Our Journey Southward Continues
Trip Start Dec 09, 2006
217Trip End Ongoing
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We spent a quiet New Year’s Eve on the boat. We had been remaining in Georgetown longer than planned due to the illness of Dave’s dad’s wife Norma. On New Year’s Day Dave flew to be with his Dad and other family members in Florida. Sadly, we lost Norma on January 2. After spending a few more days with his Dad, Dave returned on January 5.
On January 6 we took advantage of some post-frontal north winds to escape George Town, passing Cape Santa Maria at the tip of Long Island to arrive mid-afternoon at our destination of Port Nelson, Rum Cay. We enjoyed a nice sail of about 54 nm that we completed from 0800 to 1600 on NW to N winds 10 - 20 knots with gusts to 23. Our top speed was 13.7 kts. Other than a big motor yacht about a mile away, we were the only boat anchored in a seven-mile crescent stretch of white sand beach. We hoped to stay a couple of days and enjoy the superb snorkeling - if it would warm up a bit. We have been experiencing the same cold snap as the eastern US. We actually wore long pants and sweaters all day as the temp didn't make it out of the 60s until we arrived at Rum Cay. Good sleeping, though. We stayed two nights at anchorage and visited the island. The native population apparently barely exceeds 70 with supposedly just some 36 names in the phone book. Sadly, much of the coral reefs we visited surrounding the island are bleached and unhealthy and much may be unlikely to recover. We swam about a half dozen sites and saw very little live coral and, consequently, very few fish. As a result of this, the economy of the island is very depressed. Given that we only visited a sampling of the reefs that ring the entire island, we may hope that the condition of other areas of reef on other shores is in better condition
We left Rum Cay Friday morning January 8 and sailed to Clarence Town, near the south end of Long Island, arriving around 2:30 PM. It was another very nice sail, but still no fish on the line (just one strike). Our White Magic will be meeting us here for the remaining journey to the Turks and Caicos Islands. We're officially in the "tropics" at Clarence Town, Long Island, having passed below 23* 30' N latitude (the Tropic of Cancer) on the way here from Rum Cay. Points south, by definition, are considered the "tropics".
Clarence Town is a stepping stone for us to the Turks and Caicos. This is a beautiful harbor and due to a wind shift to the south east, the temperatures have warmed up a bit.
We spent one night at anchor at Clarence Town and then moved into a slip at the local marina due to an approaching cold front expected to bring high winds and squalls. After the front passes, we expect to continue our journey southward.