Monday, May 07, 2007

Allan’s Cay, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: N 25-30 knots, gusting to 35
Seas: Two-foot swell in harbor

A blow came through today, gusting to at least 37, according to the VHF radio chatter. Our first taste of the violence of the trades. It wasn’t really that bad, as far as storms go. I’m beginning to be glad for all those winter gales we waited out in harbors on the Chesapeake. We do know how to wait out storms at anchor. That is one thing we know how to do very well. I had checked our anchor yesterday and seen that it was buried up to its shank in deep sand, so we weren’t worried at all, as we watched all the trawlers scurry around the harbor, hailing the nearby marina desperately, resetting their anchors in less protected spots.

I don’t want to jinx us, because I know we’re going to see a lot worse. But it’s still good to gain comfort with a new anchoring environment, sand instead of mud, and a new kind of harbor, more open and unprotected and low to the ground than the big, tree-protected inland anchorages we’re used to. Still, though, the wind didn’t seem that much worse than what we’ve encountered previously. We’ve waited out storms of up to 45 knots, but in much more protected places, and the boat herself went through a storm of 65 at her mooring in Massachusetts.

We’re also a lot more comfortable with roll in our anchorages than we used to be. People in the harbor today were pulling up their anchors and resetting them, the absolute worst idea if your anchor’s already set in a storm, just to find a more comfortable place to lay. We’ve anchored in some very open places, where even when it’s calm your boat feels like it’s sailing, not to mention the brutal wakes on some parts of the ICW, worse than any roll I’ve encountered.

Still, though, it was bizarre looking out the boat, with the sun shining, and the brilliant, clear blue water being torn up into huge swells. The water’s color is like something from a screensaver, that hideous color of aqua that used to be so popular in home decor and fashion in the early nineties, a perfect blue-green that’s horrific if faked but perfect in nature. Like so many of the fish I see, too. All of us, in our brightly colored fashion, are just imitating imperfectly the perfect colors of nature.

Other than that, we were mainly bored. I’m still trying to make my way through Ulysses before I can move on to any of my fun books, which means I mainly sit around and try to convince Karl to play cards. We’ve also discovered the computer games on our new laptop. Yikes. This may inhibit our passage time.

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