Great Sailing to Staniel Cay

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….Sail on, Sail on…

Sailing in the Exumas is always a great experience because the winds are usually from the East and courses are usually North and South. This means  a comfortable point of sail called “reaching” to sail from destination to destination. Today, we picked up the anchor at Warderick Wells, Emerald Rock, and within 5 minutes we were under full sail. As we turned the corner and set up our course south to Staniel Cay, we noticed that our new sails seem more powerful. In 18-20 knots of close reaching we needed to drop in the first reef on the main sail. This gave us a chance to test out our new boom arrangement and new single line reefing system under full wind loads. It worked well and once the reef was in and the course was set, Island Spirit sailed even better. I am never disappointed in the way Island Packets will sail. They actually sail upwind very well and they love to beam reach in 15-20 knots. 

B&G Zeus Sail Steer is really cool gear.

We also used this sailing time to keep learning our new B&G Zeus2 Sail Steer and the autopilot wind vane steering. We have sailed this boat since 2002 on wind vane steering and we almost never, ever hand steer this boat under sail. The B&G gear and autopilot will process the wind shifts and will head up or fall off far better than a human can ever do. Island Spirit sailed 99% of the way here today and her last three tacks were close hauled into the harbor. Radeen and I were tired when we got here, but we are gaining faith and confidence in this new electronics package and its capabilities. Our last B&G system we had 100% trust in. At this point, we are at 85% due to a few very minor glitches. Overall, the new B&G gear IS far better than the old gear and we are very happy with the upgrade. 

Radeen shot a few really cool photos of me as I went forward to adjust the new jib leech cord to prevent the leech from fluttering in 18-20 knots. I also think if I adjust the jib car position it will help when close reaching with this 110% jib in 20 knots. The sail really performed well and I am getting used to having a 110% instead of a 130% sized jib. We are thinking that in trade wind sailing, the 110 will actually be better. Check out these cool photos. GO MACK SAILS…


After dropping sail off Staniel Cay, we motored around our buddy boat Crealock 34 NEVERLAND and decided that there was not enough room next to the yacht club so we moved around to Thunderball Grotto and dropped the hook just west of the grotto in 10 feet of water. We launched the dinghy and headed into shore for a nice walk around town and we stopped in all three stores to say hi and we bought a small item from each store. Bahamian people are so kind and so nice, this is a great country to visit.

Here are some photos of the day….

Radeen doing the logbook and Island Spirit heeled over 30 degrees

Autopilot sailing under wind vane, holding a specific wind angle

Fantastic, this boat loves to sail
The helm electronics, B&G Zeus2 in Sail Steer mode,
Samsung Tab2 with Navionics for chart overviews
Autopilot set to wind vane steering, see the “W” top row

Hayden on deck adjusting the tension in the jib leech cord

The water flow in the sink says it all….we are on a 30 degree heel

Radeen at the helm with the 30 degree lean

Starboard tack for Pig Beach, notice the shadow of our sail on the 10 foot bottom

The Grotto anchorage, this is off our bow

Exploring by dinghy

The rock looks like the head of a lizard

Sailor GrL Radeen loves to travel

Beautiful flowers around Staniel Cay

The rental cottages at Staniel Cay Yacht Club

Nurse Shark Feeding at Staniel Cay, look how tame they are!

The next stop will be back north to Cambridge Cay where we plan a few lay days to work on teak, also to go snorkeling and to break out the dive gear to look at the bottom and practice. We have another front arriving Wed night into Thursday so we plan to take that one in Cambridge Cay.

Remember we are running a live calendar of our plans and we are also running live tracking maps of our travels. Thank you for following along, we really like knowing you are here.

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0 Replies to “Great Sailing to Staniel Cay”

  1. Another great log describing a wonderful trip on a great boat.
    One niggling point. while you mention the presence of the live tracking map you don't provide a link to it on each blog (or if you do, it's well hidden). Might I suggest adding an HTML link somewhere near the top (or bottom)…maybe the map insert you show could act as the button?

  2. Glad to see you at Cambridge Cay. It's one of our favorite places in the Exumas. We were so excited to see you were traveling with Jim and Loretta on 'Plan Sea'. We've met them several times cruising about.
    Tell them Hello for us.
    Enjoy and keep those cards and letters coming!!!

    Wm and Judy Mayberry

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