Friday, March 5, 2010

El Ninio and Fun are Not Compatible

March 5, 2010
Black Point, Bahamas

Meredith made 10 nm today moving out of our hidey hole after the last 4 day cold front assaulted the boating public in the Bahamas.

Meredith had a good time of it.  Unable to contract a mooring ball at Warderick Wells, except one totally open to forecast 35 knot winds and 8 foot seas we hightailed it to Pipe Creek, a salt water meander amongst dozens of tiny little Cays and sand flats.  It promised wonderful protection.  It delivered.

Entering the anchorage was interesting - you throw out the GPS for this and just watch the water and the depth meter.  Or you run aground.  The channel is a meandering path through live sand bores,  pulsing living bodies of sand that never sti still.  You use a bow watch and you pray a lot.

We needed protection from waves from the west and north.  Meredith can ride out any wind, waves give us the concern.  We found a marvellous protected area never before entered by us.  It took us an hour and a half to make 1 nus m.

As we set the anchor a lively (we later discovered) French lady kayaked out to us and began in interrogation.  On determining we were Canadian and NOT Christian missionaries she presented us with a grocery bag of lettuce just picked from her garden and mixed with fresh Basil, mint and Thyme.  She then offered us a mooring ball in front of her Cay.

We accepted as fast as decorum restrained our self interest.  It was a godsend.  A 3,000# concrete lump set in the sand on a 1 1/2 inch hauser.

There we sat out a 4 day storm in which, for 36 hours the wind never went below 30 knots and often exceeded same.  Bujt there were no waves.  We usually bore the wind off our beam as the 3 knot East West current through the Creek carried more authority than the 30 knot winds.  (We figure 1 knot of current equals about 30 knots of wind).

For 4 days we sat comfortably and at perfect ease.

Now, what about El Ninio?  Well the staccato delivery of cold fronts is widely hlamed on this weather aberration.  Other years boaters blame La Ninia.  Does not matter does it.

We had a 36 hour window from Ft. Lauderdale to Royal Island where we sat out a 2 day storm.  Then we ran to Rock Sound Eleuthera in 1 1/2 days to wait out the next storm which was followed, before the waves settled, by the next cold front.  We then ran to Warderick Wells and, unable to get a mooring ball that was anything but wide open to the last storm we ended up in Pipe Creek for a 4 day storm.

Luckily it is warm here.  We are safe and happy.  And not alone.

No schedule remains unchanged in the Bahamas this year.  No one is complaining.  Except as an icebreaker.

Meredith is happy.

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