So we decided to head to Shroud Cay - it was only 38 or so miles. We did have to cross the dreaded "Yellow Bank" - (it's a shallower bank with lots of coral heads you must avoid. So you should do YB in good seas and with the sun high so you can spot the corals.) After we got out - we questioned our intelligence. The wind was blowing around 15-20knots(our anemometer is not to be trusted). It was lumpy - confused seas about four feet, very close together and choppy. Astarte doesn't like taking
them head on - it stops her dead in her tracks. We tried putting up our mainsail - but the course had the wind right on the nose and all it did was flog. We were bashing into the seas and lucky if we were making a steady 3 knots. Barbara sat on the bow (in full rain gear) watching for coral heads on the Yellow Bank - and got a soaking every fifth wave or so. (picture of the aftermath to follow at next internet opportunity). We didn't hit any coral - but she also was sending Michael around "clouds"
that put a shadow on the bank and look like coral heads. We were making little progress.
Time was ticking away- so we changed plans and headed for Highborne Cay (or Highburn depending on which chart you're using). It was about 15 miles closer and we thought we could make it before dark. We also decided to put up a reefed mainsail and tack (sail off the wind) so we wouldn't take the waves head-on. This probably didn't save us much time as it took us back and forth from our course line - but it smoothed the ride and increased the boat speed.
At 4 pm we anchored off Highborne (which is a private island with a small marina and some cottages). We're anchored off a pretty beach and it will be another very roll-ey night because of the chop. But we are at least farther south.
It was a wet, lumpy, uncomfortable day - but we made it and are anchored safely. Listening to other boats that arrived - we're grateful that nothing on board broke and we didn't "toss our cookies." Other boats who did the same crossing didn't seem as lucky.
So it'll be an early night - and we'll listen to weather again tomorrow and decide where to go. Patience is part of cruising - weather controls our life … we still need to learn that lesson.