Monday, March 7, 2011


Lee Stocking, Exumas 23º46.28N | 76º06.32W

At least we all agree this is a good time to head out! Cave Cay Cut, Exumas.
A "cut" in the Bahamas is the slice of water running between the Exuma Islands connecting the shallow Exuma Bank with the deep Exuma Sound. When the tide is flowing in or out, these cuts funnel dangerous amounts of water through a relatively small space. If the wind and tide are opposing, all hell can break loose, better known as a rage, the conditions that caused the fatality in the Bahamas a few months ago. Cuts are to be treated with caution.

We followed a procession of boats out of Cave Cay Cut heading to Lee Stocking Island. As you can see from the photo above, the conditions were the opposite of a rage. Everyone made the same call: leave during slack tide on a day with 0-5 knots of wind. 

While light winds are great for threading a cut, they are crap for sailing, but since our destination was only two hours away, we decided it was worth the price of fuel to escape Cave Cay.

Dozens of boats were out on the water today. At one point we could count 18 sailboats around us.

At the end of the run, approaching the cut into Lee Stocking Island, a funnel cloud dropped out of the squall clouds ahead of us, hovering ominously. A cut and a funnel cloud seemed a bad marriage, to say the least. Had it started approaching as we entered the cut, our plan was to turn back out toward deep water.

We turned in, the funnel disappeared. Crisis averted.

Northwest approach to Lee Stocking Island.
We motored around the northwest tip of Lee Stocking, stormy clouds hanging above still, turquoise waters, our first glimpse of the beauty to come.

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