It wasn’t a great forecast but it was the best one that we had seen for the last eight days while sitting in Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island. The wind was forecast to be 17 to 22 knots with gusts to 25 but to die down in the afternoon and Friday was to be very light winds.
So, at 0630, we hauled anchor and slipped out of Lucaya just as the sun peaked over the horizon. Murray suggested that we take out the double reef that we had put in the mainsail last night. But, that little bird on my shoulder said “wait and see”. It is easier to shake out a reef than it is to put one in especially in high wind conditions. In the canals of Lucaya, the wind was calm. But, by the time we reached the sea buoy, the wind was honking.
The waves slapped against the hull and, quite often, curled themselves aboard to splash us. The day was cloudy and cool. I know, you are saying to yourself “she doesn’t know from cold” but it was cool enough that I was wearing capris, a tee shirt, a fleece and a foul weather jacket on top. I wore that all day and even wished for some socks!
The journey was almost 65 nautical miles to Great Stirrup Cay and we arrived just after 4:30 pm, having made good time due to the wind, which never really died.
Here we will spend the night before moving on to Devil’s-Hoffman’s Cays about 20 miles further south. There are more cold fronts expected in the next few days but we should be secure there, with protection from the north winds. When the weather allows, we will move on to Nassau. Murray hopes to catch lots of fish at Devils-Hoffman Cays and I wish for time to shell. And, if the wind ever is light enough, we need to break out the bucket and do some laundry. You remember how we do that? A five gallon pail, some water and about one half cup of ammonia. Add clothes and mix with a clean toilet plunger. When clean, wring out the clothes and hang to dry. The ammonia smell dissipates when the clothing is dry.
The captain reports that all systems worked well today – sails, engine, watermaker, etc. But the crew is very tired. Dinner is finished and now just to do the dishes and tidy the ship.
That too is life aboard.
Murray & Heather
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