26 March 2014 | Marsh Harbor
Another front came through this morning. As usual the strongest winds and seas were those before the frontal passage. This one was stronger and more uncomfortable than those in the past month. For about 48 hours before the front came through the winds shifted to the SW and built to around 25 kts. As usual the harbor filled up with boats from around the Sea of Abaco as the front approached. Normally the frontal passage takes less than 36 hours, but on this one a low pressure system formed on the front off the Georgia coast and deepened. This caused the pressure gradient ahead of the font to increase, with increased winds. So the normal 36 hour frontal passage winds took over 48 hours. This slow passage increased the discomfort factor in the harbor as the winds were strong out of the WNW for over 24 hours. With the winds out of this direction there is a long fetch down the Sea of Abaco into Marsh Harbor. Also those seas reflect off the south shore of the harbor into the anchorage. The result is seas nearly perpendicular to the wind direction which produces a lot of rolling for the anchored boats. I did not get a lot of sleep last night.
Today the winds are moderate (10-15kts) out of the NNE and the anchorage is fairly smooth. The forecast is for strong winds (20kts) out of the E for the next couple of days so I still haven't had a chance to haul the dinghy on deck for a bottom cleaning. Every day I put off that chore it becomes more difficult.
Since we left Jacksonville in late January, Sarah has been at anchor most nights except for a couple of nights in Spanish Cay and 5 nights in Harbor View . All the time at anchor I have been using a soft shackle to attach a snubber line to the anchor chain. The shackle has held up through all those anchorages and frontal passages. Knowing this latest frontal passage will be strong and slow I added a second snubber line and shackle to the ground tackle. I didn't want to have to get up in the middle of the night to replace a broken soft shackle. No breakage, but what little sleep I got overnight was knowing I had two snubber lines on the anchor chain.