The waves crashing on the ocean beach were at least 5-6 feet. Very impressive. Photos, of course, don't show the size very well.
We were waiting to tackle the Whale. The Whale is infamous in Bahamas cruising lore. It is a small island fully exposed to the ocean (unlike other Abaco islands, protected by an offshore reef). Up and down the out-islands of the Abaco chain, boats like ours can traverse a passage over shallow waters called the Little Bahama Bank, inside the islands and the reef. Except at the Whale.
Because of a very shallow sandbank all the way from the Whale to the mainland (Great Abaco Island), all boats have to go out into the ocean around the Whale to continue north and south through the out-islands. We did it last year on someone's 27-foot boat in 4-foot rolling swells (having waited a day or two for the 8-foot swells to calm down).
Pope has a history with the Whale, having come close to swamping and sinking a sailboat there 30 or so years ago in breaking waves of a dozen or so feet in height. (Yes, this was a separate incident and with different people from the shipwreck off the coast of Florida.)
Lat year, the 4 foot rolling waves (instead of monster breakers) turned the roaring, formidable, hungry whale into a medium-sized fish.
This morning, we tuned in early on the VHF. The forecast was for 1-2 foot rollers! Nevertheless, Pope was sweating buckets.
We headed for the Whale at 9 am. The 1-2 foot rollers were insterpersed with an occasional 4 footer. Still not bad, though.
The Whale came closer and closer.
Out and around. Waves breaking on the island.
Past the Whale and though the second cut back onto the Bank. Headed for our next stop, Green Turtle Cay, a pleasant stop en route to Florida and home. We'll get some mechanical repairs done here, but I like this island for a fun tropical vacation, too. We are currently sitting in Pineapples outdoor bar, a shack on the beach with delicious rum punches. Yvonne is in charge of the bar. We were here last year, too, and loved it here.
All smiles again.
For a while, at least. We are currently looking for a mechanic to check an oil leak and fix the VHF antenna.