Thursday, February 14, 2013

Week 20: Feb. 13-19, 2013 (Day 134-140)

Week 20:

Wed. Feb. 13, 2013—Day 134:

Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  S 5K-->15-20K by mid am to S-SSW 5-8K at sunset           Seas:  calm gentle waves--> 1 ft. white crested rollers mid am till mid pm--> gentle waves at sunset
Weather:  sunny, cool breeze

An early start of the day for everyone—Pam & Greg’s departure day.  We made 2 dinghy rides to shore:  #1) Greg & Graeme with the luggage, & #2) Pam, Graeme & myself.  Sure enough Tina & the taxi were waiting.  We said our sad goodbyes.  After breakfast I cleaned the head, cleaned the aft cabin & stripped it of it’s linen & defrosted the freezer all by 1100 hrs.  By now the south winds increased significantly & the boat bounced around repeatedly fore & aft then sideways.  I activated my purchased WiFi & Graeme & both worked at our respective emails.  Terri & Bill lugged 75 gals of water by jerry cans from the source by the blue building on the beach, then reanchored closer to us off of Pascals.  Apparently there is an official R/O water depot a couple of blocks east of Dingles.  We met at Pascals for a late lunch, recharged my computer & checked weather, emails & posted more days of my blog without pics.  The wind & sea conditions decreased to calm once again as we returned to the boat at sunset.  More than likely a green flash occurred tonight because the sky was so clear.  The red sky was intense & amazingly stunning with a bright ¼ moon, then a clear star filled night.

Thurs. Feb. 14, 2013—Day 135:
Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  S calm to10-15K to <10K                                 Seas:  calm to 1 ft. white capped rollersàcalm
Weather:  sunny & blue skies, H= 80F & L= 69F

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A very typical morning starting with listening to weather.  A few departing boats, a few new arrivals at the end of the day.  Laundry was gathered & sorted & loaded into the dinghy along with garbage, 1 water jerry can, 1 gas jerry can & computer backpack; we were slightly splashed going to shore.  We met Terri & Bill at Pascals then proceeded to Dingles to drop off my laundry & inquire re failed WiFi since last evening.  While others did their thing, I did a long walk along the one & only road that transects the island at Rock Sound to the Atlantic (1-1/2 mi. each direction); I walked the sandy beach of only sea grass; no sea glass, no sea beans, few very small shells.  We all met up at Pascals where a cruising tour had arrived for a buffet lunch & a sample of junkanoo.  We met a couple we had seen in Georgetown, Dixie & Rex (Wonderland—Dolphin 460 catamaran).  I worked away on the internet but especially posted pics to my blog for weeks 20 & 19.  Amazing, a dry trip dinghy ride home.  I had a sea bath then rinsed off with fresh water which felt so good.  An awesome sunset again; a few conch blowers were heard the last few nights.  A star filled dark night exhibited a ¼ moon tonight which shed only a minute fracture of light.

Fri. Feb. 15, 2013—Day 136:
Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  SW 15K to S <10K                        Seas:  white capped 1 ft. rolling waves
Weather:  sunny, few clouds

After a calm night, the winds not only increased at about 0830 hrs. but started shifting more westward.  South & west are not great directions for this anchorage with strong winds.  Predictions said the SW winds would decrease in strength this aft & night, then increase again tomorrow & clock to the W then NW at 30K Sat. evening through Sun. pm.  Most, all but 4 of us, moved location to the west shore of Rock Sound.  I attacked the cockpit, cleaning the cushions & the surrounding space & only spot cleaned the floor.  Despite the sea conditions we dinghied to shore, walking the Ellis’ to Dingles to drop their laundry off & to pick up my clean laundry ($20.00) + purchased 2 more days to my WiFi account ($14.00).  We were told that the Supermarket had been restocked with supplies trucked down from the Mailboat which arrived in a settlement further north; also, I learnt that one is able to obtain cuts of meat ie ground beef from the butcher at the rear of the store, by the frozen food section by ringing the bell.  Another surprise was, Tina gave me a package of fresh dinner rolls, still slightly warm from the baker that did not deliver my order on Tues.  He was also at the Supermarket near noon & also makes a stop at the Laundry Mat.  We returned the clean laundry & few groceries to the boat, putting things all away & had a quick lunch; the dinner rolls were scrumptious.  Back to Pascals to do more internet & posting pics to the blog while my computer was recharging.  The SW winds were decreasing now.  A happy hour was done on ‘Second Option’ where we observed the line of the front to the west.  It was a clouded sky at sunset but a bright 1/3 moon stars+++ in the clear night sky.

Sat. Feb. 16, 2013—Day 137:
Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  shifting anywhere from S through to WNW from calm in am, 10K early pm to 20-30K as squalls & rainstorm systems came through about 1600 hrs. onwards
Seas:  calm to 2-3 ft. rollers in accordance to the wind & weather
Weather:  war, humid & sunny in the am, partially cloudy early pm, then squalls & lines of rainstorms from about 1600 hrs. onwards

Weather is always on the minds of everyone that is cruising as it is the driving force as to one’s plans.  But this was particularly true of today.  We had been warned of the onslaught of westerly winds & squally weather for a few days now & have had time to prepare.   As mentioned in yesterday’s entry several boats relocated to the west side of Rock Sound anchorage.  We woke to calmness & no wind this morning; the same conditions persisted all night.  We decided to head to shore early while it was still calm along with Terri & Bill as they could/should pick up their clean laundry today.  We did so & had a nice chat with Chris at Dingles.  Then we walked to the Ocean Hole & could only watch the fish as I forgot to bring some food to feed the fish.  Off a little further east to the baseball diamond that the locals had been preparing this week as hosts of a tournament.  The 1st game started at 1100 hrs.; we watched the 1st ining where Spanish Wells were already beating Rock Sound 2:0.  We discovered another grocery store + clothes store + drug store + notions.  Best get back to the boat as the SW winds were slowing increasing & the clouds were moving in.  Terri & Bill came over for a short but very early happy hour/lunch.  We lifted the dinghy onto the davits.  The clouds & skies were becoming darker & ominous & around 1600 hrs. the 1st wave of heavy rains & strong SW winds arrived; winds so strong, the boat heeled & the force of the waves on the rudder snapped the bungy cord on the steering wheel.  ‘Airborne’ kept all us boaters informed of approaching lines of storms from the west & south as he saw them on radar; & several there were.  No visible sunset, no stars, no moon tonight.

Sun. Feb. 17, 2013—Day 138:
Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  WNW to N 18-25K in am & N 12-15K by evening                                                                      Seas:  white capped 1-2 ft. rollers in am & gentle chop by evening
Weather:  sunny & some cloudy periods, cool only H= 68F

An ugly night!  No more rain squalls, but the night was black & strong SW-W-WNW winds sustained a howling strength of 25-36K; the boat rocked fore & aft repeatedly with brief periods of calm in between.  I slept till 0330 hrs., waking & opening my eyes to see stars through the hatch directly above & sleeping about an hour at a time, trying not to think of the howling winds.  When the sun rose I just laid in bed longer than usual; I knew with the current sea state I would not get to Church today (closest= St. Anne’s Catholic Church 0900 hrs.).  The temperatures so cool that Graeme was in sweat top & pants; I sat in the sun warmed enclosure in shorts.  The decks were less salty under foot as were the enclosure windows.  It was a lazy day of some internet, but mostly reading an excellent novel I started yesterday called “The Kitchen House” & in fact I finished it; it was a sad novel that had me in tears several times, which probably added to my already melancholy mood.  Many boats (5/11) that had reanchored on the west shore returned this afternoon to the east shore as the winds subsided to 15K or less.  Although it was sunny most of the day, there was increasing cloud late in the afternoon & sunset was behind a wall of clouds.  A mix of clear sky & stars & clouds tonight.

Note to myself:
(1)    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to shorten, edit & re-organize my blog.  So far I think the best solution is to get away from the day to day diary format & instead use destinations/locations as my blog title & new post subject.  One problem I foresee is I would be posting less pictures unless I use another blog site such as an annual fee version of sailblogs where one can have a photo gallery within their blog.  Certainly less time would be involved in blogging with this format.
(2)   I am tired of this lazy life.  It has been 4-1/2 months that we have been travelling. And on this trip we have had 3 long stays in places so far because of weather issues.  Last trip in comparison we had 1.  Maybe this is all adding to my restlessness.  I love the people aspect of cruising.

Mon.  Feb. 18, 2013—Day 139:
Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  E calm about 8-10K, increased to 10-15K then 15-20K after sunset  Seas:  minimal
Weather:  cool, mix of sun & clouds

What a difference a day makes!  A cool but calm, quiet night!  Looks like the seas may settle down by Wed., so we plan to move north to Governors Harbour or beyond.  Soon after 0900 hrs. we met Terri & Bill on shore & walked to the Supermarket for a head of lettuce & more ground beef ($4.68/ lb.); not as lean  looking as packages purchased a few days ago; today’s frozen.  The boys each purchased another case of Kalik ($39.82).  We sat at a picnic table in the sun wearing shorts & a sweater for heaven’s sake because of the chilly cool breeze, chatting & drinking a few beers & charging my computer at Pascals—hosting another cruise ship tour buffet luncheon (almost every 2-3 days).  Terri & Bill came over to our boat with charts so we could show them the passage along the west shore of Eleuthera, to Spanish Wells, Royal Island & proposed crossing passage to Little Harbour, Abacos.  A clouded sunset, red sky followed with east winds gusting up.  A partial clear sky with ½ moon & stars & partial cloud.

Tues. Feb. 19, 2013—Day 140:
Destination:  Rock Sound
Winds:  E to ESE 10-15K                               Seas:  minimal
Weather:  mostly sunny

Where we were anchored we were protected by the easterly winds & so the winds actually were higher late last evening & overnight than what we felt; in fact at times the wind was howling.  The same situation existed this morning.  It generally felt warmer today although the breeze was cool.  Chris was a little dubious about tomorrow’s weather; winds are to still be in the 15-20K range with some moderation on Thurs.  Graeme adjusted the water pump fan belt after breakfast & reading.  Finally near 1000 hrs. we got to shore only to discover Pascals was closed for all of the today, some catering project & that my internet was still working; no complaints from me.  Terri & Bill were finally successful in sending documents off to the USA.  Then we walked south along the beach road, stopping at a couple of shops closed when last passed, up a couple of hills to a set of stone steps across from a Church that led to an ocean hole & a path around to caves; a secure ladder led the way down into the caves allowing us to explore.  The very high ceilings of the caves had openings to the sky, trees from above whose  roots extending down to the floor of the caves, bat webs against the stone walls & a large number of bats; our presence disturbed their sleep high in the ceilings of the caves.  Graeme & Terri did not want to come down & explore, & Graeme complained the most that it was beer time.  On our way back we did purchase 4 cold ones; the proprietor opened them for us & placed them in small paper bags for our immediate consumption outdoors.  Nowhere else but in the Bahamas!  We had quite a late lunch at Sammy’s Restaurantà burgers; I thought they would have more Bahamian food.  We said our goodbyes to Tesha, Pascal & their daughter & 3 sons.  Terri & Bill reanchored close to the water tap source at the blue shack on the beach & schlepped near 75 gals of water.  We met an NSC member who owns ‘Winter Sun’ who had just arrived about 2 hrs. ago on his cruising boat ‘Opportunity’, a Saga 40.  The dinghy engine & dinghy were lifted in prep for our departure in the am.  Clouds increased in the east & south & obscured a sunset again tonight, although there was some red sky afterwards.  A mostly cloudy night, ½ moon & few stars visible.           

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