After several days of traveling in sportier conditions than we prefer, we were more than happy to wait out the next cold front in Norman’s Cay. The protection was o.k. and the holding was very good, so we spent a few days relaxing and playing in the water before the front moved in.
The cold front was predicted to arrive in the evening bring steady winds of 25-30 knots with gusts up to 40 for around 24 hours before “dropping” to 25-30 without the 40 knot gusts for another 12-18 hours. There aren’t many good options for protection from westerly component winds in the Exumas, so as the day progressed the anchorage steadily filled until there were 23 boats that had joined us.
Boats were spaced apart pretty well so we were feeling pretty good until just after sunset when we took one last look out of the cockpit. Where the hell did he come from? A sailboat had parked himself a bit too close for comfort off of our starboard bow. Hmmm. Well, we had been there for two days and had gone swimming over our anchor earlier so we knew it was well dug in. The anchorage had a reputation for good holding and the sailboat’s chart plotter was still on so we figured he was paying attention. We decided to take a calculated risk by not moving. Nevertheless, given his proximity we were going to keep a close eye on the situation.
Around 11:30 p.m. the winds really started picking up, so I got up to take a look around. The latecomer was definitely closer and I could see someone on the bow with a flashlight. O.k., he’s dragging but he knows it. After nothing changed for a few minutes, Jeff shined a flashlight on his boat to get the boat name and I called him on the radio.
Continue reading “It was a dark and stormy night at anchor.”