Ok, we survived the derecho and spent the next day wandering around the small settlement trying to find a replacement for the snubber hook we lost, no luck. Keith’s just going to get good at tying knots. We thought we would be able to retrieve it from the water but it was so churned up it looked like a milkshake. It had zero visibility. We tried diving but I literally swam my face into the bottom because I couldn’t see it. It was time to give up and move along without it. Exumas here we come!
We saw a weather report calling for 2 meter seas for the crossing from Eleuthera to Staniel Cay, Exumas (other reports were more benign) but the day and the rest of the week was supposed to be absolutely gorgeous. Light winds and settled, stable weather. Hallelujah! Bonus, when we got out to the Exuma Sound we had a pleasant surprise to find the “2 meter” seas closer to 2 inches. We had a glorious calm sail. Keith caught his first tuna, a tiny little thing but we were both so excited. Seared tuna and wasabi! Shortly after he pulled in a Mahi. Fish to share! I had a happy camper onboard! Even better, waiting for us in the anchorage were our friends from Saraid and our friends on the cat were sailing along just ahead of us, we were anticipating a happy reunion. Our friends on the cat, however, decided the derecho hadn’t quite given them enough excitement and lost their engines at the entrance of the coral lined, wave breaking, current ripping cut. Ack! We watched them skillfully hoist the sail and sail back out to safer deeper water. Impressive. So was the fact that they troubleshot and fixed the problem in minutes and were in the anchorage just minutes after us. We were really happy to see them arrive safely! We all got together for some drinks and appetizers and had an amazing night catching up and swapping stories, of course mostly about the storm. We also made plans for all the fun things we wanted to do with settled weather week. Diving, fishing, beach combing, walks….It was oh-so-exciting to be surrounded with friends and making plans for play. We’ve been cruising for eight months and for the very first time we made it to a brand new place for us! I am excited! It was also great to plan on just stay in one place and explore for a while. First up was diving the Thunderball Grotto.
Our anchorage turned to crap in the night even with the good weather, not nearly as crappy as two nights ago obviously but still an unsleepable slappy mess. I just want a good nights sleep, eventually. Please! We moved anchorages and got ready for a fun filled day of play. Then we started getting the weather reports. Our perfect week was now replaced with a report that had the words, and I quote, “REALLY UGLY” “GALE FORCE” “FIND ALL-WEATHER PROTECTION” for later in the week. Crap! We stared at the charts, Staniel Cay doesn’t have any all-weather anchorages. Instead of enjoying the gorgeous day in front of us we were searching for a place to hide (again) and stressing over where to go and when. There was a lot of speculation around the anchorage about the possibility of the same weather pattern/situation that created the derecho lining up again. Everyone was feeling frustrated and everyone is feeling a bit jumpy. Could the black swan have a twin? No. I convinced myself that we were all, maybe even the weather man, still a little nerve wrecked. We decided to at least dive the Thunderball Grotto and take a walk. We’d eat our fresh Mahi dinner then look at the weather again and make a decision, we had a few days still.
Thunderball Grotto was a perfect distraction. Made famous for it scene in one of the James Bond movies, I was eager to check it out (even though I’ve never seen the movie). It is inside of a little cay in the anchorage, you swim into the rocks and it opens up into a large round opening with several light-filled holes above. Roots or vines hang down from the openings. The water colors and sunlight beams create a dramatic experience. It is densely filled with tropical fish and brightly colored sea sponges. Keith made friends with a little Spanish hogfish (different from the kind we eat) and it swam with him the whole time. My Go Pro camera failed me again and I only got a few shots. Bummer. But the experience was super cool. Checked it off the list, but I’d like to do it again!
We filled the rest of the afternoon with exploring in the dinghy, playing frisbee with Kai, and checking out the local anchorages for one we liked better for yucky weather. None of them gave us a secure feeling. Our friends Ben and Lisa from Saraid came over for dinner. After enjoying ourselves, we checked the nightly forecast. It had taken a turn for the worse. It explained that a LO could possibly form and come through the Bahamas. Closed LO’s just don’t come through the Bahamas in the winter, there hasn’t been one for years, but it was looking possible and if it did it was going to be “a very significant weather event”. Perhaps not hurricane strength winds but it would be strong, widespread, and long in duration.
You are freaking kidding me right!!! What the hell!!!
We readied the boat for sailing and set the alarms for before sunrise. We are headed to Georgetown. Along with just about every other boat here. To hide. Again. Guess tonight’s not going to be my good nights sleep night either.