Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Big Sand Cay



There is an author with a very big attitude but loads of experience that wrote the book on how to transit South to the Caribbean on the “thornless” path. Because of the direction of the tradewinds, if you follow the Bahamas route down to the DR, such as we are doing, unless you heed Bruce Van Sant’s instructions you will be beating into big winds and seas (the “thorny” way).
In his book he advises all to stage for the DR passage at Big Sand Cay, which is described as a beachcombing and nature experience extraordinaire. It is also referred to as a rolly anchorage. Well, right on both counts, especially with a big ocean swell making things interesting.
We arrived with several other boats planning to leave that afternoon for Luperon or Ocean World in the Dominican. We had already decided to pass up this weather window and wait for the next in order to explore Big Sand. Our first night aboard was awful. The seas you can see rolling ashore had both boats in a death roll, and no one slept. The next day we rigged bridles to point the boats into the waves and not the wind. Some improvement, but still rolling.
At low tide I harvested many uninhabited seashells in great shape, and Peter and Rob meanwhile found a sea glass cache. In between the east and west shores while crossing the land I found more than 10 hamburger and heart sea beans that had washed ashore in particularly high tides.


The environs around here are the mating grounds for humpback whales. Rob and Christine saw some blow during a walk ashore, and other boaters reported seeing them while they were underway. We are still waiting.

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