Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Green Turtle Cay - Dragging at 35 knots

Green Turtle Cay - Lat/Lon: 26.77 -77.33

Well, ok, we were not dragging at 35 knots. We were only dragging at 3 knots. The wind was 35 knots. And it was 3:30 in bloody morning.

When I rose for my usual mid morning bladder relief and as the wind was up a bit with a passing cold front, I decided to check our position at anchor. While tactically a good move it ruined 3 years of careful husbanding of my poor overworked heart muscle.

We had dragged. When I hit the sheets we were 7 boat lengths ahead of this nice trawler, Clair de Lune III. I mean it was very nice. Ken and Evyta, its owners, had provided drinks for Meredith the night before at the weekly meet and greet on the beach.

Turning to get my clothes I called Connie to the aid of the boat. Connie has a lightening trigger when her home is threatened and was up in a flash. Before I got my briefs on I saw we were now only 2 boatlengths off the poor old Lune.

Clothes have never been a big part of my life and I saw no reason to sacrifice my boat to save some poor sensitive baptist an embarrassing sight. So out I went as God intended (I know I do this a lot). Damn - the Lune was only 1 boat length. I could see us approaching her.

As I hit the starter on Meredith's diesel Connie, quite chaste in her sweattop alone, ran to the bow to bring in the anchor chain hoping to slow our forward progress. Good old diesel - started this time. But the wind was so loud I could not hear it. Meredith was shuddering in the blast of wind so much I could not feel the diesel either.

I assumed it caught and damn if it did not let us down. The poor keel on our boat struck the anchor rode from Lune and we hung up. THANK GOD. This delayed our progress rearward as the wind caught the bow and drew us perpendicular to Lune. This pas de deux gave me enough time to goose the throttle and bring Meredith across the Lune's bow, our stern missing her bow by no more than 1 foot. God's honest truth.

We headed up into the raging wind and looked for another spot to anchor.

Finding one we settled down to a night on anchor watch. Within 30 minutes 8 boats had dragged, sequentially losing their hold on the precious bottom. No collisions thank goodness but the anchorage resembled the dance floor at a howdown.

Next morning we took a slip at the marina. The fee of $70 a night was not too bad. Best part was that the restaurant and bar bills were deducted from your moorage so it was either free food and booze or free moorage. Our first night we dined with a charming couple who thought Conrad Black to be a rather nice fellow. "We remember him growing up. Not a lick of trouble from that one". Was the line.

Not too shabby for a little dirt track sailor and his Nascar honey.

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