December 31, 2012
[Now to get back on track with the blog posting]
After bidding farewell to Jennifer and Pete, we pulled up anchor and set our course for Black Point and their famous laundry facilities.
As we were departing the Staniel Cay area, two local, award-winning regatta boats were preparing to race each other in 20-25 knot winds. Each boat had about twelve people (some volunteers) onboard. We watched them warm up, and it looked like it would be a fun race.
We were navigating our way through some very shallow water when Wil happened to notice the sudden disappearance of one of the regatta boats. He thought it looked like the boat went over, and his thought was confirmed when we could see several power boats quickly making their way to the regatta boat. We were too far to see details. However, later we heard that the regatta boat sank. One person had been stuck down inside the boat with his leg trapped. They managed to rescue him, and word was that he suffered a broken foot.
After seeing the disappearance of the regatta boat, we had to turn our attention back to our shallow water navigation. We were slowly creeping through 5-6 foot water depths with occasional coral heads. The skies had become slightly overcast, so we were having a difficult time reading the water.
Just as we reached what the charts (and our eyes) indicated was the end of the shallow area, we increased engine rpms and decided it was safe to put out the jib. I was at the helm while Wil was getting ready to pull out the jib.
At first, I wasn’t sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me. Was it the way the 20-25 knot winds were blowing white caps, or was I seeing something in the water? As the boat moved quickly forward, I suddenly saw a coral rock barely peeking its head out of the water dead ahead. I yelled “rock!!!”, and without thinking, threw the engines in hard reverse and turned the boat to port. Not good for the engines, I know, but adrenaline had taken over!
It all happened so fast, so it wasn’t until the rock was off our starboard side that Wil realized what was going on. Our hearts were in our throats! Wil returned to the bow to help direct us through the mostly submerged coral rocks. That one was too close for comfort!
Eventually, we were able to safely put out the jib and not worry about any more coral rocks or heads. We sailed the rest of the way to Black Point and dropped anchor just off the laundry facilities.
Rockside Laundromat is exactly as its name describes. The building sits up on the rocky coral shore with its own dinghy dock. It was a treat to drive right up to the laundromat, not having to walk a great distance with a load of clothes and laundry supplies. The machines are big and clean, and there’s free wifi!
While I was doing laundry, Wil and the kids returned to the boat to make a cake for my birthday. Even though I was washing clothes on my special day, it was nice to have the afternoon to myself in an open, airy room with a gorgeous view of the harbor and free wifi. It was quite relaxing!