Sailor's Maxim Proved Right Again
11 March 2011 | Thompson Bay, Long Island
Beth / 80's and breezy
We generally live by the maxim that sailors should never make plans based on a schedule. We on Madcap change our plans regularly - usually on the basis of weather or a new idea but in this case, we have an unavoidable schedule.
So it is that despite what I wrote last evening, it is Friday and we are not ashore exploring Rum Cay or drinking beers on a shady porch or dining at Kaye’s Restaurant. Instead, (at 1000 hours) we are motoring back across the sound toward Long Island. Our bottom line “schedule” is that we have to have Mary Jean back at the Stella Maris airport on Sunday for a 2:30 flight to Nassau, and it was all looking good earlier in the week. We knew that the weather for Saturday was somewhat awkward for what we had planned but we thought it was still doable. The front would go through today and while the winds would be NNE18 to 20 on Saturday, we’d be OK. I kept joking that we could still leave here on Sunday morning and get MJ to the Cape Santa Maria Resort by noon on Sunday and she could catch a taxi from there and everything would be fine - but she kind of shuddered each time I suggested it, and Jim grumbled, and finally even I - “the queen of down to the wire” gave it up as a bad idea ;-)
However - when we asked Chris Parker for the sea state this morning, he told us that on Saturday we would be moving in confused seas with swells coming one way and wind driven chop another. We already know we do not like confused seas - especially biggish ones! It was decision time - and there was really only one choice.
So ... the anchor came up; I called Dolores to cancel our dinner reservation; we swung by Seabbatical to say thanks and goodbye; the cornbread came out of the oven too late to share with them; and we were bound for Long Island, leaving this place behind. We had forgotten to put SPOT out last night, so it went out as we were leaving - sure to confuse the folks on our receiving list when they see it again tonight in a new place!
As Mary Jean says, she has gained a real sense of just how connected we are to weather and how the fact that we often say we don’t know just where we will be at a given time is not just indecision on our parts. We are totally connected to Mother Nature and weather is the deciding factor almost all the time.
The front passed as we came down the west side of Long Island and brought no problems at all. We could watch rain in other places and the advancing line of dark clouds, but somehow it just moved around us. There were no complications and we arrived back in Thompson Bay just after dark, anchored and ready for the increasing winds.
We had to have the motor on the whole darn day, but the sun was shining, the fishing lines were out - and something made off with yet another hook and lure. The leftover lobster made a delicious lunch (the pic above is of that other fish lunch - with Mary Jean's barjack). We read our books - me on my perch on the back rail, Jim stretched out on a cockpit bench and Mary Jean on the foredeck. (The Fencing Master, Grave Secrets, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - respectively).
We will spend Saturday and Sunday morning exploring Long Island again before we reluctantly send Mary Jean off to the north. The schedule called the shots today with support from weather, but it has worked out just fine. We generally tell our guests to arrange their flights to Nassau or Fort Lauderdale and then we’ll tell them where we are from there. That is what we did with each set of visitors this year and it has worked well. The going home part is trickier unless we stay in the same area. We were lucky this time - we got to move around, see two new places, avoid bad weather, and get back to an airport for MJ’s scheduled departure.
Rum Cay goes back on the list for next year’s exploration. We will be here until we set off south bound for the Jumentos. Life is good!