06 November 2011 | Nassau, Bahamas
Cheryl - Windy
Sitting at Starbucks in Nassau using their Wifi. We have had an extremely rough time the last couple of days. We left Bimini with the wind at our nose and pretty much stayed there until 9 hours later when we dropped anchor in the Middle of the Bahama Banks. We anchored behind Mackie Shoal just as the wind dropped a bit. Still rocked and rolled all night but could have been worse and the next night it was. We pulled into the anchorage off the beach on Chubb Cay, wind from the SW. It is a private beach so no going ashore. Wind died and we had a pleasant evening, even grilled pork chops for dinner. Then the wind shifted coming from the North. Not a good wind direction in this anchorage. Wind picked up and blew 20+ knots all night. Bill let out all the anchor chain, we held but spent the entire night unable to sleep. Next morning we pulled up anchor and headed out to Nassau. With the wind from the North it was a following seas, that’s a good thing meaning we could sail (instead of motor) the entire way. Before we put the sails up the engine starts to overheat. We kill the engine and put out the head sail. Bill figured it was the raw water strainer. Unfortunately, first one must turn off the seacock, on our boat it is located in the bilge and you have to go through the lazarette (our main storage compartment) to get to it. Everything had to come out of the lazarette then Bill climbed in to shut off the seacock. He then went to the engine compartment and pulled out the strainer. It was completely clogged with sea grass. Bill also checked the engine empeller to make sure it was okay. Bill put everything back together and put all our junk back in it’s storage. We restart the engine and all is good. Once we knew the engine wouldn’t reheat we shut it off and had a great sail, surfing down the waves, going 7+ knots.
A couple of hours out the wind picked up again and now the seas are 6+ feet. The sea begins to build and now we are in the trough with we estimate 8+ foot waves. At that point Bill says “go get the PFD’s (life jackets) and tethers to tie us to the boat”. First time for us, we never wear our PFD’s (I shouldn’t admit that). I start to get seasick and of no help to Bill. We had waves coming over the side of the cockpit, from the high side of the boat. We finally arrive outside Nassau Harbor and hail on the radio the Nassau Harbor Authority for permission to enter the harbor (it’s required for everyone to do that). We get authorization at the same time the cruise ship Majesty of the Sea also gets authorization to enter. Keeping our distance as we enter the harbor, Bill says they won the chicken race. Not a minute too soon, I was going to loose it any minute.
We dock at Nassau Harbor Club Marine and Peter was there to help us in and tie up for us. 10 minutes later we are off the boat, glad to be tied up and glad to be alive!! Looks like we could be here until Wednesday, again due to high wind and seas. What happened to our dream of aqua colored calm waters?? So far, hasn’t happened. Hopefully it gets better from here. Plan today is to go to Atlantis so I can visit a slot machine or two.