It’s usually nice when the weather forecast you made your plans on turns out to be spot on, and that’s what we had yesterday and last night.
We are in an anchorage that has pretty good protection all round. To the north is Rose Island, to the south and east are shallow reefs with only a narrow opening to the west. The Guide Book lists this as especially good in Southeast winds. Which it is, but (there is aways a “but”): The reefs certainly block any dangerously large waves from the Southeast, but small waves come over the shallow water, and then run into the island to the north of us. That would be the end of that if it was a sandy beach, but it is not. It is a sheer cliff of coral rock, so the waves bounce back. In a little while the boat is being smacked by waves from the front and the back at the same time. Very noisy and uncomfortable.
We put up with that the other night, and then, just as forecast, the wind started to clock around to the South, then the West, as the line of clouds that indicated the forward edge of the cold front were visible approaching from the Northwest. The wind continued to clock to the Northwest as the front blew over with a modest lightening show and a little bit of rain. Late last night the wind continued to clock around to the Northeast and settled in to blow hard, 25 to 35 knots. Our anchor was set well and deeply in sand and had done right by us, not shifting in any way as we pulled on it from different directions.
A catamaran did drag its anchor most of the way across the anchorage last night, coming to a stop just a few dozen feet from a rocky reef. That would scare me, and not just because of the immediate danger. If your gear has trouble holding bottom here in shallow, deep, clear sand in 30 knots of wind, you’re going to continue to have trouble in lots of conditions where you really NEED to stay in one spot.
We’ll be sitting here for a few days until a break comes in the wind to let us safely and comfortably head south and east toward the Exumas.