Holdin' Well in the Habah
22 January 2008 | Marsh Harbour, Abacos
Beth - well and truly windblown
Hooey - these winds can sure blow! The front, due to pass through on Saturday night and bringing strong winds after it, blew through more slowly so we didn't get the winds till daylight hours yesterday. We much prefer to experience winds upward of 20 knots at anchor during daylight hours. We managed to situate ourselves nicely with good swing room around us, and we have certainly swung - about 280 degrees from Saturday morning to the time I started writing this (Monday morning). The highest gust of wind we saw was 30 knots on Monday morning but mostly we're registering 20 -30 knots - enough to howl and rattle through the rigging, and the temperature on Monday morning was 70.7 Fahrenheit. The picture shows the pull on our anchor line. We have 90 feet of chain out in 8 feet of water. Normally that line would hang right straight down and the weight of the chain would be helping to hold us. In winds like this, that anchor had better be well dug in, and the bottom here is sand and muck so I guess it is!
We've had no wifi (unless we paid real money to oii for it - as opposed to beer or coffee money at Curly Tails or Café La Florence) and no opportunity to go ashore since Saturday night. I'm not sure why our antenna can't seem to pick up a connection from the harbour here. The SSB propagation is poor too and Jim had, until late morning on Monday, been unable to connect with any of the channels he usually counts on to post our winlink waypoints.
So what is Madcap life like these last couple of days? On Sunday, I made a big pot of chili and some corn bread - cosy northern food - and we snuggled down with our books for the day (Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for me - very interesting; Beach Music by Pat Conroy for Jim - highly recommended) and in the evening as the generator ran, watched a movie (Running With Scissors - really weird). I guess Jim and I are slothful creatures because as other folks were moaning about feeling boat bound, or the fellows were engaged in mechanical/electrical/maintenance jobs, we were quite happy to read and drink (juice, coffee, water, wine - depending on the time of day!)
Well ... that worked for the first day... it is now Tuesday morning, and after 48 hours of it, we are definitely antsy. Jim braved the choppy waters yesterday afternoon to get to town and run some errands while I stayed on anchor watch, but it was too chancy to take the computer in for e-mail. We are still cautious enough to resist leaving the boat uncaptained in these conditions, and by the time Jim got back it was getting late and he wasn't altogether comfortable with seeing me go off on my own. I am desperate to move farther than the 36' by 12' limits of this space and get my legs stretched out so it's a good thing the wind has finally dropped. Now we have gusts to 17 knots instead of steady 17 with gusts to 27.
The plan is to leave here on Tuesday afternoon and head for Tilloo Cay or Lynyard Cay. Right now (Tuesday morning) it is debatable whether we will motor across New Providence Channel to Royal Island on Wednesday or wait till the next front goes by (more 25 knot winds clocking from S to N) and cross on Sunday. It depends on what we find for shelter, the continually changing forecast, and whether we leave exploration of Pelican Cays and Little Harbour for our trip back up in April.
Now, I'm heading for Curly Tails to see if I can post these last two blog entries.