blue water. We were one of only four boats anchored here.
Ron's only comment after weathering that ride was, “Well, that was a sh*tty trek but LOOK! Kinda worth it!”
It really is peaceful and calm, and although we can hear the wind whistling around us and had an afternoon of periodic rain showers, it was so comfortable that you literally wouldn't have known you were on a boat.
The nice conditions must have made Ron extra inspired to do more projects too, and what's a true boat project unless you're adding . . . more holes to your boat. 😳 One thing we've both noticed about KORKZcrew is that it would make sense to have airflow through the front windows of the pilot house, and they are the only two windows on the boat that are fixed. This of course didn't stop Ron from adding airflow of his own, and so he proceeded to cut two gigantic holes on either side of the window in the center. Holy smokes. Of course, he IS the Professor from Gilligan's Island, so of COURSE, he had a plan up his sleeve, and some vents in his tool box. Now that they're installed, they honestly look like they've always been there, and while Skeet and Steve and I haven't really noticed a significant change in airflow ( 😂), each time Ron walks through the pilot house, he acts as if he's being blown across the room. 🤣
1.5 hours underway / 7 nautical miles