Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 25: Mar. 20-26, 2013 (Day 169- 175)

Week 25:

Wed. Mar. 20, 2013—Day  169:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club
Winds:  SES < 5K to W 5-8K
Weather:  mostly sunny & warm, increase cloud late afternoon, H= mid 70’sF & L= 70F

Fires on Great Abaco Island

New Plymouth
A calm, tranquil & warm night.  Once again the forecasted bad weather did not materialize & another expensive night at a marina.  Drier climate this am, pleasant temps & sunny.  After a morning shower, I spent much time on the computer gathering weather info from different sites because the reception of Chris was nothing but poor & discouraging; we are faced to stay another expensive night in the marina with predicted 30-40K winds from midnight till midday Thurs.  But we still have not seen 3 consecutive comfortable days in any predictions to cross to Florida. I think Graeme washed some of the deck & the cockpit & filled the boat’s water tanks.  After lunch we dinghied across to New Plymouth & walked up & down, in & out the concrete roadways.  Before heading back we stopped for a beer at the Wrecking Tree Bar Grill & Bakery.  The skies were beginning to show threatening type clouds so we jumped in our dinghies & motored to check out Black Sound & met Donna & Walter (Windspell) on a mooring ball ($10.00/night)—maybe going to Munjack Cay tomorrow afternoon.  We dinghied back to White Sound to Bluff House Marina & walked about for a very brief time.  With the shift of wind to the west, we experienced ash all over the deck & the cockpit from the fires on Great Abaco Island.   For supper we attended the marina’s steak night special—superb!  A port aperitif on our boat after dinner.  Partially clouded sunset from the fires & clouds with mild west winds.  A light cloud cover & ½ moon & very few stars to nil visible stars in the night sky.

Thurs. Mar. 21, 2013—Day 170:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club
Winds:  NNW 20K to 15K to <10K
Weather:  cool northerly breeze, warm sun, few clouds

Green Turtle Club Pool
The west winds picked up after midnight, especially 0200 to 0600 hrs. when Terri & Bill saw lightning from every direction & winds of 18-23K. I seemed to have slept through the whole thing, only woken in the am when the wind from the stern pushed the boat forward so the bow anchors where hitting against the dock.  It was near impossible to hear Chris again this am; a big power trawler 2 boats to our starboard had all electricals on & we could clearly hear him requesting Chris’ advice for passage from Green Turtle to Cape Canaveral but not the response.  We were told by a few other boaters that Chris reported a 70K squall in Marsh Harbour at 0200 hrs. with HAIL!  Another cold front with high winds predicted for Sat. & Sun. & ? weather Mon. through Wed. because the GSS & Euro models are not in sync.  I was beside myself today, frustrated, depressed & vented in my emails to friends  yesterday & today.  I have to keep reminding myself that there are a lot worse places to be & how lucky I am to be in paradise.  After breakfast & a shower I took my computer to the lounge & in a quiet & peaceful environment worked at some emails & cleaned up areas neglected.  Graeme decided that we were not leaving as originally planned.  I had some lone quiet time  walking to the Ocean Beach & laying on the beach reading X 2-1/2 hrs.  We enjoyed a happy hour of frozen fruity drinks on ‘Second Option’.  Another (#2) shower of the day & another excellent dinner in the dining room; food & drinks towards our dockage fee.  It cooled right down near 1700 hrs. & a great sunset I’m sure somewhere without trees & land to block the view.  A crisp clear night, ½ moon & umpteen stars & very very calm winds.

Fri. Mar. 22, 2013—Day 171:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club
Winds:  E very calm to SE 5-8K
Weather:  glorious sun & blue sky, warm H= 75F

Horseshoes anyone?

A little chilly on the bare legs in shorts this am, but not for long.  Scratchy reception & weather report from Chris; only 1 day, today, of reprieve before we are to be hit with extended number of days of high winds Sat. through Wed.  Thank you Eileen & Bud for emailing me Chris’ report.  Another land shower; why not when it is available & we are paying for it.  Our dockage meal of the day was a lovely breakfast.  Then we checked several weather internet sites.  Late am the Ellis’ & ourselves took off in our dinghies & explored & beachcombed Fiddle Cay (no shells or sea glass), then Crab Cay, where Terri & I found lots of sea biscuits &/or muffins & some sea glass & shells on the Atlantic side.  When we returned the guys were playing a game of horseshoes with a stick in the sand & a piece of plastic shaped like a horseshoe.  No moping today!  When we returned to the marina we found some boats had left to cross the Whale over to Marsh Harbour & others from Treasure Cay & Marsh Harbour area through the Whale to here.  One boat verified 70-78K winds & HAIL!  We had supper on board for a change tonight & met the Ellis in the dining room after they completed their dinners.  Clouds filled in rather quickly before sunset.  Light cloud cover with 2/3 moon barely visible.

Sat. Mar. 23, 2013—Day 172:

Destination:  Green Turtle Club

Winds:  SE 15-20K till sunset, SSW about 10K overnight
Weather:  rain & cloud, humid+++, sunshine late am till late pm, H= 80’ish & L=70’s

A gentle rain, some lightning & thunder & calm winds during the night.  A scratchy weather report on SSB; squalls possible with 30-35K gusts & clocking to SW, then Sun. clocking to W 20-30K (not a good direction for any anchorages here) with ? overnight squalls of 35-40K & clocking to NW Mon. at 20-25K.  So our marina bill increases, as does my grey hairs; one won’t believe how grey I have become, from nearly nothing 5 yrs. ago to this & then there is the weight thing—not looking good.  The rains continued till near mid morning & SE winds increased to 15-20K straight down White Sound; 1 ft. chop with whitecaps.  Some gusts were higher whereby one flexed the wind generator blades enough so one blade hit the support bar & damaged 2 blades.  About noon the sky started to clear & soon the sun broke out, but winds continued.  I worked on the computer till & after lunch.  Graeme & I had a late lunch; this was our meal of the day towards our dockage.  An Italian buffet was on the menu for supper tonight, but expensive ($40.00 each) & some of the food was fish; Graeme doesn’t eat fish & he eats very little so not reasonable to part take in this meal.  The Ellis’ had another meal on their own.  We did go for an after dinner drink(s).  The skies clouded over before sunset & SSW winds decreased.  A mostly cloudy night sky but we caught a glimpse of a ¾ moon.

Sun. Mar. 24, 2013—Day 173:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club
Winds:  SW to WSW-W 20-25K                        Seas:  1 ft. chop & whitecaps in White Sound
Weather:  partly sunny & cloudy am & mostly sunny & warm afternoon with less humidity by sunset, H= 80’s & L= 70’s

Brain Coral
A warm night & calm till dawn, then increased wind velocity with howling SW winds.  We slept in a bit being a Sunday.  The Sea of Abaco was reported to be a sea of white & it’s not looking good for a departure tomorrow as hoped with increase WNW winds.  The bed linen was changed & we watched a fuel freighter skillfully arrive & depart from the dock after breakfast.  Mid morning we walked to the Ocean Beach & combed for shells & sea glass imparticularly along the north end.  We were somewhat protected from the SW winds & so it was very warm.  The dockage meal of the day was lunch (late) again; the wind was blasting through the dining room with the plastic curtains up.  Then we took in the marina pool till 1700 hrs. & read, short nap & a dip in the pool.  A great shower after the day’s activities.  Clouds again at sunset.  A bright 7/8 moon tonight. 

Mon. Mar. 25, 2013-- Day 174:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club
Winds:  SW-WSW to NNW 10-12K in am to 20-15K most of afternoon, then N 15-20Kafter sunset
Weather:  cloudy, brief sunny periods, humid in am, less humidity in pm, H= mid 70’s & L= 60F

At 0300 hrs. I was woken to a sudden but short duration of increased westerly winds, the dinghy ramming into the stern & rain.  Shortly after 0600 hrs. a line of lightning +++ & thunder rumbled through without an increase in wind; very humid.  Chris was more audible this morning; some interference with lightning flashes only; weather forecast was still poor.  Threatening clouds throughout the day especially to the south but there were no squalls as predicted.  After breakfast I walked up to Bluff Point & the Tranquil Turtle & observed 10-12K winds & 1 ft. shop on the Sea of Abaco.  I checked emails & weather on the internet, then Bill & I started cleaning the stainless on our respective boats. Graeme changed the damaged wind generator blades.  Another late lunch in the dining room.  Bill continued working on his stainless, Graeme went to the pool then topped up the water tank, while Terri read as well as I then showered.  A small bite to eat for supper.  Movie night was held on ‘Second Option’; we watched Castaway.  A bit of a pale orangey sky after sunset.  A mix of patchy clouds & clear skies, stars & near full moon tonight & a cool north wind.  This might be our last night!? 

Tues. Mar. 26, 2013-- Day 175:
Destination:  Green Turtle Club to Manjack Cay
Departure:  0945 hrs.                                   Arrival:  1055 hrs.                              Distance:  3.5 NM
Winds:  NNW 15-20K                    Seas:  1-2 ft. rolling waves, mostly whitecapped
Weather:  coolish because of breeze but sunny

Ocean Beach
A comfortable cool quiet night.  Although a scratchy report from Chris, there was not much change over the next few days, nor with Barometer Bob from the Cruisers Net.  Our decision was made—we were going to stick with the plan ie leave this am & make short hops, skips & jumps north & west & cross to Ft. Pierce Sat. or Sun.  My last Bahamian land shower & last emails out to family & the Morrows until we are States side..  Graeme looked after the marina bill; yikes, but as expected.  ‘Second Option’ left first, then ourselves with assistance of the other cruisers; uneventful, a good start to the day.  We were approaching 2 hrs. after high tide exiting the channel, seeing 8-9 ft. depths.  The Sea of Abaco had 1-2 ft. rolling waves, mostly whitecapped & we motored dead into the NNW 15-20K winds.  Five boats already in Manjack Cay anchorage; by evening the total was 10.  We anchored in 9-10 ft. with 100 ft. chain out.  Shortly after lunch we launched the dinghies & went to shore, meeting the island owner, Bill Henderson.  We walked to & along the southern Ocean Beach; the waves were coming in pretty good from the NNW; fine powdery white sand, tiny shells & no sea glass.  We met a friend of Mr. Henderson on vacation & a young Irish couple who were helping cut the casuarina pines, whose root system invades the beach & the sand erodes away.  We took a new path recommended by Mr. Henderson that lead to Coconut Tree Bay, which eventually hooked up to the Ocean Beach Path.  Our hike was >3 hrs. in total.  Back at the boat we had a discussion about our destinations over the next few days in relationship to winds.  WIND DRIVES EVERYTHING!  It was certainly lumpy & bouncy with the NW to NNW winds & the rolling waves from the west.  About 2000 hrs., before it was dark, Graeme noticed we were slowly dragging; we up anchored & reset, setting out 120 ft. chain, I think.  He sat observing & was tracking our position on the GPS for awhile.  A clouded sunset; some orangey sky.  A mix of cloud & clear sky, stars & full moon.  But of most interest was the vivid forest fires still burning on Great Abaco Island to the west despite the rains the last number of days; an orange-red hue was clearly visible in several spots along the island.

No comments:

Post a Comment