The Bight of Acklins is formed by Crooked Island and Long Cay to the west and north and the Acklins on the east with a very wide opening to the south. This 25 Nm bay has water of no more than ten feet thru the center and considerably less in toward the islands. It is also remote and less charted. Through our four day stay the winds were northeast and while we were in a contant lee, it affected the mean water level and tide tables were only a starting point. We left Albert Town on Saturday 24 February and arrived at anchor in Delectible Bay on the Acklins side before noon. This gave us the whole day to explore Spring Point Settlement and Snug Corner to the north. As we arrived the mailboat was just departing so the weekly replenishment would see full shelves.
It was a long walk from the old government pier and we had the good fortune of being picked up by Miss Clara Sweething of Hardhill Settlement. She was a character and ferried us around the island in her minivan. Along the way she sang funny Bahamian songs, gathered traditional spices from the roadside and filled us in on politics. She is a cousin of the Minister for Immigration that is entangled in the Anna Nichole Smith case. But, she certainly didn't vote for him....
The day passed quickly and we were returned to dinghy with a full pack of groceries. It was then that we began to realize that a bit more water was slipping out of the bight than was accounted for in the tables. On the next morning we were joined by an exodus of five sailboats and another motor vessel in the transit to the west and around Windsor Point. This armada conspired over VHF and it was soon decided to hole up in French Wells, between Long Cay and the south tip of Crooked Island. John and Marilyn were our guides on Boundless as they led six of us into the narrow cut They had spent six weeks here last winter and knew all the right spots. On a pretty stiff current we put out two anchors the first night and awoke to a couple of crossovers in the morning.
On diving to untangle the rodes, Bill discovered a field of big conch and recovered half a dozen. After resetting the anchors, we joined the fellow travelers on the beach to clean conch and plan the day's activities. The first trek was up a beautiful creek bordered by mangroves to collect coconuts. Next, we spent the day diving on the outer reef for elusive bahamian crustaceons. That night we had potluck dinner for nine onboard Chapter III. Great company and the meals were delicious. We cleared the anchorage early on 27 February and covered 67 Nm in returning to Rum Cay. This is the place with the expensive water and good internet...and we are drinking a lot of the latter.