Shallow Water Dreamboat!
Sorry not to have written earlier but we have been having so much fun with "Distant Shores" in the Bahamas I haven't had a chance to update the Blog. Here is just a brief one with some tempting pix from the fabulous Bahamas! We have had just 6 weeks here but will be sure to return as soon as we can! These islands are incredible and so much fun with the shallow draft.
We have been able to beach the boat for the first time and dry out on the sand. This is a feature of the Southerly and we found we could explore areas where other boats can't go. There are so many shallow islands without good all-weather anchorages (for deeper boats) but were great for us. We have been lifting the keel up to about 4 and a half foot draft and then venturing of the beaten track.If it is really shallow we can set the draft as low as 3 foot.
To beach the boat we have been looking around for a nice spot, then running up on the beach on a falling tide. Just be sure not to do it at the very highest in case you can't get off on the next high. This is apparently called being "neaped" by Robert - our Northshore expert. So, we pick a nice beach - protected from swells and with no rocks on the bottom - and run up to the beach at near high tide. We prepare our Fortress stern anchor and line on the aft swim platform and drop it 75 feet away as we head in. We head for the beach at about 2-3 knots and gently fetch up on the sand. Then I walk the anchor out forward to stop us drifting away if we want to stay for the night. In this case we will stay for 2 low tides and float off again in the next high.
So the verdict after a 6 week dream cruise in the Bahamas is that this is our perfect Bahamas boat!