The calm persisted into the next day and Janet decided to snorkel — the first time since the Pitons in St Lucia in 2008. Tempus fugit. The heel cup on one of her 23 year old fins split so she ended up using mine–snugged waaaay up. It was a good sight to see.
Just after she went in the water, a breeze came up that dislodged a thermal from the top of Settlement Point or perhaps Delia’s Cay. Deprived of its heat source the thermal started sinking and hit the water about four boat lengths ahead of us and came right across us. With the anchor chain slack the wind very nearly spun the boat through 360 degrees before it moved on to crash into the island proper and dissipate. We’ve seen this twice before. Once we were in a marina as one of these came down the dock and we could watch the wind vanes on the boats as the progressively followed the spinning winds down the dock. Nature…
While Janet was snorkeling we were visited by an 11-year old on a paddle board from a nearby boat. The young man was a poster child for home schooling, growing up on a boat, and life on the water. Not one sentence had an excess “like” in it and politeness was woven through his discourse.
As the day progressed the winds shifted early but stayed light. They were on the edge of unfavorable, but strengthening was not predicted. By the next morning they had strengthened early and were from a BAD direction. When the boat settled to its new position, we were too close to rocks in a one foot rolling chop that was reflecting off the same rocks making for a two foot lurching pitch.
We called the marina in Marsh Harbour to see about advancing our reservation one day and received a “not sure, call me at 1130. So we fired up and moved about 1000 feet upwind. The motion improved and the hazard removed. It still wasn’t a comfortable position.
At 1130 we were told they would put us on the fuel dock, if need be, for the first night. We hauled the anchor and began an intentionally slow sail down between Foots Cay and Guana. We wanted to arrive at half tide or better.
When we cleared the shallows off Foots and before we reached the shifting sand bores down toward North Man-O-War Passage, we unfurled half the genoa and began a beat toward Marsh Harbour. When we cleared the turbulence off Foots the boat settled into a windward romp across bright turquoise shallows with little wave action.
Just outside Marsh Harbour the wind became fitful from land upwind and what appeared to be an imminent shift in either direction or force. We fired up and eased our way into the Harbour. The vaunted RMHYC buoys were gone and we had to dodge a sunken mooring buoy that I at first mistook for the head of a drowning victim (seriously).
We had to shoe-horn our way into the slip due to other boats tied up near it, but it is a good slip and will be better when the wind shifts out of the west (predicted for the next three days). The Harbour View Marina crew did a great job helping us tie up and hook up power and cable and sign in. Charlie off “Pegasus” (we met in Southport and again in Myrtle Beach) handled the critical stern spring for this downwind landing. Much obliged.
The folks on the Nordhavn 40 “Uno Mas” welcomed us and told us of Happy Hour at the end of the dock at 1700. This is where we discovered we had arrived at seasons end and all were talking departure plans. We won’t have the place to ourselves but it will be close. That and we discovered the RMHYC has shut down for the season. Ah Well~~~
We had a nice meal at Snappas; it would have been nice if their band had been as good as the grouper. …their band that performs (loosely apply that term) about 20 yards from our stern.