Sailing Through The Bahamas; Moored in Farmer’s Cay, Weathering A Storm

A few years ago, while sailing from Virginia to Aruba on a 61-foot Bruce Roberts ketch with a friend of mine, we sailed into Farmer’s Cay. It is an interesting collection of islands with wild currents around it as you sail in. In the image below you can see we were nestled between Big Farmer’s Cay and Little Farmer’s Cay, quite well protected. I would hate to be entering or exiting those islands during a storm. It was a rather calm day when we sailed in and yet the currents pushed us around quite a bit as we came in.

On the way over I had had some success with fishing. In fact, since we began this voyage in November, I had been wanting to catch a Mahi Mahi, and I finally caught my first one on January 5th, 2017. Below you see a picture of the two fish I caught that day and me doing the happy Mahi Mahi dance.

When we got into the cove of Little Farmer’s Cay, we anchored and settled in for what thought would be a few days of relaxation and restocking of our food supplies. The islands around us were pleasant to watch and while diving to check on the anchor, to make sure it set properly, I noticed we had a barracuda as a neighbor below.

After being there a couple days, we got an updated weather report that said there was a big storm coming in soon. Based on this new information, we had to decide if we wanted to make a run for our next stop, where we would be protected from the storm, or buckle down in Farmer’s Cay to wait out the storm. We decided that the window wasn’t big enough for us to safely make it to our next location. The weather predicted included some 30 knot winds. With our draft and the shallow areas we were going to be passing through, we were worried about the wind pushing us into places we didn’t want to be. So we decided to stay and weather the storm where we were. The storm predicted also said it would last 10 days.

Here’s a note I wrote while waiting for the storm:

Sitting here in the lull of the storm, I suppose. Tomorrow morning the winds are supposed to blow 30 knots with gusts up to 45 knots. And it’s supposed to blow for several days. But right now it’s peaceful and calm, a cool breeze saving me as I sit up in the cockpit away from my stifling room with happenstance circulation.

I’m a little bummed about this further delay but I could think of worse places to be stuck waiting for a storm than Farmer’s Cay, Bahamas. The town is quaint in a Caribbean way. Lots of colorful houses with boards on the windows still from the last storm that rocked through here. The last board-worthy storm was Matthew which was several months ago. But the people are friendly. I had a guy ask us to pick some peppers from his garden. I asked him if he had any scotch bonnets and he said the ripe ones he had were in his freezer and went and got one for us.

So for the next 10 days we buckled down and waited out the storm. We ended up tying the boat to a mooring rather than anchoring. With 30-40 knot winds we wanted to make sure we didn’t float off the hook. In fact, we double-tied the mooring with two different lines, one as a backup. Here’s a short clip from the storm.

At some point during our extended stay there, we went ashore and checked out the island. Here are some shots from excursion.

Eventually the storm blew itself out and we headed out of there to our next stop. But Farmer’s Cay was a nice place to hang out during the storm.

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