Around 1 am Lance woke me up for my turn at the wheel. When I came up on deck I was greeted by the full moon and glassy seas, Minerva's trusty engine was humming contentedly and we were zipping along at 6.7 knots. There were a few fluffy clouds but the air felt dryer than usual.
Lance mumbled something about the radar overlay before nodding off, so I switched the view on the chartplotter over to check it out. Nothing but nothing. Well, except that one island just before our turn 4. Little Inagua, our last contact with the Bahamas island nation.
|Fruit trees line the beach on Acklins Island. Research leads us to believe this one might be a "Five Year Apple"|
Little Inagua is 50 square miles and completely uninhabited. We are passing it on our way to the Dominican Republic, and it seems like a natural touchstone for a lot of other passages too. We will come within a few miles of it, and I can't see it. At all. Nothing. Eerie. Even the cloud cluster that normally betrays every other Bahamian island location is missing.
Once again I muttered under my breath "Would it kill you to put a light on this thing? A marker? A bell? Something?"
|Interesting sponges on Acklin Island|
And I am struck again by how grateful I am to be doing this adventure with today's technology. I have full confidence in our chartplotter. Still, some visual or audio confirmation would be welcomed.
Without a chartplotter, we would have laid out this course on a paper chart and kept our eyes glued to the compass and the clock to ensure we remained faithful to the plan. Right about now, without visual confirmation, I'd be freaking out that we had miscalculated, and probably sweating and swearing a little bit. Maybe a lot.
Instead, we glide by it in the darkness while I nibble on a cookie and pet my sleepy dog. Goodbye Bahamas.