Dancing with Blanca
08 June 2015 | Bahia San Carlos
Having executed Plan C two days ago, Eric, SCOOTS, and I waited with nervous anticipation for Blanca to arrive in San Carlos. Last night, the sky was clear, the air was still and hot, and the water of the bay was glassy smooth. A literal calm before the storm.
Blanca had finally shown her hand a few days earlier, allowing forecasters to paint a pretty accurate picture of what she would do and where she would go. We were comfortable with the predictions, and with our preparations for them...we took down our lightest headsail, as it tended to flap in the breeze; we hauled our dinghy up alongside the deck and lashed it fore and aft to the toerail; we made plenty of extra water, in case the bay became too laden with debris for us to make water; and we moved all our loose items inside or stowed them. Then we waited.
We knew that Blanca would arrive on Monday (today), with winds somewhere between 20-35 knots, and spend the afternoon and possibly part of the evening with us.
And so she has. Up until about 6 am, the wind was very light and from the NE. At 6 am, SCOOTS' bow pivoted to the right, and ever since, she's been seeing winds from the SE.
After ramping up slowly throughout the morning, the wind has indeed been between 20 and 35 knots all afternoon. The waves out in the Sea were forecast to be really big and really pointy, but they mostly smashed themselves to bits on the rocky headlands that guard this bay, and so we only dealt with snarly wind waves, with the occasional sneaker wave rolling in.
We are quite safe and comfortable here, while dancing with Blanca. SCOOTS boasts a 110 pound anchor, which holds her in place really well. It's a beast, and it's been doing great. As usual, it's the OTHER boats that we keep an eye on, in case their ground tackle isn't as dependable as ours.
Many of the other boats in the bay are tied to moorings. We much prefer to trust our anchor, which we know well, than a mooring that we don't. In fact, earlier this afternoon, an unattended commercial catamaran came loose and floated into the rocks near shore, the mooring ball still floating between its hulls, when the chain holding its mooring to the ground let go.
After twelve hours of listening to wind whine and howl in the rigging, I'm ready for a respite, which should be coming within a few hours. I suspect that my ears will ring for awhile after the winds stop. That's ok.
And we never got any rain! Eric said this must be a "dry hurricane," if there is such a thing. I still have to wash the decks tomorrow, as SCOOTS has been bathing in salt spray all day. But the water will be water that we made, and not free from the sky.