Calm and shallow:

Smooth sailing in the Exumas, The Bahamas

Deep and rough:

Rough seas once out of the shelter of the Exumas, The Bahamas

I was on full alert last night on my night watch. This boat has a draft of 2.1m. Most of my watch, we were sailing through 3m of water. That means that the very bottom of the boat was clearing the bottom by only 90cm.

“See that pink line?” Steve asked while pointing at the small GPS monitor as I came onto my watch. “Don’t stray from it.”

We were navigating through a shallow channel between rocks and sand bars. At times I could see the white sandy bottom of the sea from the light shining from the stern light.

My night watch finished at 4am, and I was glad to hand things over to First Mate Ellie. By morning we were still navigating through the shallows of the Exuma Islands. The shallow water aside however, the surrounding water was like liquid emerald jems.

Caribbean wonder in Farmer's Cay, The Exumas, The Bahamas

This soon changed however once we were on the Atlantic side of the Exuma chain of islands. We were back into 2,000m plus depth of water, the wind on our nose and the short frequency waves pounding the boat. Steve decided to put us into port for the night in order to check weather forecasts. We endured the tough seas until we could fetch Emerald Bay Marina. For US$2.25 per foot of boat length a night, we enjoyed the facilities of this brand new marina. The weather forecasts were not good – possible cyclones, disorganised thunder storms, and worse, a named tropical storm heading our way across the Atlantic.

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