Today we had a decision to make about our anchorage. We had intended to stay put in Big Majors (East) until tomorrow afternoon when the NW wind was forecasted to veer NE, then we would move to the other side of the Island -Big Majors West- and benefit from its excellent protection from any E wind. This morning’s forecast broadcast the unwelcome prediction of yet another big wind event (30Kts+) coming this way on Monday night. Since all that wind would be from the NE it was imperative we secure a spot on the other side well ahead of time. The problem was that there were now almost 30 boats anchored on our side of the island, in our anchorage or the neighboring Between the Majors anchorage, all of whom came over just after we did to seek shelter from the big W wind event we just experienced yesterday. We knew each of these boats heard the same forecast as we did (we all listen to the same forecaster at 6:30AM each morning) and would now be seeking shelter on the other side just as we’d planned to do. So we decided to move today, even though it was still a little rough on both sides of the island at this time, just to make sure we got a good spot before boat traffic into the anchorage became chaotic and crowded. The look of the morning sky cemented our decision (featured picture). We waited until the tidal current was running in the same direction as the wind and then picked our way through all the anchored boats and a tricky cut called “The Crown of Thornes”. Paula piloted the whole way and did great.
What a different anchorage it is here on the other side of the Majors. The natural surroundings are similar- rocky ledges and hardy vegetation. We can even see the same buildings on Fowl Cay resort albeit from the other side. Like our old anchorage there are short stretches of sandy beach, although there are pigs the size of Labrador retrievers running on the largest one here! There are some fantastic looking caves as well, made of the same limestone as the rocky shores of both anchorages.
The biggest difference though, is the neighborhood. On Big Majors East we had a tight-knit little boating community of 10 well-spaced boats of similar size all sharing an isolated anchorage off the beaten track.
Here in Big Majors West there is a metropolis of boats of all shapes, sizes, and makes, tightly packed. Paula counted over forty.
All day long boats were arriving and dropping anchor, sometimes squeezing in tightly between other anchored vessels. Also, other boats were pulling up anchor and leaving. We could hear music, dogs barking, people talking, people laughing, people shouting at each other as they anchored. Dozens of dinghies and small speed boats of every type meandered, buzzed, or rocketed across the anchorage. A menagerie of pets were seen being ferried back and forth to the shore for relief and exercise.
As Paula cooked dinner she caught sight of a man showering buck-naked on a neighboring boat’s swim platform right outside our galley window. Later we saw him all dressed up climbing into his dinghy with his boatmates and speeding off, presumably into Staniel Cay for dinner. Paula preferred his dinner attire.
The wind is still brisk, but the swell is less, and we expect a break and some calm conditions late Saturday afternoon and Sunday before the big predicted NE wind event arrives on Monday. We hope to get a chance to snorkel and visit Staniel Cay this weekend. We have now been 10 days at anchor, and would welcome the chance to stretch our legs, provision for fresh produce, additional flour and sugar, and offload the one leaf-size trash bag of refuse we have accumulated.
Tonight’s dinner was a repeat of the jerk boneless pork, a tuna and shrimp ceviche, green beans, canned mango and the new mainstay, Johnnycake.