Swift

Current Cut, Eleuthera

May 12, 2017
We departed super rolly Glass Window Bridge and peered at the obstacle, which was the path:  Current Cut. This is a small cut, dividing Eleuthera from Current Island. Massive amounts of water squeezing through this tiny cut causes a crazy current: 6 knots at ebb tide and up to 10 knots during spring tides! One helpful Grumpy Captain reviewer stated "We went through at 14 knots (our top speed is 8). What a ride!"

Now, why not just go through at slack tide when there is no current? Great idea! When is slack current? This is like asking your family what they would like for dinner: blinking, silence, I dont know, followed by 5 reluctant and different answers. The general consensus: 1 -2 hours after Nassau high tide, and brownies. So is it 1 or 2? It depends on the wind, the temperature, and who got elected. Was it the yellow shirts with the rude hand signal or the red "It's The People's Time" shirts?

Oh, and you could totally just go for it and hope for the best, however, the channel is surrounded by rocks and sandbars, so if you have erred, it may be a costly mistake (hopefully you can blame your spouse).
Current Cut
Surely there's another way? Yes, there is - but it would have required several more hours of bashing directly into the wind, just to go through another cut, that, because it is a Bahamian cut, is sure to inspire fear and loathing in it's own special way. 

We were hoping that some poor sap would be in front of us and we could just follow them like lemmings, but alas, we were alone, hoping that our very vague "hope for the best" Bahamas navigation planning would work out OK.  We ended up going through 1 hour a 45 minutes after Nassasu high tide, with 1.5 knots against us. Perfect. Sure, 0 current would be nice, but we'd much rather have a manageable current against us and be able to maintain steering vs. being even more at the mercy of the sea. 
rocky entrance to Current Cut, Eleuthera
These rocks seemed really close!
Current Cut, Eleuthera
Approaching the final course
Sailing through Current Cut, Eleuthera
Success!
Now the saga was over, we headed to Meeks Patch for the night. We're sad that we didn't make it to Spanish Wells and Harbour Island, however, we didn't have the energy and didn't want to miss the weather window to travel to the Abacos the next day. 

We barely had the energy to take Hastings to the beach, where the "why are so many tour boats landing on the beach" riddle was answered. A large pig emissary was sent out to check for food. Hastings sternly told the pig how stingy his parents are with food rations, and he was not about to share.  The pig went away, off to check on the next batch of hapless sailors. We went home, to check on the next batch of drama: Abacos, here we come! 
Boats at anchor, Meek's Patch, Eleuthera
Meek's Patch Beach
Sunset over the water, Meek's Patch, Eleuthera
Beautiful final Eleuthera sunset
Would you rather have 10 minutes of terror and get it over with or 4 hours of mild stress and aggravation and go the easier route? 



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4 comments

  1. Well done on making it through Current Cut. I must confess I wasn't looking forward to trying that when we were originally planning on making our way from the Abacos to Eleuthera (before the whole dinghy davit failure nightmare).

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    1. Don't worry, nightmares are still waiting.... we found the Exuma cuts to be like a master class in terror!

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  2. Glad you made it safely and managed to go through without too much current against you. Steerage is important! Part of me would always want to sail with the current - yiiihaaaa, the faster the better, but... experience has taught me that being in control, especially on a boat, is darn important. :-)

    Our motto was/is always "better safe than sorry". That being said, I'd go for the short terror if the longer trip would also involve some stress and frustration, to get it done and over with quicker.

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    1. I agree....short terror is better than slow torture!

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