Saturday, 26 March 2016

Navigating Through a "Rage"

Well – today was one to remember, and learn from! We had spent four days resting up in Staniel Cay, as Jeff recuperated from a bout of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Yesterday, I rented a rickety bike, and toured the Island on my own, and then bought fresh grouper from the returning fishermen for our dinner.

Today, Jeff was feeling well enough that he suggested we sail north to Black Point – only about five miles away. The wind was on our nose, so we tacked, close-hauled (for non-sailors, zigzagging back and forth to keep the wind in our sails) in about 15 knots of wind – a wonderful 2.5 hour trip!

Wonderful, that is, until we entered the “cut” that takes us from the Exuma Sound on the Atlantic side, where we were, to the shallow Bahama Bank, where we wanted to anchor.

Bad idea! Before we knew it, we were in what felt like a washing machine of 10-15 foot waves, churning in all directions, splashing water over the side of the boat into the cockpit, and scaring both of us to death L.

My captain held the boat steady through it all, while I held on to the boat – both of us terrified. We made it through, but agreed that in 25 years of sailing together, this had been the scariest experience we’ve had. And we also agreed that we need to learn much more about navigating these cuts safely – a good wake-up call. The pic below of the inside of the boat shows the devastation created by all the rolling around we did.

I spent the rest of the afternoon calming down in the laundry, while Jeff rested. Another day in Paradise.

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