Birthday transisitons - Happy Birthday Diana
15 April 2009 | Marsh Harbor
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Marsh Harbor, Great Abaco Island
Wow! What a night. What a wild night. Straight-line winds and storms issued my birthday out, and Diana's birthday in. Happy Birthday Diana! A sunset to share with you :) I surely wish that I could have gotten pictures of the clouds, rain, and lightening that occurred between 11:00 and midnight.
Wayne sat up and watched a squall approach us last night from dark until about 10 - 10:30. The lightening was subtle, at first just lighting up the clouds in the distance. No thunder to be heard. As it got closer, you could see it, dancing in the dark, between and behind clouds, then closing the distance between clouds and land. Mother nature was putting on quite a show last night. I wasn't paying attention, as I should have, until Wayne went to bed and I went up to look about and turn off the wind generator. Lightening was flashing all around lighting up the sky so I could see stars to one side of the boat and a large towering shelf cloud that blocked out the stars and sky to the other side. The winds started howling at a faster speed and thunder could finally be heard as the lightening flashed. It blinded me for a minute then I could feel the ocean of air around me, raging, becoming much cooler as the dark, glowing clouds engulfed the remaining stars in the sky, covering the boat in a downpour of pelting, sheet rain.
As I looked to starboard all I could see was the bow of Arita (a beautiful wood boat from Sydney Australia) moving faster towards our side. Wayne came up at the same time as we were dancing around on the water being buffeted by the winds and waves and pelted by the rain. I tried to start the boat but it wouldn't turn over so Wayne had to race below and switch the battery bank over from #2 to numbers 1 & 2 (1 is our starting battery, 2 our house batteries) and turn on all the instruments while I tried to start the motor. All I could see was the bowsprit of Arita zooming in on me as the motor finally turned over and I threw the boat into forward to avoid a collision. Arita saw us during this commotion and was blowing her horn at us, but until the engine started, there wasn't much we could do. After putting her in forward and gunning it to stop the anchor chain from pulling further, we put the chart plotter on to see where we were. The anchor alarm was singing "anchors away" at us as soon as it came on, and after the boat was stabilized as well as could be during this downpour, it looked like we moved about 90 m from our original anchor spot. We couldn't see far in front of us, with all the sheeting water, but could see that a boat that was next to us, was now close to our bow, and at one side was a large powerboat, and the other side Arita.
We stayed up top until after 12:30am and then went below as things died down. During all the confusion Wayne managed to get the hatch and ports closed in the V-berth and while the berth was a little moist, it could have been much worse. The entire scenario could have been worse.
I went to bed around 1:00 am and I'm not sure what time Wayne finally crawled into bed. He sat up reading for a while. It was a wild night/morning. Wayne just told me he came to bed at quarter after two.
This morning, needless to say I slept until 7:30 (and that wasn't enough for either of us). While drinking coffee and listening to the cruiser's net on channel 68, Arita came by to tell us what a wonderful job we did last night. He said we hadn't drug but our chain was being pulled (his words - stretched). He was quite nice about it and I appreciated his pat on the back. It was stressful for me last night. He said there wouldn't have been anything I could have done but play bumper boats if the engine hadn't started, but I sure didn't want to do that with his bow coming at me. I told him that we were waiting until daylight to re-anchor. He mentioned, and I already knew, that a front was coming in tonight - so more of the same - 25-knot winds with possible gusts into the 30s are forecast for tonight. The day has just begun. We have to re-anchor, do some engine maintenance, then head to shore for groceries, laundry and cheeseburgers in paradise... It does rain and storm in paradise, but not often. We're thinking that the laundry may wait until tomorrow - we'll just stand all our dirty, salty laundry up in a corner tonight LOL.