Passage South. Crooked Island to Aclins

Day 1  George Town to Long Island

Day 2  Long Island to Crooked Island


Passages South map

Passages South map

Day 3 Crooked Island to Aclins

Tuesday, March 11

After we rest for a day in Pittstown, we lift anchor early the next morning but it takes us 3 hours to cover 2 miles in almost becalmed winds until we pass Bird Rock with its 1876 lighthouse.

Bird Rock Lighthouse

Bird Rock Lighthouse

Built from Crooked Island stone with nineteen-century mechanism and Frensel lenses, the lighthouse machinery got damaged by a lightning strike and is no longer working today. Abandoned, it is rapidly deteriorating and the recent attempt by the Bahamas Defense Force to fix it failed. There had been an idea at some point to turn the lighthouse keepers’ quarters into an ‘out-of-the-way’ refuge but it is still just an idea. As we pass very slowly only a few feet from the small island the lighthouse sits on, we have the opportunity to kind of explore it.

Bird Roch Lighthouse  close-up

Bird Roch Lighthouse

When we round the corner the winds pick up and we are back in business.

We sail all day near the north side of Crooked Island direction east-southeast, tacking many times as the wind has now turned from east, blowing at 10-15 kt, and thus we cover almost double the distance, which is 35 NM from Pittstoun Landing to Atwood Harbour. We are getting the prevailing inevitable Trade Winds, but very mild and easy to deal with. The sea is calm, slow Atlantic waves coming from port. Fata Morgana is doing about 4 kts, smooth slow sailing, no stress on the boat and crew, and at about 9:30 p.m. we enter through the breakers inside the vast remote anchorage in Atwood Harbour. The anchorage is more like quick rest-stop for cruising boats as it offers nothing but refuge from east, west, and south winds (don’t go there in north winds). There is no marina, no settlement, no nothing but a beach and mangroves around a shallow sandy bay.

The cruising guide says that entering Atwood Harbor “requires care and attention and good light. In the last few years about dozens of boats have run into trouble entering Atwood. Be warned!” For us it is one of the easiest going-through-the-breakers entries at night, no problem whatsoever. But I guess the wind and waves can make a difference. The place could turn to a monster in strong northern winds and swells. Yet, with the light easterlies we are getting, it is a pussy-cat. Good planning again!

We drop anchor, sleep like bay-bees, lift anchor the next morning, and sail some more, perfect like sailing-nerds.