We pulled up the hook for a 7 a.m. start and motored 5 miles through Elizabeth Harbor until we reached the cut at North Channel Rocks where we headed east into Exuma Sound. Soon the engine was off; the sails were flying and the wind vane steering. I was able to just sit back and relax while we slowly made our way at 4.5 to 5 knots in a gentle breeze, overcast skies and slightly choppy seas. We were headed towards Long Island, Bahamas just a short 20 miles east. Our final destination was yet to be determined. We would either anchor on the northwestern shore to await a morning departure for Conception Island, or if the wind were favorable continue south along the coast of Long Island until we reached Salt Pond. As it turned out we were not able to lay a course for Salt Pond, so we made our way through the reef and dropped the hook around 2 p.m. in Calabash Bay just below the northeastern tip of the island. There is a stretch of 2 mile white sand beach. Soon we were enjoying pina coladas and just generally relaxing the rest of the day.
The weather forecast for today looks favorable to head either direction. We took a vote and decided to head towards Salt Pond where the Long Island Regatta is being held. It starts today. According to our guidebook, On and Off the Beaten Path it is “a week long party and a homecoming of sorts for native sons and daughters and is highlighted by 4 days of Bahamian sloop racing, partying, dancing, and marathon Gin and Coconut Water drinking. It has been said that after regatta there is not a single coconut left on Long Island.” Sounds like fun, we’ll keep you posted!