Sailing Milebuilder from Great Exuma to Santiago de Cuba
Some challenging weather at the start, gave way to some wonderful trade wind sailing and gave us 4 days exploring the beautiful beaches of Long Island, Bahamas.
Distance: 447 Nautical Miles
Duration: 10 Days
Fish Caught: 1 Tuna
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16th February 2018
The crew gathered at Emerald Bay Marina and enjoyed a first night meal ashore as we prepped for our sailing milebuilder departure aboard Bleu Turquoise the next morning.
17th February 2018
There were some gusty winds at the fuel dock which necessitated swift rope handling, but we set off into a blue sky and lively sea for a shore run down to Stocking Island just off Great Exuma.
18th February 2018
We set off early the next morning for the 25 mile passage across to the northern tip of Long Island, knowing we would have the wind on the nose. A day of tacking into strengthening winds was rewarded by a stunning turquoise anchorage fringed with a white sand beach.
19th February 2018
With hopes of more East in the wind than predicted, we set off again early doors. Rounding Cape Santa Maria in 2m seas and around 25 knots took several hours and by 11am we were a man down and slamming into big swells, having gone a quarter of our planned distance. Having committed to press on despite the forecast, we finally dropped the hook in Clarence Town, tired and relieved after 11 hours at sea!
20th – 23rd February 2018
With ongoing heavy weather and big seas for the next 4 days, we enjoyed the beautiful coves on Long Island, hiring a car to explore Deans Blue Hole, Santa Maria Resort, Galloway Bay and White Bay, whilst making a plan to ensure we arrived in Cuba for everyone’s flights home!
24th February 2018
At last the weather broke after some bouncy nights at anchor and cold wet dinghy rides to and from shore! We set off again with the wind on a close reach, down to an overnight stop at Long Cay on the bight of Acklins.
25th February 2018
We had a short sail the next morning to Acklins Island with the wind on the beam and a Tuna on the hook! After a relaxing lunch and dinner on the anchor we hoisted sails again at dusk for a night sail to Great Inagua, our southernmost stop in the Bahamas
26th February 2018
A rainy morning exploring Great Inagua, clearing out of the Bahamas and hunting down a bite to eat; we headed out into a beautiful sunset over 1m swells with a steady breeze on the beam.
27th February 2018
It was a perfect night of sailing with some lively times rounding Punta Maisi and the East end of Cuba where the seas and wind funnel down from the North East. We ended up with light winds in the lee of Cuba’s landmass and motored past Guantanamo Bay on to Santiago. Clearance was quick (relatively!) and it was a fun night out in the Salsa Clubs of Santiago to celebrate our arrival.