March 17, 2012.
Happy Saint Patty’s Day. Don't drink anything I wouldn't drink.
The first thing out of the weather guru's mouth this morning was “Wow, nobody saw that wind outta the north coming yesterday”. No shit Sherlock. Today's forecast was exactly the same as yesterdays so once again we pulled the hook and sailed north.
We waited until 1000 so we could hit the 16 mile gap between Nurse Cay and Man O' War Cay with the tide and breeze coming from the same direction. Our course for the first 90 miles of the day would once again be 341°. For the first 15 miles of the day we were barely making our point of sail with not much margin of error.
And then just like yesterday the wind once again veered more out of the north. Shit, not again. We flattened everything out and found that the best we could do was 335°. We're already taking a blind leap of faith by trusting the numbers a friend gave us. There's just no way we're going to be tacking up the rhumbline, in the pitch dark across a reef strewn route that we've never even seen in the daylight.
That left us with 2 options. The first was to start the engine and motorsail about 14 miles to Flamingo Cay. Our friends on Fine Lion had left a few hours before us headed towards Water Cay. We hailed them and found that they were just passing Flamingo and could see 2 boats already anchored there. They also said the were motoring into 3 footers. Crap.
We have a love / hate relationship with the anchorage at Flamingo Cay. The cay is beautiful, there is great fishing, places to walk to and a cave you can take your dinghy into. The only problem is that whenever the wind pipes up there’s a terrible wrap around swell that just brutalizes the anchorage.
Monday and Tuesday the wind is supposed to be above 20 knots. If we go to Flamingo and for some reason we can't leave on Sunday there’s a chance that we could be rolling gunnel to gunnel while anchored for a few days awaiting better weather. Not gonna happen.
We decided to take the second option and we turned around. Once the wind was behind us we eased everything and had a perfect downwind sail back across the Nurse Cay Cut. I believe that there’s a very good chance that we're the only cruising boat to traverse this section of water twice in the same day. We decided to wait until the unsettled weather passes through early in the week. Since we'd be here for at least 3 days we set a course for Raccoon Cay.
We dropped the hook at 1800 after a 47 nautical mile day. We're the only boat here and about 5 miles south of where we started the day. It could be worse, we're alone and we'll just have to get into the water and kill stuff until the weather decides to let us once again attempt to head north.