December 13, 2011.
The luck of the draw. That pretty much sums up what every year often boils down to when talking about the weather. These last 5 years have been very varied in how well the weather has treated us during the cruising season in the Bahamas.
The first 2 years we were down here the weather was akin to what tropical sailing dreams are made of. 10 to 15 knots of warm breeze outta the east for days on end. The clocking cold fronts would come through every few weeks with the regularity of a train schedule. It really was a very special time.
Three seasons ago the weather was technically speaking, pure shit. In the states there was snow in the Carolinas, freezing temperatures in Miami and noteworthy blizzards in the northeast. Down here in the Bahamas things were better but by local weather standards the year sucked. Significant cold fronts were coming through every 4 or 5 days. Run and hide a day ahead of time, swim and hunt before the front arrived, sit on the boat and read for a day or so as the front passed through and then what? The next front was often due to hit in 4 days. Do you head out for a day or so and then return to your hole to repeat it all again. Or do you just sit in the safety of your hidey hole and just wait for the next front to arrive and pass? If that had been our first Bahamas experience I don't know that we would have ever come back.
Last year was another very nice season but this year has been something new altogether. WIND. Not necessarily from a bad direction but the intensity has been limiting what we can do.
When we were in Nassau we wanted to head southeast but even though the winds were outta the northeast they were hovering at more than 25 knots. So beam reach or not we hid until the wind dropped below 20 knots. But then it had also come around closer to the bow and forced our hand to where we could go. After we made our break the winds built again right away and pinned us at Normans Cay. The wind finally veered enough that we lost our protection and had to run before it down to Big Majors Spot. It was a great day of sailing but we've been fairly well pinned down since then.
After 6 nights or so at Big Majors we made the 8 mile sail south to the settlement at Black Point. After 2 nights there we made a short hop north to Bitter Guana. We had never dealt with Iguanas before and the double bonus was the fact that we were there alone for 2 nights. After that bit o' fun we jumped back up to Big Majors.
I shouldn't really complain because theres been plenty to do.
Its only Tuesday but all 12 boats here in the anchorage are praying that the pleasant easterlies forecast for this weekend come to fruition. Right now the wind is pretty steady at 25 knots outta the northeast. We'd like to jump out into Exuma Sound and the cuts have been ferocious for days. So we'll be here for a few more days, who knows, maybe tomorrow night we'll burn some garbage....