Weather here in the Bahamas is a mixture of Caribbean tropical and North American Temperate.  That means we get “normal” tradewinds blowing from a generally easterly direction, punctuated periodically by the tail ends of continental cold fronts.  In the 48 hours before a cold front approaches, the wind slowly clocks around from the east to the south west, usually increasing in slowly in strength.  Clouds thicken.  Rain starts suddenly, sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightening.  After a relatively short period of heavy rain, the wind switches suddenly to the north and blows hard for a few hours, then slowly tapers off as the rain fades away.  The wind continues it slow swing around the clock, and soon everything is back the way it started. These days it is all very predictable,  We know, for example, that a front will be passing through in the afternoon two days from now.

For boats anchored out here, this presents a challenge.  There are very few places here you can anchor which will give you protection from winds from all of those directions.  This means you have a couple of options. You can crowd into one of the few protected anchorages.  You can move the boat from one spot to another as the wind changes.  Or you can grab a slip in a marina.  For this frontal passage, we are going to wimp out and do the marina thing.  Once that passes, we are on the move again…

When the dinghy looks like this…


….you know we have been grocery shopping. We are loaded up again for a trip a bit away from civilization for a while.  Here are our plans for the next few weeks.

We are heading about 120 miles southeast to Cat Island, hopefully to enjoy some of the great fishing there.  We will then be back up a little further north to Eleurthera to pick up my friend Alicia in mid May.  Then the last week in may we are joined by Alicia’s friend Annie and–with a full crew–we head north. We are really looking forward to an offshore passage with a crew full of sailors!

Where we will touch land on the east coast is still a bit up in the air.  But our ultimate goal is to get further north than we did last year, at least as far as Nova Scotia before the advancing winter chases us south again.


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2 Responses to Planning.

  1. Bill Kinney says:

    Thanks James!

    We have hunkered down into a marina for the frontal passage. It’s not likely to be TOO bad here–forecasts for winds into the low 20’s–but sometimes comfort and safety trumps economy!



  2. James Alton says:

    Bill, Sunday, April 15th 1:30 PM. We have a pretty strong cold front approaching with severe storms forecast. The winds are blowing the tools off of the boat I am working on at my shop! I assume that this one could affect you as well so keep an eye out. Best, James

    Liked by 1 person

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