Anchoring in the Exumas

Posted by Dave on Mar 27th 2023

Anchoring in the Exumas

We get to talk about cruising with cruisers a lot here at Edson, and fortunately sometimes we even get to go do it. I recently got to spend some time cruising in the Exumas and came away with a ton of thoughts about various things as well as a strong desire to get back there soon. 

Anchoring is always a necessary evil for cruising, and the Exumas present a few wrinkles even to that. 

  • Avoid anchoring very near coral. It's beautiful and endangered and it's absolutely crappy holding until it's too good. There's plenty of sand to anchor in, so just use that.
  • A Delta-style plow anchor (we had the genuine article) holds brilliantly in sand. Shockingly well. 
  • Even though it's shallow, you're going to want some major scope. The current is strong enough that you'll usually point into it and not the wind, and if the current and wind align you will be pulling hard against your anchor. We usually exceeded the 7:1 scope to depth ratio and never moved an inch. Of course this means you need to think about a wider radius of acceptable depth and clearance from other boats.
  • Chain, chain, chain... At heart I'm a sailboat racer and the weight of chain hurts my soul, but man does it work well down there.
  • Get a great windlass. Our typical routine was 2 destinations daily, and sometimes three. There are 700+ islands in the Bahamas, and all of them have something neat to see. A great windlass enabled us to stop whenever, without thinking about aching backs. 

There are probably 100 more tips and tricks that those with more time there could share, but these served us very well.