Blowing Stink in Exumas
21 May 2021
Russ Whitford | Blowing Stink!
Living on the water, we are at the mercy of the weather. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but weather is a big part of our lives and we have to pay attention.
There are times when the weather is unrelenting and we must just endure. This past week in the Exumas is one of those weeks. Three high pressure systems in the North Atlantic have caused east winds to the south of the high pressure areas, enhancing the east trade winds. Bottom line, it has been blowing stink out of the ENE for the past week. Steady winds are around 20 with gusts over 30.
Lisa keeps a good watch on Windy.com and we knew this weather system was coming. We decided a safe anchorage would be Sampson Cay where we had protection from the north and east. We have been sitting here a week and there are still two days of strong winds predicted.
In spite of whitecap waves around the boat, we have to have some fun. We made a few trips to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for cracked conch and fish tacos. There are a few rocks nearby with good snorkeling. But dinghy exploring has been the best. There are endless cays and lagoons, just deep enough for our dinghy. We found a tiny swimming pool and crescent beach on a remote end of Sampson's Cay. The pool is the size of a back yard swimming pool and about six feet deep at high tide.
It is a tranquil spot, even in high winds.
The ocean side of the cay has another lagoon but just a few rocks protect that bay from the raging Exuma Sound. It's a fun place to explore the beach. I found a few dead Buttonwood trees and cut some pieces for woodworking projects. Buttonwood is a hard, smooth, butterscotch colored wood. Yes, they used to make buttons out of this durable species.
Today we made our second trip to our private beach. But it wasn't private for long. A family from Oconomowoc, WI visited. They rented a boat at the resort where they were staying. What a coincidence to meet other Cheeseheads. Another launch from a superyacht came to visit. Mary and Tom are from Minneapolis area. They shared some beers with us and we plan to take their big launch to Compass Cay tomorrow for lunch.
Being “stranded” in rough weather is not all that bad. Wind will abate on Sunday, we will sail north to Shroud Cay. In a few more days we will sail to Eluthera, then on to the Abacos. We just have to be patient.
But sailors learn patience, sailboats are the slowest form of transportation.