A Change in Plans and a New Worry
24 February 2012 | Water Cay, Jumentoes
Well, you'll notice we aren't at Hog Cay anymore. It's my fault. I put our intentions in the blog yesterday and that always means the plans will change. The guy substituting for our weather guru put in the email version that winds would be 19 on Sunday and Monday and the general trend was for moderating winds. This morning, Chris Parker came on (he was only on SSB M,W,F this week, and the sub was doing the emails each day). Chris said 20 gusting 25 Sunday through Wednesday, with wind moderating on Thursday. That meant we couldn't cross those open water sections until next Friday (the swell would probably still be too big Thursday, after four days of high wind). We weren't prepared to stay another week, so after having made plans with folks for activities today, we hurriedly readied the boat for sailing and called them all and said good-bye as we were leaving the anchorage at just before 8 AM.
We decided to get the majority of the run back to Thompson Bay done today, as there was some wind. There was about 15 knots of wind mostly behind us as we crossed the first open area, and we had pretty good following seas. It was not bad sailing at all, but then Bud noticed that the bilge pump was running fairly often. I went down to investigate. I ended up tearing up our bed to look underneath and found that our rudder post was leaking . I took the helm and Bud went down and looked at it. It seemed to leak whenever there was sideways pressure on the rudder. So Bud eased the main and tried to keep the boat going as easy as possible. Once we got out of that rough part the leaking slowed down. We kept on, the wind got pretty light at times but we managed to sail 54 and a half nautical miles to put us here at Water Cay.
The anchorage isn't a good as at Flamingo. We weren't sure the Rocna was set. When we went out in the dingy and looked at it, it was set, but Bud had actually been able to drag it out through the mud. We aren't too worried, there is enough sand to hold through a pretty good wind and the wind is supposed to drop to 10 knots tonight and be only 8 to 10 knots tomorrow. We have plenty of chain out and we set the anchor alarm, so we'll be okay. There are probably better places to anchor along this island, but this is the only other beach (and it's tiny) south of the fishing boat anchorage that already had two boats in it. We probably could have fit there, and if the wind was going to be an issue we would have moved, but this will do for an overnight stop.
We checked the rudder post and it's not leaking now. Tomorrow will be a light day, probably motor-sailing most of the day and then we'll be back at Thompson Bay and we can see what needs to be done.
Bud was just out on the deck looking at the stars and he saw a flare. We put out a general call on our VHF radio to see if anyone knew what the flare was about. He got no answer. We'll leave our VHF radio on to see if anyone calls. It may be that the fishing boat just sent up one of their old flares. If I ever find out what it was, I'll let you know.