15 February, 2013, Abacos, The Bahamas
There are a number of clever blog readers out there who have been anxiously watching Vanish on the Unexsco Webcam at the Port Lucaya Marina. Uh oh, she's vanished. Yes, we are finally on our way but due to the weather forecast of a stalled strong weather front (meaning winds could be light and variable or strong with associated storms), we decided to head slightly north to the Abacos before making our way steadily south through the Bahamas. Last night was our first night at sea on anchor since early December. We left Freeport and encountered some welcome rain and on high tide, we motored through the 3 mile long Goodwill Channel, a known short-cut near West End on Grand Bahama with depths of 2.4 m saving us 45 miles. We anchored at Sale Cay in light wind and rain before the wind came up to 18 knots from the SW. At around 8.30, the front arrived with lightning flashing across the sky and the wind changed to the NE at 30 knots with rain all night. If our little ship hadn't been so well lit, comfortable, warm and inviting, one could have said it was particularly creepy outside in the pitch dark lonely conditions. Of course, it's not as creepy as the "Carnival Ship From Hell" in the Gulf of Mexico which has just endured 5 horrendous days of dead ship conditions. We are the complete opposite and are happy little Vegemites. It takes a lot to keep vessels in perfect running order so taking a cruise with over 4000 people is not something we'd sign up for. I didn't think we'd ever be back here again but that's cruising for you - new day, new plan. We'll be taking it easy in the Abacos while the forecast 30 kn NW winds and rage seas arrive on the weekend.