Friday, March 13, 2015

Feb 8, 2015 Warderick Wells - Big Majors Cay - Bahamas

February 8, 2015 – Big Majors Cay & Warderick Wells, Bahamas

Will this damn excitement ever stop???
This morning Lew and I are sitting out in the cockpit with our coffee, we admire this 50 foot power yacht towing its rather large dinghy leaving the anchorage area. As it approaches bow on, it’s very apparent that this guy on “Point of View” out of Boston, has no idea that as he is running down our starboard side, his dinghy, about 60 feet behind is passing down our PORT side and we were going to get nailed. Gotta love these idiots!!! Ron ran out to the bow screaming so what does he do? He stops the damn boat and tries to back up. WHAT AN ASS!
By this time Jan is awake and looking out the window in our cabin, all she sees is the side of this guys boat about five feet from colliding with our starboard side.
The dinghy keeps on coming, blown down by the wind, collides with our anchor chain and into the bow of our boat. As Lew explains to the guy “YOU CAN’T PUSH A ROPE AND EXPECT THE BOAT TO STOP”!!,
Well, with a little shoving and pushing, the guy finally sees that he can now gun it and drive away.

So much for todays excitement, so now we take you back a week after leaving Spanish Wells on our way to Nassau to pick up Lew Page.
The forecast in Spanish Wells on Monday was perfect. We could expect a nice warm day with light winds and very light seas. Thanks to Windfinder we decided to leave on our 35 mile trip directly across to the Nassau. Two hours into the trip, in probably the worst possible area for currents and rogue seas, the wind pipes up to at least 25 knots and the seas are a steady 4-5 feet on our port bow. Every third steep short period wave crashed right over our bow. We had already reduced the headsail with no mainsail and were motor sailing to try to keep everything comfortable. In hindsight, we probably should have turned back, but as Ron kept saying…. “We’re half way there and the island of New Providence will soon shelter us”. Unfortunately, to keep from wrecking the boat and the crew, we were on a course that was taking us 18 miles north of the island and we weren’t going to get any relief. With that, the decision was made to just take in the sail, hunker everything down and turn directly into the seas and go for it.

This turned out to be the best decision as we could more easily control our forward advance into the steep waves and although they continued to crash directly OVER THE TOP of the bow, after an hour they started to get a little longer apart and eventually a little calmer.
After a long day of pounding ourselves and the boat to death, we made the decision that in the future we are not going to Nassau to pick up guests ever again. It’s just too far out of the way and not worth the risk. As you might think, if we’d waited then the weather might have cleared. You’re right, except that that was four days later.
Feb 2nd – Nassau, Bahamas
We arrived in Nassau and when I called the Nassau Harbour Club for our berth assignment, I was very surprised to hear the response “Wind Warrior this is CASTELLO” . It was our good friend Peter and his wife France. They were fuelling at the same marina after returning from Staniel Cay and arriving about 30 minutes before our arrival.
We shared the same marina space and shared a lot of old memories and laughs from past trips. A few rums were also shared by all.

Feb 4th, Lew arrives and is surprised that as he walks down the dock he actually knows somebody. He had met Peter and France last year and recognized the boat. More rums and pizza and who should arrive but Tina’s cousin from England, Justine and her husband Richard.  They were passing through on their way to Marsh Harbour to stay with Lane and Tina on their boat. A great time was had by all.  It went well into the evening before they said their good-byes.
Feb 5th and we awake to a beautiful day. The winds are forecast at NE 10-15 knots so we head across Yellow Bank for the 35 mile trip to Highbourne Cay in the Bahamas. Well, did I say that plans change? The next day was now forecast for a strong westerly front to arrive bringing high winds and waves. We made the decision that since this was such a great day, that we’d head further south and find shelter on a mooring in a very well protected Warderick Wells. An email went off to the office and we were accommodated.

So much for the perfect day………. We thought we had this one cased. So as we approached Warderick Sand Bore, we find that it has shifted well west of its charted area and there is no way we’re passing over it. We turn the boat around and head for deeper water which took some time. Once in deeper water it was time to alter course and head up to Warderick Wells before that very dark, black, really scary looking storm cell cloud with lots of rain and extremely high winds came roaring down over us. NOT A CHANCE!!! About a half hour before entering the mooring field it was on top of us. Forty knot winds with strong down drafts and rain.  We were far enough up the channel that the surrounding islands broke the seas and we proceeded to our mooring for the night.
We could see it on the horizon that it was going to be bad.
Within about fifteen minutes it went from bad to worse. You can see how the squall line has formed. Man did it blow hard…… and RAIN !!!


The following day was no better with high winds from the Northeast so we decided it was best to stay. Lew and Ron made the trek up to BOO BOO HILL.

Ron had a mission to complete. Last year with Jill, Mike and the grand kids we had intended to make the same trek and leave our boat placard atop the hill with the others but we could not get a mooring so the opportunity was missed. Now we had our chance.
Up we went on the windy trail until we came to the top.
Once there, a small prayer was said to the gods to keep us safe and Ron posed for the tourist shot as he placed Wind Warrior’s placard atop the pile of souvenirs from other boats.

Wind Warrior is the last boat on the right.
So there we sit…. Officially atop Boo Boo Hill with all those other famous sailors like Christopher Columbus, Sir Frances Drake, Popeye the Sailor Man,……. OK probably not them but at least we left OUR mark.
Next it was time to take in the sights on the Atlantic side of the island.
It was pretty rough out there today with waves forecast to hit 10 feet in the afternoon.

The constant bashing of the island by the salty Atlantic Ocean makes it hard for anything to grow around here.

Back at the office the beauty of Warderick Wells can clearly be seen. This truly is God’s country.

Feb 7th and the nice weather has returned. Time to head south to Big Majors Cay just to the north of Staniel Cay and home those infamous pigs. We tucked ourselves in close to Pirate Beach where the usual soundowners take place on the beach after 3:30pm.

Officially it’s party time on any day ending in “Y”.
The collection of paraphernalia around the main table makes for an interesting read.
Time to go with the sun going down. This was to be a perfect sunset.









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