Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Winds, Waves, Squalls

As those at home are shoveling out AGAIN, snowfall after snowfall, we on boats are dodging weather fronts, one after another.  Windows for crossings, long hauls or just moving down island have been short and rare this season.  We’ve been waiting on friends to make an appearance in the Exumas, but they have been holed up in Spanish Wells for almost two months. Their case is an older, slower boat, towing a skiff (which makes it even slower).  They need wide windows of opportunity to relocate.  Looked like they were going to move on Monday, but squalls were predicted along their intended course about midway.  They are staying put, enjoying the hospitality of one of the prettiest spots in the Caribbean.

Those friends owe us money for supplies we dropped off for them on Compass Cay.  A boat here owes them money for parts they delivered.  We owe $20 for a mooring stay, which still another boat paid for.  If we all pay it forward, to the boats closest to us, the debts will eventually cancel themselves out, do ya think? 

After a couple of attempts, where we gave up fighting the swells and breaking waves and took shelter in Big Majors Spot, we took a 6 hour window and made it to Emerald Bay Marina on Great Exuma Island.  This was our first time here and yes, we can now attest to the truth of the rumoured surge inside the marina basin.  The wind picked up and blew steadily from 30 to 55 knots for three days.  Steadfast deployed every one of our lines and all of our fenders to keep us from slamming into the docks.

This 50 foot Lagoon Catamaran wasn’t so lucky.  The force and weight of his vessel pulled a cleat right out of the dock at the height of the storm.  It was a bouncy three days at the dock, inside a sheltered marina.  Lesson Learned:  don’t go to Emerald Bay Marina if a NE wind/storm is predicted.

Cat:  Photos not available due to low wifi strength.  Welcome to the out islands!

Cleat:  It's quite a dramatic photo.  Wish you could see it too.

Another rumour has been proven true:  there is no pool, no restaurant, no supplies at Emerald Bay.  To visit the Sandles Resort next door, marina guest must pay $85/pp to use the facilities and dine in their restaurant.  $85.00 gives you a 7 hour pass and free access to the buffet lunch,  only if their occupancy rate is low.  If you want to take a tour and consider buying a time-share condo at Grand Isle Resort and Spa, marina guests can visit their poolside restaurant.  Beach and pool facilities are for resort guests only. 

Fishx3:  You know I like to show off my catch, brag a bit and tell my fish stories.....sorry about no photos.

Yesterday, the wind changed direction and the seas laid down.  We cruised at 6 knots over the drop, making our way to Georgetown.  We caught three fish in quick succession:  two Wahoo and one small Mahi.  Once we were anchored off Sand Dollar Beach, Captain B took the Admiral Lord Nelson ashore and I cleaned fish off the swim platform—a messy, sweaty job.  I considered a swim when I was done, but sighting a reef shark circling, I changed my mind.

Fun Things to see:
Golf 4, 5, 1

Orange boat: with four orange outboard motors, painted to match the hull of the Go-Fast Boat.

Under Tow:  Crashing waves, don't let Nelson chase his ball into the surf!

Wooden Boat:  Wooden Sailing boat "Gabriel" out of MA...a classic.

We are thinking of you at home and sending you as much warm sunshine as this post can convey.  Remember us in your prayers for safety and sanity.   No matter the weather, we can say:  this too will pass.


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