When cruising in paradise, you will have wonderful days with clear blue skies and perfect wind that will carry you quickly to your next destination. At the same time, you will have days where ominous clouds roll in and winds will gust over the waters surface, kicking up some serious seas.
If you are in the flats of the Bahamas, where the water is shallow, these heavy winds will be just that. The water is so shallow that the waves will break when they are only a few feet tall. This means that you will have a very wet dinghy ride to shore, and snorkeling will be challenging, but your sailboat will handle it just fine. Conversely, if you are in the deep ocean waters between island chains, the seas will grow to their full potential in the water that is thousands of feet deep! If you know that heavy weather is on your horizon, it may be best to seek protection in the lee of an island and get into shallower waters.