Sunday, March 03, 2013

Cabin Fever

And here I shall paint a picture of a day when living on a boat is not so fun:  The wind is howling through our rigging, blowing the heavy rain sideways.  Going on deck is very cold, wet and uncomfortable.  The boat moves like a tethered stallion as she tugs frantically and erratically on her anchor chain with every gust.  The winds that we have been clocking are peaking over 30 knots, and - according to the weatherman - the squalls we are seeing have the potential to reach winds in the 40 knot range.  As darkness falls, we listen helplessly to the emergency call of a boat that has broken free from it's mooring and is hard aground.  A sickening thing to hear.  The sources say that this is some of the nastiest weather the southern Bahamas will see this season, and so far, we concur.  It is not pleasant.

This was what we experienced for about ten hours yesterday.  Luckily, right now, it is calm and we can actually see patches of blue as the sun's rays try to poke through the morning sky.  We might even get off the boat this morning and go ashore... But it's not over, more squalls are expected this afternoon, with more still later this week.  Last night, however, we weathered what is predicted to be the worst of it and I for one am glad it's over.

Weather like this keeps us on edge.  Rather, it keeps me on edge as I tend to do the worrying for our family (this stuff hardly phases Scott).  Yesterday, we were tied to the boat and passed the time watching movies, reading, and even baking to warm up the chilly interior a bit.  We don't leave for several reasons in weather like yesterday's, not the least of which is the rain and wind, but mainly we stay to ensure that our boat doesn't drag.  Each time I heard a gust over thirty (after listening to wind for five hours, you can tell), I'd pop my head out of the hatch to make sure we were still holding.  Each time, I breathed a sigh of relief that we were.  We put our anchor to the test yesterday.  Knowing what was coming, we backed down on it good and hard, reversing at 2000 RPM's, let out extra scope (7:1 as opposed to our usual 5:1) and Scott dove to ensure it had dug in.  We were confident it was properly set and trusted that it'd hold us through, but there is always the "what if" that creeps into a mind like mine.  Aside from the wind, we were in a channel with strong current, and when the tide changed we were broadside to the wind and waves - with every boat around us every which way - which was a little nerve-wracking.  Several boats had to move and re-anchor.  As the weather continued to whip up a small frenzy around us, we waited down below as the ominous sounds of a cold front surrounded us, the inside of our boat a cozy haven from the craziness outside.

While we're happy to be through the worst of it, we will continue to wait here for the weather to moderate so we can go back to enjoying mother nature in her more peaceful state.  Definitely looking forward to that!

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