Getting to know the boat (15-21 May 2019)

Steve and I finally leave New Providence. It was great having friends onboard but now we get to sail, check rigging and figure out how this Always sails best.

We set up for the approximately 30 mile transit to Highbourne Cay. The winds were perfect for the full main and the screecher (code 0).

Full main and screecher sailing

It is taking awhile to get used to screeching at 8 knots with only 6-10′ of water indicated on the depth sounder. By the owners’ manual, the Seawind 1260 only draws 3′ 8″ but…we have no idea whether that’s fully loaded to the waterline or empty; does the depth read from the transducer at the bottom of the hull or is there an offset already in the B&G instruments? We were finally able to answer that question when we anchored at Thomas Cay but that’s a few nights away.

On our trip south, we anchored or sailed through progressively shallower water. Our first night, we anchored off Oyster Cay across from Highbourne Cay. We had about 12′ on the depth sounder. We also had a big lightning storm that night; the next morning had us on the way to Shroud Cay. The anchorage was a perfect 8′ for the predicted wind, but that wind didn’t arrive. We rolled a bit but the extra width between the hulls meant it was still a great night’s sleep. We moved to the next cay south and loved Hawksbill so much that we stayed two nights (6′ on depth sounder).

Sunset in the Exumas

We still had daily storms blowing through. We made a quick sprint to Little Cistern but the current going to low tide caused us to drag too close to the rocky shore so during a break in the weather, we pulled up the anchor then went outside the bank towards Warderick Wells Cay. We rejoined our friends on SeaQuester that we had met through Bryson at Palm Cay Marina (Hi, Mike!) and had two easy nights on the moorings.

By this time, our family photo stream has convinced Steve’s sister and niece to join us and plans are made to meet at Staniel Cay.

We continue south towards Staniel but Mike (SeaQuester) has suggested a few anchorages. We have a great night between Rat Cay and The Mice, then move over to Thomas Cay for a break from the currents.

This is where we find out what the depth sounder is reading! We anchor in 5′ on a sand bottom with an outgoing tide. At the lowest indication, Steve is standing on the bottom with a hand width of water under the keels. Evidently the B&G reads from the transducer and we need to add about 2′ to get to the waterline.

2.9’ on the B&G. A hand width under the keels

We are still trying to figure out how to adjust the offset so we know depth at the waterline so we can match the charts. We will get there but for now it’s one more thing on the list.

Until next time, safe travels,


Author: Sailing Always

Sailor, pilot, wife, mom, live aboard, traveler