|On a boat, we try hard to avoid weather like this...but it's not always possible.|
Last night, it was an orchestra of noise that woke me: the wince-inducing grinding of our anchor snubber tugging over the roller reverberating throughout the hull, the eerie howl of the wind ripping through the anchorage and causing our boat to jerk unnaturally this way and that on our anchor, the sudden and gentle pitter-patter of rain on deck- followed by the skies opening up and turning our boat into a bonafide bongo drum. I sprang up with a gasp and ran to the companionway to take a bearing. Phew. Not dragging. That’s good. Then I remembered all the portholes and hatches that were open. Dammit. I closed them all, sopped up the rain, set the anchor alarm and flopped back into bed. Scott didn’t even stir. Bastard. I must have woken up four or five other times, and I am almost certain we saw wind in the sixty knot range. Okay, maybe forty. Either way, it was gnarly and loud. Scott slept through it all , I swear I even noticed a peaceful little smirk on his worry-free face.
He redeemed himself this morning by going to Isla when she sprang to life with a beaming grin at six a.m, letting me catch up on lost zzzz’s. I subscribe heavily to the child-like notion that “everything will be better in the morning” but when I awoke, I was bummed to see the conditions hadn’t changed. Still squally, still gray, still windy, still blech. We listened to the weather on the SSB radio and it’s official: it's bad. And it’s not getting better any time soon. A tropical wave is upon us, scheduled to arrive on Sunday like a persistent and petulant door-to-door salesman, only you can’t slam the door on a tropical wave. “What’s a tropical wave again?” I ask Scott. We really should know more about the weather but weather prediction, it turns out, is incredibly difficult and complex. He consults our “Weather Predicting Simplified” book (which does nothing of the sort) and says’s “Hmm…looks like a tropical wave is the precurser to a hurricane”. He says this in a tone no different than “Hey look, there’s a bird in the sky”. Scott, unfortunately, is totally insensitive to the fact that I am an olympic worrier and does nothing to quell my fears. Super, I think. We’re going to get caught down island in a hurricane.
To make a long story short, we’re stuck here for a while – at least a week, maybe two. When the weather man says, “I’m sorry, I have no good news for you. I don’t see any change in the foreseeable future” you prepare to hunker down. There are worse places to be stuck, that is for sure – and yes, we’re on a boat in the Caribbean but the fact remains: we need to make tracks south. Hurricane season begins in six days and we’re still seven hundred miles from the little invisible box around Grenada that says we’ll be safe. I’m starting to feel like we’re in between a rock and hard place…and that’s not a good place to be on a boat.