Overnight Passage to Crooked Island

Tuesday, March 31 to Wednesday April 1, 2015

Miles Traveled:  116 nm 

We listened to Chris Parker weather in the morning.  There was to be a 2 day moderation in the winds, and we decided to take it as being in the SE Bahamas with a trof just south of us that wasn’t moving. It seemed that the only ways to get into better weather was to go North.  Unfortunately, that meant that we wouldn’t be able to go to Hogsty Reef.   SY Silbermowe decided to go too and left at 10am.  Double Trouble left at 11 am saying they thought we would pass them as they are a slow boat.  We left at 12 noon and raised the main shortly after raising anchor.  Once we cleared the north point, we made bearing 328 degrees for Castle Island at 1218pm with 74.2 miles to go and eta of 454am.  It had been raining this morning, so Phil took the opportunity since it was dry now to add 5 gals of Diesel to the tank.  By 1230pm we put out a reefed head sail and turned off the engine.  Then we put on the barberhaul with winds 14.5kt at 54 degree wind angle that range from 52 to 78 degrees throughout most of the trip to Castle Island. At 234pm , we spoke to Double Trouble on the radio  with them about 1/2 mile away and 59.1 miles to go (mtg).  The motion of the boat wasn’t too bad, so I made black beans and rice with a jar of the roast beef that I canned added to it.  Topped with Salsa, it was pretty good.   My evening watch started at 542pm with apparent winds 8-10 kts with 3-4ft swells and less than 2ft waves.  As the evening progressed, the winds started gradually getting higher and once it reach a consistent 13-14 knts at 845pm and a boat speed of 6 kts, I put a bigger reef in the head sail.   They say as soon as you think it to do it, and so I did.  I’m glad I did as the wind continued to build until it was 17-18 kts 30 min later and we were speeding along at 6.3 – 7 kts.  I even saw 7.5 knts a few times, which is really fast for us and made us really bouncy as we were sailing along.   Finally Phil came up at 1030pm and we rolled in the head sail.  That made us too rolly, to them we left out a hankerchief size jib which made the boat motion better.  During Phil’s watch we were going in the low 6’s for boat speed, so the small jib didn’t hurt us boat speed wise. 
Thursday, April 1

At 230am I came up and we were still sailing slowly off course towards the west in choppy water as the wind had clocked to 32degrees and Phil didn’t want to start the motor so as to not wake me up.  We had a discussion about either going to South Point Long Island and sailing or turning on the motor to motor up wind to Landrail Settlement on Crooker Island.  We decided the latter.  When I came on watch again at 425am, the wind was 13-15 knts from 40 degrees from starboard and we motored in a 2 ft chop that decreased to a 1 ft chop as we came close to our destination.  I woke Phil at 811am with 2.35 mtg.  20 min later we took down the main sail and set anchor 849am close to the small boat harbor and south of the reef.  We were the ony sailboat there.  We had hoped that Silbermowe would be here first, as we didn’t see them during our passage. We had made it to Crooked Island.  I was pretty tired, so after we were settled, I went back to sleep for a couple hours waking at 11am.

Relaxing on the boat, a fishing boat with 3 men in it came within 25 ft of Changes, letting us know that it was Homecoming EasterWeekend here and they were having activities going on.  We had been discussing what we would do if no one showed up leaning towards leaving tomorrow morning for South Point.  Knowing about Homecoming weekend certaining put a different spin on our ideas.

By mid afternoon Phil wanted to put the dinghy in the water and row into town to explore which we did.  First as we turned right from the small boat harbor, we passed a brownish block building with a building in progress being built 4 times it’s size behind it.  So far they had about 3 courses of blocks started with rebar sticking up.  Turns out it was a convenience store with Ashley at the register.  She was very friendly.   She closed at 6pm so we’d stop by again later.  We continued down the street past the first intersection then followied it around ccoming to a small old building.  As we turned the corner, we found it was the library and went in.  Sharika Wright was the Library Supervisor and told us how this use to be the one room school built in the early 1940’s for 12 children.  Now there is a school for the 32 children on the island.  They need more eductional books for the children, but have plenty of books that cruisers typically read.  She suggested that we go to Gibson’s Restaurant owned by Willimenia “Willie” Gibson for more information about everything going on.  We did walk the quarter miles and decided to eat there.  Typically you need to call for reservations, but she had some chicken she had fixed so that was good with us.  There were three girls that looked to be about 8-9 years old.  Damika was bold enough to talk to us a little, pointing out her sister as her twin.  They were pretty shy but very respectfully saying “yes Ma’am”.  The food was good having pigeon peas with rice, broccoli, and green salad to go with  the pieces of fried chicken for $14 each.   Willie gave us a flyer about activities going on this weekend for where the live band was playing.  We walked cross the street to the Convenience Store and got some cookies then walked back and stopped at the first store gettng more cookies.  These are small packages so really wasn’t too much.

Back at the boat we relaxed and about 5pm we saw a boat on the horizon.  Maybe it’s Double Trouble??  But as it got closer, we saw that it was Silbermowe and Phil told them to anchor to the right of us and they did.  With the low light, they can’t see the reef that is to the north.  We talked a little on the radio and found out they had tried to go into French Wells, but it was not deep enough.  

4 thoughts on “Overnight Passage to Crooked Island

    • We are going to take Changes back to Lake Erie. Hoping to stop in Oriental on way home. If get good weather window, want to go outside in Gulf Stream from Fort Lauderdale to Morehead City, NC. Are you going to be there end May to June?


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