Log Entries

  • 2021 Winter Voyage
Exumas

Entry from 2/27/21

Our departure from Cape Eleuthera marked the start of Junior Watch Officer phase (JWO) aboard Geronimo. As JWO, the student in charge leads the sailing maneuvers and makes the navigation decisions during their watch. I am very pleased to share that Meredith, Sarah Quinn, and Cordelia, our first three JWOs, successful sailed Geronimo from Cape Eleuthera to Warderick Wells without consulting the GPS. They used visual fixes and deduced reckoning to keep up with our location during the 30 nm journey and brought us precisely to Warderick Well Cut. This morning, Pippa sailed Geronimo off the anchor at Pipe Cay and Hollis brought us back onto the anchor here at Shroud Cay.

Since arriving to the Exumas, we have been spending most of our time, when not sailing, in the water. We have had three great snorkeling outings swimming around healthy coral reefs. Today we also had the opportunity to visit Driftwood Beach on Shroud Cay. This is one of my favorite spots in the Exumas. A tidal creek links the east and west side of the cay with this beach at the eastern shore. The current races through this waterway and the students enjoyed jumping in and drifting down-river. Tomorrow morning, we hope to squeeze one more adventure in before departing the Exumas for Chub Cay, located at the southern end of the Berry Islands.

  • 2021 Winter Voyage
Southern Eleuthera

The past few days have been spent exploring Southern Eleuthera. Tuesday morning, we took our small boat into Starved Creek to conduct a sea turtle survey. Here, we made a tally of all the turtles we saw in the course of 30 minutes. This info will be shared with the Cape Eleuthera Institute, which has been monitoring this creek for years. In the afternoon we had a “pin rail chase.” The students were divided into two teams and competed against each other to identify lines and parts on the boat. It was a dead heat the entire time with the end result, even after final jeopardy, being a tie.

Yesterday morning we got up a little extra early to catch slack water for Davis Channel. We had a pleasant motor-sail with just the jib set for Cape Eleuthera Marina. Linus took us through the narrow entrance of the marina before helping out with dock lines. Cordelia and Meredith had the first mooring lines across and aided in our smooth arrival. Just before lunch, we loaded into two rental cars for a drive around the southern end of the island. We began at Cotton Club Beach along the Atlantic coast, where we were the only people. Afterwards we made a quick stop for ice cream before visiting Gully Hole. Everyone went for a swim in this blue hole. Linus, Pippa, Trent, and Meredith even swam across the length of the hole with one of our mates.  

Back at the boat, we were greeted by two massive bull sharks circling the vessel. We were told that they are likely females who return to the marina each year. Along with the bull sharks, we have also seen many nurse sharks and large groupers swimming past Geronimo.

Just before lunch today we will get underway for the Exumas.

  • 2021 Winter Voyage
Strong Wind Sailing

With the wind still quite strong, we spent Sunday morning snuggly at anchor. The students used this time to complete school work. We also had a marine science class about the Bahamas and reefing sails. Not long after lunch, with a double reef in both main and jib sails, we got underway for Savannah Sound. B Watch- Linus, Meredith, and Riley, were on watch for this sporty transit down the west side of Eleuthera. In spite of the wind and sea spray the three of them had a great time sailing and navigating Geronimo. Once anchored, we enjoyed pizza (made totally from scratch!) and salad prepared by Cordelia.

Yesterday morning we used our small boat to explore some caves along the coastline before going ashore. The early afternoon was spent at Ten Bay Beach, one of the prettiest beaches here on Eleuthera. The students enjoyed walking on the sandbars where many found sand dollars. Before heading back to Geronimo, we briefly stopped at a health clinic to take a required rapid COVID antigen test. All were negative.

Once back aboard the boat, we prepared to shift down to Rock Sound. After an enjoyable three hour sail, we let go the anchor off of Starved Creek. Linus had dinner waiting for us on the table when we arrived. 

  • 2021 Winter Voyage
Eleuthera

There has been little down time aboard Geronimo since we left West Palm Beach last Tuesday. In the course of five days, we have already traveled over 300 nautical miles. The students are really settling in to life on board the boat.

Thursday afternoon we shifted from the east side of Great Harbour Island to the north side. Students worked in pairs navigating the vessel as we sailed along Great and Little Stirrup islands. Riley and Hollis were the last pair in charge and selected the specific location where we anchored that night. 

Friday morning began with a more formal navigation class before students went for a swim and enjoyed on-deck showers. After lunch, we sailed off the anchor, without the use of the engine, and set our sights on North Eleuthera. The final hours of the passage were truly spectacular with smooth seas and a very clear sky. Many students saw shooting stars as we slowly glided to our anchorage, dropping the hook just before 3 am.

Hoping to make the most of the day, all hands were back up at 8 am to shift locations. At Egg Island we went ashore for the first time since departing Florida, enjoying a beach all to ourselves. There was little time to linger, however, as it was crucial that we arrive at Current Cut at slack water. Trent was on the helm as we sailed through the 350’ wide break between islands and showed great focus and skill as we traveled through stressful waters.

Currently we are tucked in behind Mutton Fish Point to wait out the first night of a front moving through the area. Tomorrow morning will be dedicated to catching up on school work and learning a few more navigation skills. Everyone is in high spirits and seems to be at home aboard Geronimo