Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stuck in Paradise

One of the cool things about living in Rum Cay is that your address has Rum Cay in it. Our fleet of four boats close reach sailed from the northern point of Long Island to Rum Cay. Topanga was, as usual the slowest and last to arrive. Upon our arrival though we found that the rumours of free dockage at an abandoned marina were true. We are now comfortably tied up to a dock, a rare occurrence since leaving the US. The Sumner Point marina is really abandoned. It appears that not too long ago there was a thriving business with a great restaurant and rental cabins. Now however everything is empty. Empty of people but not empty of stuff. Decorations, signs, equipment, files, are all still in place. It's as if there was a quick evacuation of the premises.

After much discussion and debate we decided to modify our original plan and instead of making the next leg to Clarence Town back (southwest) on Long Island we would wait for a weather window and make a big overnight jump to Acklin's Island (southeast). This strategy is in line with the the guiding southern sailing principle of “Stay north to go south”. We had heard great things about Rum Cay and we are really enjoying our stay. With the Marina out of business Rum Cay seems to be again “off the beaten track”, a stark contrast from George Town. There are some excellent beaches. Snorkelling and fishing are the best we've seen yet. I speared a little snapper that Cassandra cooked up. Delicious. Maxime on Angelica was the real hero though. He speared a monster grouper! I have never seen a fish this big speared before. It was an excellent shot to the brain killing the fish instantly, which is very good because a fish this size would put up a big fight. That night we had a potluck dinner on the dock and enjoyed the grouper as the main course. It just doesn't get better than this.

Unfortunately Wind Dance's 7.5ft draft didn't allow them to enter the shallow marina channel so they had to stay anchored out in the bay. The prevailing winds and swell made for a rolly night. Although the weather was a bit rough Wind Dance ultimately decided to sail on alone the 78nm to our next destination, Acklins Island. They departed around 4:00 the next morning. The following day we got a message from them saying that due to the rough seas and wind direction they diverted to Clarence Town back on Long Island (back to the original plan).

Bashing upwind in 20kts of wind and 6-9ft seas for 20 hours does not sound fun. Now we are waiting for a good weather window to make a big jump south. We need to head 135°T so because we can only sail as close as about 40° off the wind we need at least a due East wind. Any south component and we can't readily make headway. To ensure a comfortable ride ideally 10-15knots in wind speed with waves no more than 5ft every 9 seconds.

It looks like Thursday and Friday may offer the right conditions. Until then we'll continue to complete boat projects, fish and snorkel. Dismaying to be stuck by the weather but what a great place to be stuck.

Bahamas debate team

5a7 on Topanga

Hauling me up the mast...

Fixing the genoa

My first catch... a little snapper was tasty

Max's monster grouper

If I don't start catching big fish we may have to eat Dexter

Shark battle for the fish remains

Galley Girl

Potluck dinner on the dock

Forgot to close the toilet lid

Our boats

Karine getting coconuts

Statues dot the marina lands

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