“I Think You Should Be All Right”

We met some really nice people at the Blue Haven Marina. Yesterday we got fuel and tied up to the island-dock facing the entrance to the harbor. We were looking forward to an easy exit from the marina. Next time, we’ll move the boat to the end of the dock so that 120′ yachts can’t dock right in front of us.

“No worries” they said. “We’ll help you off the dock.” And they did. The weather is looking a bit nasty. That 120′ yacht was putting in for a week to let the weather go by before heading south. We’re heading northwest. “I think you should be all right,” said the captain as we told him our itinerary.

It’s 11:30am and we’re off the dock headed for Ackland Island. Should be about 24 hours. At 12:20, we hoisted a single-reefed main and unfurled the jib. We’re cruising along nicely on a broad reach.

It’s 2:00pm and the weather has turned. The wind is growing and so are the waves. I’m nervous. I’ve never sailed in any kind of weather before. Over the course of the day, the wind steadies between 18 and 25 knots, and the waves build to at least 12’. Our Bimini top is 10’ above the water line. The waves were higher than that coming at us about every 5 seconds from about 120 degrees behind us. I was really nervous for the first few hours. Then it just sort of became normal. The boat handled it like a champ. My dad always said that boats can usually handle a lot more than their owners. I’m learning to trust Wind Therapy. She’s a great boat. We’re surfing down waves at 11 – 12 knots. Everyone was exhausted from the day, so Ackland Island will have to wait. We decide to anchor for the night in Betsy Bay on Mayaguana. It’s getting dark and our main won’t come down. I clip to the tether, climb the coach roof with my boat hook, and in 12’ seas pull the main down. How exhilarating! I wasn’t really scared either, and that surprised me. At 9:00, we enter the coral strewn bay by moonlight and drop anchor. I have had enough for today.

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

December 2019