Day 169, Year 10: Riding Out the Late Season Cold Front
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015
Weather: Squall Overnight, Overcast All Day, Winds N 15
Location: Emerald Rock Mooring Field, Warderick Wells, Exumas
Today was spent riding out the late season cold front. The north winds have definitely cooled things down a few degrees here. The thermometer tells us the outside temperature is 77, but Mark just shut the hatches because it feels cold inside the boat with the wind blowing through. I’m sure those of you up north would die for 77 degrees right now, so I dare not complain. It is late in the year for this kind of cold front bringing north winds, but as you well know, the weather has a mind of its own and it doesn’t necessarily consult the calendar. Another cold front is forecast for next weekend and that is going to impact our timing for our return to Florida.
At 2:30 am I was basically thrown out of bed by the rocking and rolling of Windbird. But Mark didn’t even wake up! We were expecting a squall and it had arrived, but with only 30+ knots of wind, not the 40 or 50 that it could have packed. And it rained, but only for a short time. We bounced around a bit on the mooring and finally Mark came up to the cockpit to join me. When Mark came up, I went back to bed but couldn’t get to sleep. In a bit, I could feel that things had settled, so I went up to get Mark. We both went back to bed around 4 am and then I was up again at 6:30 am to listen to the weather. This morning I listened for a straight hour and a half trying to get the best handle possible on the coming week’s weather. And what it told me is that we either need to find a way to get to Florida by Wednesday or Thursday of this week, or we wait out the next cold front and return sometime after April 9. That is the date of Mark’s next cancer treatment. We’d love to linger longer, but sitting out these cold fronts is not a whole lot of fun. So hopefully we’ll be able to travel on. There are two different scenarios that will get us to Florida by Wednesday or Thursday of this week, but we will need to wait until Monday’s weather report to make the final decision as there is no weather report on Sunday. If we do decide to go for it, it will mean long days and an overnight, and it will mean that I don’t get to see Hawksbill Cay. But it can be done. According to the forecast, we should be having 20 knots from N right now, but we are not. So maybe we can actually start the trek north tomorrow which will make it a much more relaxed trip. But we don’t want to head directly N from here in 20-25 knot winds from N. So as always, we will make a decision in the morning after checking the real world weather outside.
This afternoon Mark and I made another dinghy trip into the Park office in the Warderick Wells North mooring field. On the way we had to find an out of the way place to make a contribution to Neptune. We got in the freezer this morning to find that six beautiful chicken breasts and a package of liver were not completely frozen. And you can’t take a chance with meat, so we had to get rid of it. We had this same issue when we were in the Indian Ocean with 80 degree water temps. We didn’t want to throw the meat overboard in the mooring field as we didn’t want to attract sharks. So on the way to the Park office, we got rid of the meat and then went to exchange a couple of shirts that Lynda and I had bought yesterday. She needed a smaller size and the shirt I bought had a stain on it. So I returned it for one with no stain. When we returned, Mark took our old VHF radio over to Sea Turtle. Their VHF radio transmits but does not receive and their portable VHF radio charger stopped working. So they basically had no communication with other boats. We bought a new VHF somewhere along the way in the South Pacific and had stored the old one. We both thought it was still working but Mark had wanted a new radio that would work with a remote microphone in the cockpit. Soon after he took the old radio over to Sea Turtle, I heard them call on Channel 16 and when I answered, they were able to hear me. So success!!! Hopefully the old radio will hang in there until we get back to Florida.