Saturday, June 02, 2007

Big Galliot Cay, Exumas, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: SE-S 20-27 knots
Seas: 8-10 feet offshore

The big news today: second tropical storm of the year, Barry, heading towards the Gulf of Mexico, nearing Florida. It makes me glad we didn’t stay in the US. Perturbed, also. Hurricane season is upon us. Now is the time when we need mangroves always at our backs.

The wind has picked up again, big time--the forecast is for gale-force gusts out of the southeast tonight, so our little spot perfectly protected from northeast swell is useless. It just doesn’t get any better. I aim for eternal optimism and my hope still dwindles every day. When are we going to get out of here? I see now why everyone abandons the Gentleman’s Guide and bucks on into thirty-knot trade winds and ten-foot seas. Something, anything, would be better than this limbo, this stasis.

We have to leave tomorrow. Have to. The wind’s forecast to shift west, one of the things the Gentleman’s Guide has been telling us to wait for, and even if it’s at twenty knots, it’s better than fifteen knots out of the southeast, on the nose, which is what we’ll have for the next week if we wait another day. How we’ll sleep tonight, though, with this swell, I don’t know.

In all of my complaining, though, these last two weeks (and I’m really doing my level best not to complain too much, I swear, even though that my seem improbable), I had forgotten how truly awful it is to have two-foot chop rolling in at you at anchor, how it reduces every task to an absolute endeavor, every chore to a Sisyphean effort. Even using the head, pouring water, walking from one end of the cabin to the other. I hadn’t appreciated how expertly we had chosen our little spot, how carefully we were protected from the northeast, how actually comfortable the last two weeks of interminable waiting have been. The grass is always greener, right? Now we’re overcome by existentialist ennui and depression, and though we should move to get more protection from the south, we probably won’t. Not that there’s anywhere to move to. All the anchorages around here are shallow, with disreputable holding and barely any space.

So I cling to this hope: west wind tomorrow. Then Georgetown, beautiful Georgetown, mythical Georgetown, like the lost city of Atlantis, beckoning only forty miles to the south!

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