Day 172, Year 10: New Providence Island to Chub Cay
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Weather: Partly Sunny, Winds NE 8-12
Latitude: 25 24.579 N
Longitude: 077 54.621 W
Location: Chub Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

We’re back where we started our Bahamian adventure and tomorrow morning we will head for West Palm Beach in Florida from here. It will be an overnight sail and we should arrive in West Palm around noon on Thursday. The moon won’t be quite full, but we should have plenty of light for our overnight. Unfortunately it looks like we will have to motor all the way. If we stayed here another day and left on Thursday morning, we would get to sail across the Gulf Stream. But the winds would be directly behind us (sound familiar?) and the seas would be 2-4 feet. My vote was to wait until Thursday so we could sail, but Lynda and Mark didn’t particularly like the idea of 4-foot seas on the beam with the wind behind us. Lee is anxious to get going but suggested that we leave tomorrow morning and anchor on the Bank tomorrow night to get a few hours of sleep. We compromised and decided to leave tomorrow morning, but not stop and anchor out tomorrow night. So after we listen to the weather, we’ll take off in the morning.

We just found out this afternoon that Lee and Lynda plan to leave West Palm on Friday and head home to Little River. If weather permits, they will go outside on some parts of the trip. But when the weather outside is ‘frightful’, they’ll stay in the Intracoastal. They bought a new condo while on this trip and the closing date is on the 20th, so they do need to move quickly. We will be in West Palm until Mark’s next cancer treatment on April 9 and then we will head back to Little River as well. We’d love to do the whole trip outside, but weather will make that decision. We will visit with Patsy and Joe, my sister and brother-in-law, in Little River, try to get our dodger repaired (the zipper for the ‘front window’ is broken), and then head back to Cape Cod. We expect to be there in early to mid-May.

There are a couple of things about West Bay on New Providence Island, our last night’s anchorage, that I must mention. One was the perfect palm tree that greeted us. It stood higher than anything else and as approached the anchorage. I looked through the binoculars to see that it was actually a cell tower decorated to look like a palm tree-a very Nassau kind of thing, but actually a nice way to hide an ugly cell tower. Then after the sun went down, the tip of land to the north of the anchorage lit up like Disney World and we could hear the music being played out into the anchorage. This tip of land is called Lyford Cay and a lot of very wealthy people live there. When I have internet, I’ll have to do a little research to find out what all the lights and music were about. Our entertainment here at Chub today was to snorkel on the reefs to the south of Mama Rhoda Rock. Dozier’s Waterway Guide to the Bahamas says the snorkeling on these reefs is stunning and Mark’s brother Steve said it is the best snorkeling site he’s been to in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, we were a little less enthusiastic. There are two huge reef systems, but most of the coral is dead. There is a population of elkhorn coral that is trying to make a comeback and there were a lot of fish, but only a limited variety. Lynda and Lee went with us, but Lynda didn’t stay in long. She didn’t wear a dive skin and she got cold very quickly. Mark came out next because his mask was leaking and then Lee got out as well. I was the last out of the water and my last sighting was a reef shark. I got a brief video so that I could show the others. None of us would call the snorkeling on the Mama Rhoda reefs stunning, but I’ve never met a snorkeling site that I didn’t like. If we were staying another day, I would go back and snorkel at higher tide. It was low tide and the reefs were almost exposed. It was very difficult to swim over them so we just swam around them. So to be fair, maybe a drift snorkel over the top of the reefs would look very different-maybe even stunning.

150331 Day 172 Bahamas–Snorkeling Mama Rhoda Rock Reef
Day 173, Year 10: Floating About on a Sea of Green
Day 171, Year 10: Farewell to the Exumas