C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Southern Berry Islands

The extreme dichotomy of water depths in the Bahamas boggles my mind.  Within 1/2NM of our 2 meter anchorage our depth sounder gives up.  The charts inform us we have 1610 meters (4830 feet) of water under our keel.  Drain the ocean waters from the Bahamas and the area would look like a supersized version of the Utah desert with giant plateaus and massive canyons.

East winds forced us to motor sail around the outside of Bird and the southern half of Whale Cay.  Midway along its length Whale Cay and the Berry Island chain begin to run a more north /south direction.  This allowed us to cut the motor and sail the remaining distance to Little Whale Cay.  On a run, Anne steered us in the cut between the Whales.  We then snuck across the shallows on the west side of Little Whale and onward to Bond Cay under the genny.  By working the tides we hope to be able to navigate the inside route along the Berrys from Little Whale Cay to the Fish Market Cays.

On a flooding tide we used the west side of Bond Cay to reawaken our “Visual Piloting” skills.  On C’est la Vie visual piloting means Jeff dons polarized sunglasses and heads to the bow.  Anne takes the helm.   I use visual clues… color of the water, color of the bottom, wave forms, big rocks piecing the surface, etc. to choose a route.  I then relay this information back to Anne via hand signals.  Anne then pilots the boat based on my signals.  It is really like a remote control for me making decisions at the bow.  This works well until the pilot fixates more on the alarming depth gauge than  on me at the bow, but I’m jumping ahead a day.

While transiting the narrow channel behind Bonds we observed several large rays and nurse sharks.  Once the anchor set we loaded up Rosebud... 
TT-Rosebud our new inflatable dinghy.
Ok, the name has stuck we are now calling our new inflatable dinghy Rosebud.  It is a bit of a compromise.  I chose the name BUD for Blow Up Dinghy while Anne preferred Rose.  Bliss aboard is all about compromise.

Back to the snorkeling with rays & sharks off Bond Cay.  With the tide still flooding we motored the dinghy approx. 1NM back to the narrow channel.  We dove in, held onto the dinghy lines, and let the current ferry us back to C’est la Vie.  During the dive we encountered one nurse shark and some starfish.
Anne with a reticulated starfish

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