Anchoring in the Bahamas

Anchoring usually involves dropping your anchor off the bow of your boat and seeing it disappear into the murky water you are floating in. This all changes in the Bahamas! The anchor drops and you can see it on the bottom! You can see it dig into the sand, and you can see if your rode is fouled on anything!

The nice thing is you know what you are anchoring on. You can precisely set your anchor on a sandy patch and watch it dig into the sand. Weeds can foul your anchor, but in these clear waters, it is easily avoidable.

While anchoring may seem straight forward, there is one profound issue to deal with: currents.

The currents in the Bahamas are notorious, and for good reason! They will whip through an anchorage with several knots and reverse in a few minutes. If your anchor has trouble resetting, it will prove itself an issue every 6 hours!

To remedy this, all you need to do is set two anchors, one upstream and one downstream of the yacht. When the current reverses, the boat will swing and pull on the other anchor. The result is that you will simply switch the anchor you are pulling on and not have to worry about resetting your anchor with each tide.


In the Bahamas, Conch are like chicken. The locals eat them in such quantities that their shells line the shores in massive mountains. What look like large jetties from a distance are actually just piles of conch shells! One local who calls himself "Down Pat" showed us how to clean a conch shell and make a meal out of the mighty mollusk.

A few islands later, we were walking along the beach at low tide and noticed a significant number of conches in the water. Conch are predators who prey on smaller and slower snails. They chase them down and eat them out of their shell. If you see many snails around, you can bet that conch will be close by. They also tend to collect in areas where the sea weed is less dense, as their shells won't get fouled on the blades of grass.

With this knowledge in mind, we kept an eye out for these tasty treats and found the mother load! We collected around 20 conch shells, and then kept only 4 for our dinner. In the mix was a feisty critter that was scrambling to get away and would swipe at us with his nail shaped operculum. We decided to let him go because his feistiness would be good for the species as these critters are just way too easy to pick!

Then we threw back the smaller ones that wouldn't provide much of a meal. You can call us soft, but we felt bad about killing the conch to make dinner. Our third crew member is not so soft and bartered with us to let him prepare dinner with only four shells. He wanted to eat the smaller ones as he felt the meat would be more tender, but we would need to use more conch for the meal. Maddie and I viewed it as more lives lost, so we decided to go for the larger ones.

The prettiest shells got to live, and the ones that were actively trying to escape to tossed back into the water. Our third crew member did the deed and prepared a delicious conch pasta dish. It's true what they say, if people had to slaughter their own animals, there would be more vegetarians in the world.

The conch honestly tastes just like scallops, and when sautéed in butter and olive oil, tastes amazing!

Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

We sailed out of West End and right on past Freeport, as we made our way south. Winds became light and our progress slowed to the point that we realized that we would not make it all the way to Nassau, and instead we pulled into Slaughter Harbor nestled in between Great and Little Stirrup Cay.

This anchorage is deep, and protected by a "tall" island of 50 feet to the East. The next few days are forecasted to have strong Easterly winds, so we figured that this would be our safest plan of action.

We figured that we could go ashore and relax on the Cays while we waited for the weather to blow over, but we were saddened to find that all the islands around us are privately owned by cruise ship companies. As we approached the islands, we noticed large "Do Not Enter" signs on the shores. Upon closer inspection, we realized that the charted towns on Navionics were referring to the structures that are built by the cruise ship companies.

So, we remain anchored with the wind blowing strong and our anchor firmly set as we wait for the weather to improve so that we can venture off to new lands.