Monday, December 24, 2012

This Blows

Jib is waiting for the storm to roll in...check out his ears

Jib's ready & waiting for the Big Blow....and here she comes!
This week we had some weather here in the Abaco's. A cold front came through on Thursday and brought some big winds for just over 24 hours. We had sustained north east winds at 25-30mph with gusts to 35-40. In boating world, we call that "a big blow". It makes for a long day because even though we are safely tucked into Green Turtle Cay, there are still things to be on alert for during storms like that. Ok, there's like one major concern and that is your anchor dragging. Or worse....someone else dragging into you. So, everybody knows when a big blow is coming because we all check the weather several times a day, talk about it on the radio, etc. Everyone chooses a harbor to "hide" in & wait it out. It's part of cruising life.

Within seconds of the front moving in, we were getting pounded here in Green Turtle..


When this particular front hit, we had a major shift in the wind which causes all the boats to make a big dramatic swing on their anchors as the boats turn into the wind. A lot of times that's all it takes to displace your anchor and next thing ya know....your boat is literally dragging across the anchorage. Not a good thing in the middle of a big blow.

The green boat at the top of the screen has started to drag. It's pouring down rain with winds at 30mph
They're headed straight for us!



All this before noon. This event carried on for over an hour because as he was dragging, his anchor snagged on the other green boat's anchor & was now in danger of dragging them both along...right into us. Thankfully, the boats involved in this nightmare are very accomplished sailors and did all the right maneuvers to avoid a collision. They ultimately had to tie a buoy to their anchor & release it. We all have more than one anchor so he used his backup & reanchored somewhere else...which wasn't easy in the storm & took him several tries. I felt sorry for them. While many things can contribute to an anchor dragging, like inexperience, or using an anchor that is too small for your boat, the truth is, it can happen to anyone & when it's happening to you, it sucks big time. 4 boats dragged that morning & had to reanchor. We dragged once last September (in Georgetown, South Carolina) & it was terrifying. We now have a 60 pound Manson anchor & (knock on wood) have never dragged again. The winds kept howling for the next 24 hours so it was a LONG day and night. We were up many many times during the night checking on things.

Time to chill on the beach yesterday after the big blow with a couple of "Tranquil Turtles" from our favorite Bluff House Beach Club.
View from the Bluff House Beach Club


So everybody is all recovered & rested up from the storm. Today is Sunday so Scott & I were going to go to church. There is not a Catholic church here but our friends recommended the Anglican church in town. I looked it up, their services started at 11am. We had a nice leisurely morning & then set out for church. The dinghy ride to town is about 15 minutes. We never even made it out of White Sound before our dinghy motor started really acting up. It's been acting up for awhile but today was bad. We had to turn around & limp back to the anchorage.

We drifted to our friends boat (John & Sally) on s/v Liliana to seek mechanical advice
We ended up getting towed back to Malaika


Scott has been trying to fix our motor for awhile but nothing is working. We've asked everyone we know for advice. We usually get the same response..."I've never heard a motor make that sound". Ut oh.... So, now we are essentially without a car. :( The real depressing thing is, I think we may have to buy a new motor. Cha Ching $$$$ !!! It's ALWAYS something! Grrrrr!!!!! THIS BLOWS!!!

We do have some fun stuff planned for Christmas & New Year's and the good news is we have enough friends here in Green Turtle that we won't have to miss anything. Our friend John already offered to pick us up tomorrow to go to a Christmas Eve brunch sponsored by s/v Blue Rondo. I'm choosing to just have fun for Christmas and we'll deal with the motor on the 27th. Everything shuts down for Christmas Eve, Christmas, & Boxing Day so there's nothing we can do about it now.

Hope all is well with everybody that you're all having a wonderful Holiday Season. We miss home so much right's not easy to be away at Christmas...even when you're in paradise.

Scott hung some Christmas lights up the mast to try & satisfy my Christmas needs. Thanks honey! I loved it!
LOVE this coconut bird house
I apologize for the wackiness with the blog margins & picture captions. Have no idea what went wrong. Took 4 hours to post this blog. Happy Christmas Eve!!

Love & Miss everybody!!!


Love, Michelle, Scott & Jib



Rachel Matteson said...

Looks like boat life is kind of fun. You get to live in the ocean where all the exciting stuff are plus seafood. I always wanted to try living like that evem for just a short while say on a vacation or something. :)

stephanieo said...


Carol said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Scott and Michelle. Home bound for the next couple days with 8 inches of snow and still snowing and the wind is picking up. Their calling it bllizard conditions. We did have a very nice Christmas though. Hope your both doing good. Love you

Anonymous said...

kindred spirit: so sorry you guys about your motor that does SUCK! we'll tow you around and get you on a plane! hope you figure it out, great pics of boats dragging but sketchy as well. that rain was like a water fall...i finally got to wash my hair just not in the way i imagined! miss you guys maybe we will see you soon???