February 24, 2010.
I know its starting to sound like a broken record but….we’re still dodging bad weather. Yesterday morning we were rudely awakened by a nasty squall line blundering through our anchorage. The wind was supposed to be from the south at 10 to 12 but came through from the southwest and west at over 30 knots. Yikes!
We were the closest boat to the western shore of Hog Cay. The unexpected wind put us in the unenviable spot of being ass-to-the-beach.
We were just outside the surf zone with the occasional larger wave breaking as it swept past the boat.
The boats to the north and south of us opted to pull their hooks in big winds and driving rain in an effort to reset them further from the beach. Our hook was holding fine and the largest gusts we had seen were in the high thirties so we decided to stay put. The nastiness lasted from 0500 until almost noon.
During the height of the squall 6 boats anchored along Hog Cay and several more boats to our north decided that they’d had enough of the crappy weather and headed out for points north. It was bittersweet to watch them pull their hooks and go, I felt terrible for anyone that would opt to intentionally head out into foul weather. On the other hand though, there was that selfish part of me that keeps the boat safe, that started to do the math and figured out how much more room there would be in the few tight anchorages that provide some westerly protection. Not to mention, more fish for us.
The squall did subside by noon so we headed into the beach as the winds and seas died. The crew of Naked Sail brought a set of horse shoes in for a little recreation. Christy and a few of the women walked across the cay to do some beach combing. The sun came out, the winds abated and we spent a few hours throwing some shoes.
Today we moved into our chosen spot to hide from the next 3 fronts forecast to come through the area during the next week. We’re once again between Hog Cay and Ragged Island at N 22.13.755 / W 075.44.722. This spot has treated us well in less than desirerable conditions so we’re hoping for a bit more of the same.
We had the hook down well before noon so we jumped in the dink and headed into town before the first front was due to arrive here tonight. We found that the island’s internet was down so there was none of that. The only open restaurant on the island was out of everything except conch, so we skipped that dining experience. Conch is a very hit or miss thing with me. Sometimes its tough and flat out tastes like crap, other times when its fresh and well prepared its about a half step above Slim Jims. The only way I enjoy conch is in conch fritters, although the fritters would be better if they left the conch out. It’s a staple of the Bahamas and most people enjoy it…..me, I’ll take a pass.
So, no internet, no lunch on the island but on the plus side we did get to deal with Fichael. I might have spelled his name wrong but that’s how it’s pronounced, like Michael with an F instead of an M. Anyway, I brought an empty gas can into town with us in the hopes of buying a few gallons for the dinghy. There’s no fuel sold on the island so you have to find someone willing to part with a few gallons of their precious personal gasoline. Gasoline arrives here on the mailboat in 55 gallon plastic drums and all the fishermen have a drum sitting in their yard.
We knocked on Fichaels door, asked about gasoline and he was only to happy to part with some. We walked around back and he quickly siphoned off enough gas from his drum to fill our jerry jug. When I went to pay him, he asked if we were coming back next year? We said we were and he told us instead of money now, could we bring him a few fishing lures NEXT year. These people are unbelievable in their generosity and honesty. We tried to give him cash, but no, we walked off with 5 gallons of gasoline and headed back to the dink. We’ll rummage through our ships supply of fishing tackle and see if we can put together an assortment of suitable unused lures so I don’t have this debt hanging over my head for an entire year.