Sunday, May 2, 2010

April 27, 2010.

The morning after the good bye get together My Destiny and Veranda sailed out of the harbor in a steady rain. We were headed dead down wind under a light breeze on our way to The Whale.

The Whale is a very special cut as you travel through the Abacos. You head out one cut, travel parallel to the seas for a mile and a half and then head back in through another cut. To time it perfectly is next to impossible. I’ve got a better chance of being elected Pope. If you head out on the last of the ebbing tide, you may start to head in on the beginning of the flood tide, if you’re the Pope. Either way you do it, there’s going to be a tide versus wind situation which is rarely fun. Then throw in the better than even chance of a sea running and it all adds up to a good chance of somebody getting their ass kicked. Fortunately for us the breeze was light and we were forced to motor through this short stretch with our asses unkicked.

We anchored off Green Turtle Cay for 2 nights. The first evening we dinghied in to White Sound to spend the evening catching
up with our friends Jeff & Tessa on Inamorata. The next day was spent making water and walking around town. We stopped in to one of the islands small grocery stores to spend the last 6 of our Bahamian dollars before we head back to the states.

We then sailed the 4 miles up to Manjack Cay. Last year, we spent several days here with Blown Away hunting the ocean side reefs with enormous success. We all headed out to the reefs where I was able to take one small Hogfish. The next day the weather went to shit so we couldn’t take the dinghy out to the ocean side so Christy and I spent a few hours hunting the back side of the cay. We took a Grouper and another smallish Hogfish. After having done so well here last year I had visions of multiple 10 pounders dancing in my head so it was a bit of a disappointment.

Oh terrific, theres also horrible weather headed in our direction. There’s very little western protection along this stretch of the Abacos, so naturally that’s where the predicted winds would be from. Instead of the usual clocking wind pattern this series of close set cold fronts would cause the wind to back and clock several times. This resulted in SW, W, NW then back to W, SW, S, SW, W and NW once again. We snuggled as close as we dared to the southern shore of the anchorage in an effort to get us some protection. After a pleasant night in spite of 25 to 30 knots out of the south the wind finally started to come around the corner on us. And come it did. Just after dawn a freight train in the form of a squall packing 52 knots of wind assaulted us dead outta the west. Fortunately, this end of the anchorage has deep sand and we were well set. Driving rain, big freaking wind, and a building sea. To quote a favorite of our friend Leta “What the f*#k are we doing here?” I was feeling pretty down when I considered the fact that the day wasn’t going to get much better. That was until I looked back at My Destiny just as his staysail unfurled itself. OK, his day was gonna be worse than mine.

Greg was at the bow for close to thirty minutes in the cold rain trying to get control of the flogging sail. The wind finally died to “only” 35 knots and he was able to regain control of the situation. It turned out that it’s not just the army that does a whole lot of shit before breakfast.

Around mid day the wind stopped blowing altogether. The forecast had predicted this lull to be followed by another burst from the south before coming hard from the northwest after midnight. We opted to leave the southern end of the anchorage and tuck up close to the northern end. The sand up in the north end is not nearly as good so we set 2 hooks. We were just about to drop the second hook when the wind and rain returned. I haven’t used that much water in a shower in years. It was a little nerve wracking intentionally putting ourselves on a lee shore but I’d rather do that in the daylight with the promise of the wind veering us away during the night.

So it all worked out and it
looks like we’ll be crossing back to the states on Thursday. While we waited for the weather window to open we did do a bit of exploring on the cays extensive trail system.


Anonymous said...

We are on our way to Marathon for a few weeks. I "retired" April 9th. Left Jax last week, we're in Pompano Beach tonight. Sorry we'll miss seeing you this spring.

Terri and Larry
s/v Vixen

S/V Veranda said...

Congrats on the retirement. We spent our first winter underway in Marathon. The plan was for Key West but when we got to Marathon it was just to good to leave. We took the bus to Key West twice and that was enough. The bus ride was less than an hour and only cost 2 bucks.