We learned of this boat yesterday. Today is at least the second full day it’s been grounded. The tide was about two hours past high when these photos were taken. With the full moon, he missed a good chance to pull her off the beach this afternoon.
Aventigo? No hailing port. We know that the police came and talked to him yesterday. They didn’t offer assistance. They just want him off the beach. This is a private island and home to Palm Island Resort. This unfortunate captain says that he anchored offshore. His anchor dragged overnight while he slept and he woke up on the beach.
He has no towing insurance. He apparently didn’t take the proper steps to get himself back into deeper water when he had the chance. He also has no anchor out, which means each high tide will driver him harder aground.
I can’t imagine that no one has offered to pull him off over a two day period. I also can’t imagine what he’s thinking at this point. Just sitting there doing nothing won’t get her free.
The boat rests just north of Don Pedro Island, on the west coast of Florida. It’s approximately two miles south of Stump Pass. If anyone is reading that has a strong boat in the area . . . maybe you can run out there before tomorrow’s high tide and try to assist this man.
My newest book went live on Amazon late last night. This morning it is Amazon’s #1 bestseller in Boating. Click the link below to purchase.
If your not familiar with the series, you can find them all at my Amazon Author Page:
Technically, it’s the Trawler Trash series. If you haven’t started this series, now is a good time. The sixth book will be coming out in September, and prices will go up for all the books in the series.
Start with Trawler Trash; currently the number 1 bestseller in Boating.
Next is Following Breeze
Then move on to Free Breeze;
And finally, Bahama Breeze
Or you can find all of them at my Amazon Author Page:
Don’t forget to look for my next release, Cool Breeze.
The above screenshot shows the “shallow draft, inside route” through some of the Berry Islands. They aren’t kiddding!
We were ready to leave Great Harbor Cay and do some exploring. We were told to go to the fuel dock at high tide, so that’s how we planned our day. High tide was at 11:00 a.m. We topped off our fuel tanks and headed out for Hoffman’s Cay. It was to be a six hour trip. Tides change in the Bahamas every six hours. Did you figure it out yet? I didn’t until we reach the entrance to the inside route. I said “Oh crap”. Kim asked what was wrong. I explain that we were entering shallow water at dead low tide. If you look closely at the above chart, you’ll see some spots with less than four feet of depth. We draw four feet. We were also loaded down heavily with fuel and water, adding a few inches to our draft.
I slowed to a crawl. We were in six feet of water. Bump! We hit something. I checked the depth finder. We still had six feet. Must have been a rock or some coral. Then we approached the really skinny spot. I slowed some more. The water under us got even more shallow. I guessed we wouldn’t make it. Sure enough, we ground to a slow stop on soft sand.
We had a good west wind that was producing a two-foot chop. With the boat still in gear, I felt a wave lift us up and we moved forward twenty feet or so before settling back down on the bottom. Huh! I left the boat in gear. We moved again, maybe thirty feet forward, before we came down on the sand again. We continued to leap frog like that until we had enough water to float freely. I throttled up and we carried on. Lesson learned. Pay attention to the tide for your destination.
We anchored off a beautiful beach. We were all alone, with no other boats in sight. Kim demanded that we put the dinghy in and go to the beach. It was just a few hundred yards away. I wanted to sit down with a beer and relax, but I relented. Off we went towards the beach. We didn’t make it. The outboard quit running. When I pulled the starter cord, it broke off in my hand. Great. Now we were adrift towards some rocks just south of the beach. I quickly deployed the oars and started rowing back to the boat. It was a tough slog against the waves, but we made it.
Fortunately, I had not one, but two spare pull-cords. I was prepared for this!
I fixed her up the next day and we spent hours on the beach.
We even hike a trail up to a blue hole. Pretty cool.
We spent several days exploring the neighboring islands via dinghy. The water was spectacular.
All in all, we very much enjoyed our stay in the Berry Islands. Much less crowded than most destinations in the Bahamas. The water is awesome, if not a tad skinny. Any time we moved we had to keep the tides in mind. There’s about a four foot tidal swing. Meaning, that at low tide a spot might only be three feet deep, but at high tide it would be seven feet deep. We often sat and waited until close to high before moving to the next spot.
We loved the Berrys. You would too.
It was a brutal bike ride to get there,
especially for lazy boat bums like us, but it was well worth the effort. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
A very cool spot. I could have just sat and watched the waves all day.
I have some good/great things to say about No Name Harbor, but I also have some words of warning.
Bad news first: It’s a small anchorage, with deep water. It gets crowded. For the most part, you can’t put out enough scope to really feel comfortable. At high tide, there is close to fifteen foot depths in some spots. A 7 – 1 ratio would require just over 100 feet of chain/rode. That’s impossible to do here. There simply isn’t enough room. The picture above was taken when the harbor was almost empty. There were twice as many boats when we came in.
The bottom consists of a sand/mud mixture that is quite soft. We got a our hook stuck pretty well. When we pulled it up it held a bushel basket sized glob of bottom.
What’s crowded? Swinging on the hook in close proximity to your neighors, closer than most mooring fields. What’s really crowded? Weekends:
It can get crazy with all the powerboats coming in from Miami and surrounding areas.
Now the good news: It’s beautiful and well protected. During the week, it’s less crowded and peaceful. There’s a free pumpout station on the sea wall. It’s a do it yourself operation that works just fine. There are plenty of trash cans so you can get rid of your garbage, no problem. No Name Harbor is inside of a state park. The park is very nice. There are excellent beaches a short walk away, with nice facilities. There’s a Winn Dixie about a mile away. It’s also very nice. There are hiking/biking trails, fishing piers, lighthouse tours and picnic areas with restrooms. There’s even a washer and a dryer! It’s a $1.25 per load, which is very cheap.
There’s a restaurant directly on the sea wall called the Boater’s Grill. We haven’t tried it yet, but it looks nice, if not a bit pricey.
One last thing you should know before your visit. The park asks for twenty dollars per day to anchor and spend the night. It’s an honor system, with a few boxes on land near the wall. We haven’t noticed anyone paying it. We haven’t seen any attempts at enforcement. The “rules” say there are sporadic checks for receipts. We paid our twenty bucks just in case. There is also a limit on how many days you can stay. You can not stay overnight tied to the wall.
.We’ve heard some horror stories about anchoring here, so we were a bit apprehensive. Our Monday through Friday stay was extremely pleasant, so I’m glad we came. The weekends though, are just plain nuts. Remember that when making plans.
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