Friday, January 22, 2016

It Sucks When It Blows!

Another cold front passes through Marsh Harbour
The sky is white with rain; the sides of our cockpit are rolled up for less windage as Wandering Star tugs on her anchor. The wind howls and then drops.  We are still waiting for this front to pass through with more wind to come later. You’d be forgiven for wondering if we were still in the Bahamas with its palm trees and beaches, warm seas and sunny blue skies – something we have seen very little of. 
The winds have been gusting over 40kts.
I’ve mentioned before, this time of year the area is plagued with cold fronts or low pressure systems coming of the US east coast. We know this.  Instead of the typical trade winds blowing from the east, we have constantly clocking winds from all directions but strongest from the SW-NW from which there are few places to hide. The skies have been grey and overcast and the nights cool.  For various reasons we have stayed put in Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco, one of the few places offering a modicum of protection and good holding for our boat and anchor. 
Happy days in Mangoes Marina
After a night of wicked squalls, our first strong cold front came through about a week ago which we decided to sit out in the comfort of the very pretty Mangoes Marina.  I can’t recommend this place enough. Rey the dock-master was welcoming and vigilant, checking on boats throughout the day. Their rates were not unreasonable at $0.90/ft; and their showers hot and clean. They even provided a case of wine for a potluck party that night for all the guests staying in the marina including our friends Dorothy and Duncan from ‘Hunda’. We invited our friends John and Jolanda along from ‘Joho’ as our guests too.  We had a fun evening and enjoyed meeting new people. As the winds picked up in the early hours of the morning, and we were tucked safely up in bed, we had little to worry about except how bad our heads might feel the following day. The winds howled into the 40’s but surprisingly there was very little rain. By the following night the front had passed and all was calm again.  As much as I would have loved to stay in Mangoes Marina the budget does not allow for more than the odd day here and there so we went back out to anchor.  
Sim and John from Joho at the potluck party after a few rums (see below) and red wine!
Not the stinger you might imagine
Tuesday was Dorothy’s birthday and we celebrated her big day with them on ‘Hunda’ that evening with great food and company.  Since then we haven’t had an opportunity to press on before the next front comes through.  Our weather man refers to it as a ‘weather event’; which always sounds ominous.  This front is expected to linger, ‘excruciatingly slow’ I think his words were.  We are going to tough this one out at anchor.....we can’t keep running every time bad weather comes our way. And while it sucks that it blows we are happy pottering on the boat, Sim taking the time to over haul and re-install the water-maker while I tinker on with some of my sea glass projects.

Dorothy's Birthday dinner....cooked by Dorothy... Cake by Duncan! Good times, good friends.
Despite the grey skies we've had some awesome sunsets
The potluck party at Mangoes. Duncan from Hunda at the top.
Myself, Dorothy and Jolanda below.
Sim and I went out for a walk on the one mild and sunny day, leaving the dinghy at the Jib room marina...
We found the Bahamas we've been waiting for...palm trees, beaches and sunny skies.

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