Wednesday, November 25th
On Saturday, we traveled a short three hours to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The forecast called for big winds to build and blow out of the south and then slowly move around to the west, north and north east. There is no good coverage in the Exumas from all direction wind, so we chose a spot and anchored with plenty of chain let out. The first night was pretty bouncy, even for our big boat. Whipping at 20+ knots, the winds pushed two and three foot waves right at us, but we had no issues other than having to be mindful of walking around inside.
A day later, when the winds slowed as they shifted directions we pulled up anchor and moved, to be more protected from the northerly winds. We couldn’t go as close to shore as we’d like, due to park restrictions, so we went in as far as possible (which wasn’t terribly close), dropped anchor and waited to be beaten again.
Over the past few days, Scott has explored the area by boat, and gone ashore to hike the park (he took our Delorme tracker with him, so you can see his route). It was challenging, as the trails were not well marked at all, but he managed to cover about half of the island. The terrain is really interesting, changing a lot along the way, and there are also some colonial ruins on the island.
There are many beautiful beaches along the shoreline of the park. We spent an afternoon on Tabebuia Beach. The sand here is much more powdery than at Big Major, and very pudding-like when wet. As usual, we had the area all to ourselves which was great.
With all of this wind, getting to shore is a challenge. You have to get into the Aluminum Princess as quickly as possible without breaking your neck, before she smacks into the swim platform. Even though Scott has fenders along the edge of the platform, the rough waters still bang her into it. Once you’re in, it’s a rough ride until you get closer to shore, where the land breaks the winds a bit. Scott has done more shore trips than me. A banging, rolling ride isn’t my favorite way to get around.
The winds have steadily increased, and today we are getting sustained 30 knot winds with even bigger gusts. Scott has decided to stay aboard today, as it’s just too much of a hard time to go out. We aren’t bouncing around too much, but the sound of the wind is getting pretty unnerving. At night, it comes gushing down the hatch (Scott says that it’s like a helicopter is trying to land on our bed). While the air makes for great sleeping, it is again unnerving. We hide under the covers, to escape the air beating down onto our faces. It doesn’t make for the best night’s sleep.
However, on a very positive note, we have discovered that our anchor is awesome! I have dubbed it The Incredible Hulk! At most anchorages the anchor has just laid on the bottom, not really digging in at all. The sheer weight of our chain has kept us in place. However, when pushed to extremes over the past five days, it’s become a beast, digging in hard. We’ve been taking a beating here, with conditions only getting more windy, and the Hulk hasn’t..moved..an…inch! Scott keeps track of our movement on our Ipad and checks it regularly, even throughout the night. We swing a bit, which is normal, but with all of this crazy wind we are shocked that there hasn’t been any drag. That big, giant, expensive Hulk was worth every penny!
Some photos from the past few days here.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”