Monday, March 29, 2010

Killing Time in Green Turtle Cay

A windy hello to all of our friends and family! We've been hanging out in Green Turtle Cay for the past 12 days, and are enjoying our last few days here in the Bahamas before we head back to the States. After Stacy's mom left us on the 16th, we took advantage of a short weather window to get through the Whale Cay Passage and arrive here in Green Turtle in time to celebrate St. Paddy's Day with our Dutch friends. The weather was awful that night - think downpours and a flooded dance floor at the Green Turtle Club - but the band managed to set up indoors and we had a blast. It was sooo great to see our friends again, and we've been spending most of our time with them ever since.

We had a bit more excitement today than we'd planned for...yet another storm has come through, and a 30-knot gust pushed us sideways and caused our anchor to drag. We tried raising the hook without doing any damage, but our anchor caught the chain of River Rat, a Hunter 45 anchored behind us. Thanks to 4-6 dinghies that came racing to our rescue, we managed to get Pipe separated from River Rat and pivoted her enough to raise the anchor. It was a scary ordeal, but fortunately no one was hurt and no boats were damaged. Just another reminder of how quickly conditions can change, and how much cruisers look out for each other.

There's been a bittersweet vibe here in Green Turtle as many boats have come in over the past few days waiting for a weather window to go back home. Many of our cruising friends arrived last week hoping to cross to Florida on Thursday, but the window disappeared before anyone could take advantage of it. On the plus side, we've been able to spend more time with the sailors we've become so close to before having to say goodbye. At the same time, it feels like we're delaying the inevitable; we'll likely be one of the last of our group to leave since we don't want to get back to Florida much before April 10th. Most of our friends are heading out in the next 2-3 days, which means we'll be waving to a lot of departing boats.

Weather permitting, we plan to leave GTC soon after Easter. Nicky's daughter has nearly completed her open water SCUBA certification, so we're all hoping to join her on a celebratory dive and Brendal beach BBQ before we go. Once we leave, it's about 100nm from GTC to the end of the Bahama Bank, and then another 230nm to Fernandina. With a good northerly push from the gulf stream, we should be able to make the trip from Mantilla Shoals (on the bank) to FL in about 40 hours. We'll check in one more time before we leave, and then our next blog should come from the USA. Cheers!

No comments: