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Running aground on 21st

We eventually left yesterday around 0930 with a lively N’ly wind and had a fast, lively sail of around 35 miles to Cape Breton. Graham and I had read all the guide books about a sheltered anchorage here and I was optimistic that we would make it into the anchorage - he, less so.

The chartlets in Nigel’s guide had depths looking good for us of 2.8m minimum but his narrative had the words ‘down to around 2 metres’ which sounded less good (we draw 2.35m) whilst another one I have downloaded had 2.5 m minimum quickly increasing to 6-7m. Well we arrived at around lunch time so pottered towards the entrance with no sail up, this leg being downwind, whilst eating sandwiches and then Colin went up the mast, we all adopted worried expressions around the boat and did our best to follow the instructions.

There is a channel which, in the guide, is marked with a stick. This was not there. Colin was struggling because the channel instead of being clear was murky with, presumably, a current picking up sand within it. Anyway we didn’t even get as far as the stick before the echosounder went to 0.6m under the keel and we ran aground gently. Going astern we swivelled the bow to starboard, stern up into the wind, as expected and came off easily, which was good. We decided to abandon the attempt at this stage and, seeing as the weather in the lee of the Cayo wasn’t bad with no seas rolling in from the South, elected to anchor there for the night.

We had a lazy afternoon with books being read, some dozing indulged in and a relatively early night after a seafood pasta dish which Jennifer made and was jolly good. We played a silly game afterwards which involves picking various categories and then a letter and then having to think of things from each category beginning with that letter. This is a favourite game of Sue because I have a mental block and can never think of anything - the idea is to think of obscure things and you get a point if no one else thinks of the same thing. Predictably, I came last - I wasn’t even allowed Lhasa as a country and as we’ve had no internet for over a week, we can't check anything and I was, in my own mind, not entirely sure I wasn’t just making it up. 

There’s a funny structure looking like a shed of largish proportions sticking up out of the sea about a mile away which we take to be some kind of fishing construction. The two German boats from Cayo Cuervo were at anchor to the South of us but left at about 2100 which we guessed meant that they were going all the way to Cienfuegos in a oner. We’re probably wrong.

We leave the Jardines de la Reina today to head for the first island in the Anna Maria Archipelago, called Cayo Zaza de Fuera. It’s likely to be our penultimate Island before Cienfuegos as we think we want to get there around the 24th.


Jock n all

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