Chris here... Noni and Popi left today and we were sad to see them go. We had a great time with them and look forward to their next visit! Maybe they'll come back next week? Yeah, I don't see that happening.
Anyway, we can now head out of Nassau during the next weather window, which, for now, looks like Wednesday. I believe our first stop will be Normans Cay, made famous for drug smuggling in years past. There is supposed to be a wonderful sunken plane (DC-9?) to snorkel around. We've been told that the Exumas, of which Norman Cay is a part of, is like the Bahamas of old, with natives often subsiding off of fishing and other basic jobs to support themselves and their community.
There are very few marinas, so our Rocna anchor will be getting a good workout, as will our GPS with the anchor alarm to alert us if we're dragging. After all of our issues in Charleston, we're still a bit apprehensive about anchoring out every night. There's something to be said about being tied up to a dock which is firmly affixed to solid ground. On the other hand, we'll meet a lot more people and be able to experience a lot more of nature by being on the hook, so I think I'm looking forward to it.
The trip to Normans is fairly short - under 40nm - so we should be able to reach it easily within a day. There's an area between Nassau and the Exumas called the Yellow Banks which contains many coral heads, several of which are above water at low tide, and slightly submerged at high. As a result, you have to make sure you pass through this area when the sun is high. Everyone keeps telling us "Everyone will tell you that it's really hard to get through the Yellow Banks, but it's not. When you see a coral head, don't head for it". The funny thing is that nobody has actually told us it's hard to get through. We'll see for ourselves in a few days.
So tomorrow, as usual, will be our pre-passage preparation day - fill the tanks with water (not so good tasting here), get last minute provisioning done (this is the last place for a while that will have supplies), fill the propane, get the dinghy on board, buy a cell phone, yada yada yada. The day before heading someplace new is always fun. I'm looking forward to being in the Exumas where we won't be putting so much effort into leaving one spot and moving to another. Most anchorages are within 20-25nm of the one before.
Anyway, I'll let y'all know tomorrow if we're definitely leaving on Wednesday so you can follow the SPOT.