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Approach and Anchoring

When approaching from the west, and past the airport runway, a red buoy marks a shoal north of the departure end of the runway at Beef Island Airport (EIS). Most continue past the yellow buoys marking the restricted area (see sidebar below) and enter Trellis Bay on the east side of Bellamy Cay.

Aerial Trellis Bay

Caution is advised when approaching this area north of the airport.

Trellis Bay Map

Trellis Bay

Trellis Bay is full of mooring buoys owned by Moor Seacure or De Loose Mongoose and available for $25 per night. Finding a place to drop the hook can be a challenge. Anchor in 12-18 feet of muddy sand. Though it’s an appropriate place to anchor while picking up crew at the airport, don’t overnight in the channel on the west side of the bay as this is used for arriving and departing passenger ferries from Marina Cay, North Sound and Little Dix Bay. If you do drop the hook near the channel, be prepared to roll as the ferries do not slow to “no-wake” speed until they approach their respective docks.

Monitor the Tower

Monitor the tower when entering through yellow buoys.

Once in a blue moon, the prevailing easterlies may shift, and instead of landing on runway 7 (heading 070 when landing) toward Trellis Bay, landing inbound aviation traffic may have to use the reciprocal runway, 25 (heading 250° when landing). In this case, the traffic on final approach lets down directly over the western entrance to Trellis Bay. To ensure that masts do not interfere with landing aircraft, the airport authorities have placed eight yellow buoys and four balls off the end of the runway that enclose a restricted area (see diagram). Sailboats with masts taller than 30 feet (10 meters) must call the Beef Island airport tower while transiting the area on VHF 10 and state the name of your vessel.

Dinghies are allowed at all the docks, but the North Sound Express ferry dock has restricted areas. Dinghies can tie up in the areas where green paint has been applied to the edge of the dock. Sometimes, however, the green zone is in an area so shallow that a dinghy will ground its prop. Also, beware of some small boats—some abandoned—are tied to the docks with a stern anchor thrown 20 or more feet away from the transom. An unwary dinghy captain can suddenly find his prop entangled in a stern anchor rode.

When rounding Beef Island, note that the bluffs are one of the most forbidding lee shores in Sir Francis Bay Channel. Allow sea-room in case of a williwaw. Take care to stay clear of the rocks off Sprat Point (the eastern point of Trellis Bay) by taking its buoy well to port.

The eastern access to the anchorage is marked by three green and two red buoys. The channel is a straight forward “red-right-returning” entry. At times, especially during the full-moon celebration co-staged by Jeremy Wright at his Cyber Café and Aragorn of Aragorn’s Studio, the anchorage can be crowded, and swinging room scarce. Between the shore at De Loose Mongoose and Bellamy Cay, the water shallows to less than six feet in spots, so passing south of Bellamy Cay from east to west is not recommended without local knowledge.

Beef Island Map

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