Please select your home edition
Edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

OCC RoRC report from the Atlantic Islands

by Jonathan & Anne Lloyd 29 Jul 2019 08:49 UTC
Sofia on passage to Eleuthra © Jonathan & Anne Lloyd

At the start of April, Sofia was safely tucked up in the snug anchorage of Royal Island at the northern end of Eleuthera waiting out yet another significant cold front. We knew that cold fronts coming down from the south-east coast of the USA were a feature of Bahamian weather in the winter months, but had not appreciated their frequency, duration and strength. They have had a significant impact on our cruising plans as many of the anchorages in the Bahamas do not provide sufficient protection as the wind veers from South through West to North East with gusts of up to 30 and occasionally 40 knots!

Once this cold front had blown through we proceeded on the short hop to Spanish Wells, which is the principal fishing port of the Bahamas and from there made our way down the east coast of Eleuthera calling in at Hatchet Bay, Governors Harbour and Rock Sound. From there, an overnight passage took us to Georgetown on Great Exuma, which is the sailing centre of the southern Bahamas. Its large protected harbour is home to hundreds of mainly US and Canadian yachts, many of whom spend the whole winter there! On arrival, we were warmly greeted by OCC friends Don and Nina Preuss, whom we had last encountered in Beaufort NC in November last year. After a few days enjoying Georgetown in their company we set off north up the Exuma Cays calling in at Normans Pond Cay, Farmers Cay, where we linked up with OCC friends Reg and Nicky Barker on Blue Velvet of Sark, Black Point and Staniel Cay, where we had arranged to collect two replacement solar panels, which had been delivered by air from the United States.

Staniel Cay is a popular spot for cruisers with extensive anchorages close to the attractions provided by the beach with swimming pigs, snorkelling in the Thunderball Grotto made famous by the Bond film of the same name and the friendly hospitality provided by the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. We spent a week here in the run-up to Easter fitting the new solar panels and waiting out yet another major cold front to blow through. From there we headed up to Bell Island where we ended up spending far longer than expected due to the failure of the throttle control cable and having to wait ten days for a replacement part to be shipped from the US. This delay meant missing out on the rest of the Exuma Cays if we were not to fall too far behind our intended departure timeframe for Bermuda. So with new cable installed we headed north to Spanish Wells to provision, fuel and clear out for Bermuda. After an uneventful passage, we arrived in St George's Harbour to find it crowded with OCC yachts heading for the Azores.

Accordingly, we arranged an informal get together for the crews of 15 yachts (including yachts belonging to the OCC West to East Atlantic Crossing Group), which was kindly hosted by PORs Steve and Suzanne Hollis. Then it was time to head back across the Atlantic to the Azores. After a brief stopover in Flores, we made our way down to Horta, where POR Jose Henrique Azevedo very generously hosted a reception for the 19 OCC and Crossing Group yachts in the harbour. We are now in Terciera for the "Festa" or feast of St John and will spend the rest of July cruising these delightful islands before SOFIA heads home for her berth on the Hamble and a well-deserved rest. So this is our final report.

In conclusion, we have much enjoyed the privilege of being Roving Rear Commodores for the last three years and the opportunity to interact with an interesting cross-section of members. We have also come to appreciate fully the value to the Club and its members of the network of Port Officers and PORs, many of whom are quite outstanding.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

Related Articles

Wondering which borders are open?
Many countries are re-opening their borders As of July, many countries are re-opening their borders, although this is a gradual process. Posted on 10 Jul
Garry Crothers returns home to Derry
After solo 3,500 miles across the Atlantic When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Caribbean and borders closed virtually overnight, Garry was stuck on his boat in Sint Maarten without crew. Because all flights were cancelled, his crew could not reach him. Posted on 10 Jul
The Ocean Cruising Club NE USA SSB Net
Covering the area from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod This net normally operates from 1 July through mid-September and, subject to propagation, covers the area from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod. The net will start today and will operate daily Monday through Saturday at 0700 local time (EDT) or 1100 UTC. Posted on 9 Jul
Rescue within reach of Horta
Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne rescued a solo sailor Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne rescued a solo sailor whose yacht struck a whale near Horta. On June 24, OCC Members Gabriele and Jonathan Lyne were approaching their interim destination, Horta, after a 16-day crossing from Grenada aboard Aqualuna Posted on 3 Jul
A lightning strike at sea
Frileuse took a direct hit of lightning OCC Member Nicolas Charpy's steel yacht Frileuse took a direct hit of lightning while crossing the Atlantic to Europe, several days out from the Caribbean. Posted on 29 Jun
s/v Marcel skipper rescued, Marcel remains adrift
A remarkable story of how mariners connect and assist each other under challenging circumstances A marine warning, Facebook posts, emails, rescue, BOLO, SSB net, and sailors crossing oceans: a remarkable story of how mariners connect and assist each other under challenging circumstances at sea. Posted on 20 Jun
Jeanne Socrates reports on land cruising
Jeanne took to the road in a campervan to tour Australia by land After completing her record-making non-stop, solo circumnavigation, Jeanne took to the road in a campervan to tour Australia by land. That is until Covid-19 shut everything down. Posted on 14 Jun
Billy Brannan rescue
Helena was dismasted 500 miles short of home Interview by Emma Bullimore, BBS Sounds 06/06/20, with Billy Brannan, single-handed sailor whose yacht Helena was dismasted 500 miles short of home. Posted on 14 Jun
Dan Stroud completes circumnavigation - Part 1 & 2
OCC presents the honoured Jester Medal Award for his two-year, nine-month, circumnavigation On Jan 28, 2020, the OCC presented the honoured Jester Medal Award to solo sailor, Dan Stroud. May 24th, 2020, Dan successfully completed his two-year, nine-month, circumnavigation. Posted on 5 Jun
Vive la résistance crew!
Peter Cafe Sport providing such valuable assistance to the cruising community We salute the team at Peter Cafe Sport for providing such valuable assistance to the cruising community. They asked us to share their post and we are gladly doing so here. Posted on 1 Jun
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERGrapefruit Graphics 2019 - FooterHighfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTER