Civilization again - yeah!
07 January 2008 | Nassau Harbour Club Marina
Blowing a bit but we don't care
Yesterday we made the five hour trek from the Berry Islands to Nassau and had a great sail. We had been trapped in Cabbage Cay in the Berrys for about the last five days due to the huge cold front that moved across from the States and created some significant winds and swells around the Bahamas. There were six of us in the anchorage and we were the only cat. It's times like these we were grateful for our stable platform. The monohulls around us gave new meaning to the term Rock'n'roll. We were able to sneak into the shelter of Darville's docks (Flo's Conch Bar) because of our shallow draft (we only draw 3.5 feet). We went in a little before high tide and a little too far to starboard and ran aground. Skipper Jack managed to get us off and we ended up on a mooring for two nights in the shelter of the island. We could see the mast lights of our monohull mates rocky back and forth in the wind and swell and believe me, they were sick of it. Who can blame them. Each day we'd pool our various sources of weather forecasting to try and understand when our weather window would allow us to cross to Nassau. We all agreed Saturday would be the day. Winds were swinging NE and swells would be in our favour, though theh prospect of 10-12 foot seas with wind swell wasn't all that enticing. Early Saturday morning when Chris Parker gave his weather report it was clear Sunday would be the better day. The two larger (and braver) monohulls weren't going to wait. They turned their bows and headed out the cut to the open seas and we watched with admiration as they dipped and troughed their way through the swell. They both made it safely to Nassau with a much clearer understanding of their boats' capabilities and with a much more enlightened crew. At times their cockpits were awash as the odd 10-12 footer reminded them these were heavy seas. Four or us remained for another night of rock'n'roll and this time we stuck with the group. We had a pot luck aboard Meander and watched Master and Commander - just to remind us things are much easier for us. At first light we headed out the cut knowing that the winds had dropped to 10-15 knots and seas would be between 5 and 8 feet. Well, what a wonderful five hours of sailing we had. Four foot seas, 12 -20 knots of wind and clear skies. Meander, usually the slowest because of her size and weight, rose up out of the water when the winds hit 16-20 knots and delivered us 7 knots under sail. She's built for stronger winds that girl. With everyone desperate to do laundry, short on water, out of fresh milk, fruit and veges and bread and some desperate for a warm shower, we gratefully entered Nassau Harbour and tied up at the marina dock, booked for us by our mates who arrived the day before - bless them.