The weather was about to turn on us as we exited out of Grand Bahamas Bay, so it was a mad dash to Great Sale Cay for protection from the shifting winds. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow us to sail to Great Sale Cay – we’re learning that where ever you want to take a sailboat, if you’re on a schedule, you’ll probably end up motoring there.
We arrived just before sunset, anchored on the north side, and prepared for our first (minor) storm. We were awoken a couple of times by the anchor alarm – we were still trying to figure out how the darn thing worked, but were pleased with how well our anchor held.
The wind was shifting on us again that morning, so we decided to move to the other side of the island to wait out a good weather window to make our way to Abacos. As we were bringing up the anchor, the chain got horribly stuck in our windlass (the anchor winch that helps us bring in the anchor). And when I say stuck, I mean very, very, very stuck. We fought with the thing for over an hour, the winds swiftly clocking around, picking up intensity, and us still anchored down to the earth. That’s when we decided to manually haul up the anchor, tie it up, and deal with the windlass in a safer location.
I can rightfully say that our anchor and chain are HEAVY.
Leanne navigated us to safer waters where we ended up removing the windlass from its base, undoing the jam, and re-attaching the windlass. Thank goodness for our epic tool collection, otherwise I’m not sure what we would have done.
Although we had to switch our anchorage every day to seek shelter from wind and weather, we liked this little island a lot. Many cruisers just use it as a kicking off point to the Bahamas, only staying an overnight, but we were here for a little under a week. As the weather improved, we were able to take the dinghy to shore with the dogs, walk around the island, and get a bit of beach time, too. Finding a good place to tie up the dinghy was a challenge, but we did alright.
While anchored in North West Harbour (26.983217, -78.216617) we took the dinghy to the leftover bits of a dock (26.9885298, -78.2258340). We eventually found the path to the sandy beach on the West side of the island and enjoyed our first stroll on a sandy beach.
In case you are interested, it appears as though Great Sale Cay is for sale. So if you have $9.9 million USD this beautiful 370-acre island can be yours!