Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies and moderate 15 knot winds from the northeast. Cutter Loose is under sail on a comfortable beam reach bound for the village of Hopetown on Elbow Cay, about 12 miles to the southeast of Great Guana Cay.
This is our sixth consecutive day of moderate trade winds. Perhaps it is too soon to conclude that the winter weather pattern of repetitive cold fronts is gradually coming to an end. Still, there are no cold fronts on the horizon with sufficient strength to reach the Bahamas. We will continue to enjoy this delightful trade wind sailing in the protection of the Sea of Abaco for as long as it lasts. This is our reward for enduring those long days of motoring south on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
Our destination of Hopetown is recognizable from a distance of nearly ten miles, thanks to the 120 foot Elbow Cay Reef lighthouse that warns ships in the Atlantic Ocean of the impending dangers of these shallow coastal waters. Rather than take a slip or a mooring inside the harbor, we elect to anchor just outside the entrance to the harbor in order to operate the watermaker and tackle boat chores. Potable water for filling the 260 gallon tank on Cutter Loose is scarce in the Bahamas. Marinas normally charge from 25 cents to 50 cents a gallon for reverse osmosis water. Cutter Loose is equipped with its own RO water system.
Ordinarily, the watermaker would be operated for six or eight hours on a long passage inasmuch as it prefers a long, hard workout. But in the Sea of Abaco, interesting destinations are nearby and day trips are relatively short. About once a week, we devote a sunny afternoon at anchor to the task of watermaking. It is preferable to operate the ship’s watermaker system in crystal clear waters outside of harbors, as the water quality in harbors is sometimes questionable.
Tomorrow, we will secure a mooring in Hopetown harbor in order to explore Elbow Cay.