Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Onward to the Abacos

We had been closely following the weather each morning, seeking advice from Chris Parker on when to make the 55 mile trip from Harbour Island to Little Harbor in the Abacos. This may not sound like much of a journey, but it is an open water trip, and when the seas kick up, it can be bedlam.

It was so lumpy that we decided not to fish. It was great sailing, about 20 knots on a broad reach. Six foot seas, with an occasional rogue to 8, were not the problem. Adding the 9 foot, ten second north east swell made things very interesting and uncomfortable. Only one of us threw up, but we had reports of upchucking from most of the boats we were travelling with.

It was about 14 knots of easterlies at the time we approached Little Harbor, which can be impassable in extreme conditions. My heart rate increased markedly each time another cruiser tried to reach out for a condition report, and lacking information, one persistent seeker of knowledge thought he might head to North Bar Channel, or even consider Man-o-War, 20 miles away. Checking one of our old logs, I found comfort in having recorded a good passage under similar characteristics, and as we approached today, the seas fell down a bit, perhaps to 4 to 5 feet. So, if you can ignore the breakers on the reefs along side of you, it is not too melodramatic.

We passed by the hordes of those that had made the passage that day, all anchored off of Lynyard Cay, in favor of finding a good spot to ride out the next cold front and its westerlies arriving the next day. We tried behind Wilson City, only to find the surge coming in from North Bar, but proceeded on to Black Point Cay by Iron Cay, with protection from the South through North West. It took a little work to get Buster to set on the hard bottom, but we think we have found a good spot for Michel to catch fish should he come this way and for First Edition and Celebrian to ride out the storm.

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