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ON THE MOVE AGAIN…, KIND OF February 18, 2015

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Carabbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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We were happy, kind of in Simpson Bay, other then it gets rollie once in a while. It can be very annoying bouncing off bulkheads and having to always hang on when moving around the boat. Most days we rolled some, but our good luck was running out. Wednesday the mate went to a woman’s luncheon. It was rough going in, but we were running with the waves. As the afternoon progressed, the seas shifted to the south east. They were running 9 feet and began to wrap their way into the bay.

About 4 pm I get a call on the radio to pick up the mate. They had there luncheon in the lagoon that is attached to the bay. The lagoon is quite large and always choppy. Today was very choppy. Means you get wet from the spray. I picked up the mate and a friend who was hitching a ride back to their boat in the bay. Going into the bay you pass through a channel and under a draw bridge. The waves in the channel were about 3 feet. Going into them they are quite bumpy and very wet. I told the ladies they had not seen anything yet.

The bay had 4 foot swells coming into it and a strong breeze to help blow the spray. After getting to the boat one has to get from the dinghy to the boat. The boat was rolling about 15 degrees from side to side. We get on our boat via a ladder on the side. So, while the dinghy is rising and falling with the passing swells, you must time your step to the ladder when the boat is fully rolled to you and the dinghy in on the top of a swell. Then you can step on the top rung of the ladder and step on board. When your timing is right. This is one of those thing you have to do right or can get seriously hurt. Well we make it onboard with no more then a few swear words.

About 3 am the seas are still building and the wind blowing and then it decides to shift from the south to the north. The wind shift is fast enough that you wake up from a fit full sleep from having your body constantly rolling back and forth. But you wake up knowing thing are not good. One grabs some clothes, and goes to the cockpit. This is not good. It is raining but not hard, the wind is out of the north and has dropped from the mid 20’s to around 10-15 knots.

The islands we are in are in the trade wind area. The wind blows from the east, +/- 20 degrees. It blows this way day in and day out. It does not change other then velocity. People understand this and anchor knowing the trades will be steady. This is the heart of the tourist season and the anchorage is very crowded. Because there is very little swing, people anchor very close to you.

Now, we have had a slow 80 degree wind shift during the afternoon and now an quick 180 degree shift. Behind me were 2 boats that after the shift would be trading fiberglass. The last one to anchor picked up and moved. We ended up in front of a day charter boat by about ½ a boat length. That was way to close, but I was not moving in the middle of the night in a crowded anchorage. I did stay in the cockpit till 5 am insuring we did not drag and get mixed up with the day charter boat. By 5, the wind and squalls had passed and the wind showed signs of moving back to the east.

That afternoon we moved into the lagoon. It is pretty flat, but we are a long ways from anything. Thank goodness gas prices have fallen about $2/gal. The dinghy which gets great mileage, still needs it’s 3 gallons twice a week. Other problems, no WiFi. And we can not make water. The water is very clear, but the towns dump their sewage into the lagoon. The fecal count is suppose to be astronomical. Thursday we plan to go out into the bay and anchor for the day and run the water maker.

We are still trying to get to Saba Rock. It is an island that is very unique. Then we must do an overnight to the BVI’s and meet a friend for about 10 days of so of sailing. We are really looking forward to that visit. Then our daughter and family may come. She was looking for something reasonable in St John’s USVI. That is an oxymoron.

You will get this when I get it off. Remember, no WiFi on board. Oh, the new windlass worked like a dream.

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