Today started like most of our days. It doesn’t really matter if we’re planning on sailing or if staying in the same anchorage, we wake up at 6:30 am to listen to the weather report on the Single Side Band radio and make our morning coffee + tea. Last night we enjoyed a lively happy hour on Civil Twilight with Mar-a-Lago and Scheherazade. We were all talking about making a trip to Long Island and lamenting that with some strong west winds later in the week it wasn’t looking like we could go anytime soon. The harbours on the west side of Long Island offer little to no protection from Westerly winds.
Overnight, the winds here in George Town had moved to a more southerly direction and we were no longer completely in the lee of the land. The wind was light, so it wasn’t really a problem, but wind would be building over the course of the day and might cause some wind driven waves to build in the harbour by sunset. We started to think about moving to a different anchorage within the harbour for the upcoming night.
As we listened to the forecast I was studying the charts for the harbour, trying to decide where we could move to and be able to stay in one place for four or five days. The harbour here is kind of NW-SE oriented, so depending on the wind direction you might find yourself doing what’s called the George Town shuffle – moving your boat 1-2 miles back and forth up and down the harbour every few days looking for the best protection.
I looked at what I’d written down from the weather forecast and considered the charts, I decided we COULD go to Long Island today, stay for three nights and ride a southeast wind back to George Town ahead of the westerly winds. We started to chat with Civil Twilight, Mar-a-Lago, Scheherazade and Bluejacket… they were all game to go this morning! Grace V needed some water and to unload trash, so Tim zoomed off in the dinghy stopping by the other boats to answer questions, consult on the plans and take Poppy ashore. We all aimed to have anchors up between 10 and 11 am for the 25 mile trip to Long Island.
Shortly after 10 am we had our anchor up and were heading south towards the cut, Civil Twilight came on the radio to give a sea state report as they were about 25 mins ahead of us. The report was not favourable, the wind was approx. 30 degrees off the bow for our plotted course (not the 60 degrees we’d mapped based on the forecast) and the seas were 3 feet on the nose with spray on the deck. While it was not dangerous, it wasn’t going to be the pleasant trip we’d all planned. After a quick consult on the radio, we all decided to abort the trip. After all, we don’t HAVE to go today, we can wait and pick better weather. Bluejacket was still preparing, Mar-a-Lago was still at anchor, Scheherazade had just stowed their anchor and we were about 5 mins from the anchorage, only Civil Twilight had to re-transit the cut and come all the way back. We were all really grateful for their fact finding mission and saving the rest of us from the extra saltwater on the decks.
Grace V used the opportunity of being underway to choose a new anchorage for the day and found a great spot in front of Chat ‘N’ Chill right beside Bluejacket.
Our consolation prize for NOT sailing to Long Island today is that there is a scheduled meeting of the A.R.G. (Alcohol Research Group – aka a Happy Hour get together) this afternoon on Honeymoon Beach. I guess we’ll have to just sink ourselves into some research this afternoon.
Some days are like that…