Aboard the Sailing Vessel

January, 12, 2005

Shibumi Arrives at Emerald Rock
When we left Norman's Cay early Wednesday morning the wind was from the east but they had not picked up above 15 knots. The conditions for a sail to Emerald Rock were not ideal, at least not as ideal as they were the day before when the wind had a more northeastly component and would have given us a much better ride.

By the time we rounded Elbow Cay, that sticks out into the Exuma Bank like an elbow thrown during a basketball game, the wind picked-up to near 30 knots. We had a double reef in our mail sail. Which means we had it shortened as much as we could to keep from overpowering it with too much wind. Our head sail (forward on the boat) was only partially rolled out. The seas were choppy... skies were gray, which helped Jill stay away from direct sunlight. Green water kept coming over the bow. It was not a very pleasant trip.

Our approach to Emerald Rock required us to sail south of the anchorage then back to the east to avoid some very shallow sandbars. The turn to the east put us into the wind. We took down both sails and motored to Emerald Rock at reduced power to smooth out the ride.

Dark & Stormy and Brass Dragon left Norman's Cay along with us. They were only going six miles to Shroud Cay.

We decided to continue on to Emerald Rock, in Warwick Wells National Park, for several reasons. Our first thought was that Jill could not be in direct sunlight while under medication. That limited anything she could do off the boat at Shroud Cay which is uninhabited, but beautiful to explore via dinghy. The next reason was we wanted to be in better position if the cold front, that was forecast for the end of the week, did not stall. If the cold front came down this far the wind would push around to the southwest. All of the anchorages in the Northern Exumas would be unprotected from the wind and water coming in from the west. With the Tongue of the Ocean lying to our west... there is a lot of water. Our final reason for pushing further south was to possibably make Stasha's, from "To Us", birthday party in Staniel Cay at the end of the week.

Our sail here was interupted by about an hour. We saw Breathless, Stargazer and Water Music heading into Hawksbill Cay which is one island south of Shroud. Those three ships had left Norman's Cay several days ago and we have not heard from them since. Anyway, they convinced us, via radio, to try Hawksbill for a day or so. We changed course and anchored off of Hawksbill Cay. As it turned there some surge in the anchorage. Two of the boats were riding up on their anchors. So the three ships that invited us to Hawksbill decided to abandon the anchorage and go back to Shroud Cay. We decided to follow our first thought and continue to Emerald Rock.

Emerald Rock, with the Headquarters for
the Warwick Wells Bahamian National Park
in the background
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