Decisions Decisions 3-14
The morning to cross the banks came and from my bunk I heard outside, “have a good trip!” The captain of boat beside me was wishing Marianne and Matt a good trip. As they and Max on his catamaran headed off in the dark to leave Bimini Bay. I was too late to wish them off they were already in the channel. At this moment it was decision time...
Was I going to head out also as planned the previous day or was I going to wait as the window was borderline for me? Feeling the stiff breeze in my face I returned down below to continue sleeping.
The next weather window was in three days. The wind was 4-5 kts lower and looked better for me. While verifying the weather at the Straw Market I got an email from Espin on s/v Mini Pearl seconding the decision not to go. He suggested up and over the North Islands. A route of small island hopping but a longer distance. In review of the new forecast I chose to wait it out back in Nixon Harbor for a few days saving $90 in dock fees.
Then on the 3rd day we headed out to North Rock and onto the banks. As we rounded the rock and headed East we were into the wind. I went to furl the head sail and it would not roll. The halyard was wrapped which was abnormal. So I loosened the furling line and played with the halyard trying to get the sail to roll. Decision Time! The wind was too stiff to deal with it on the banks, so we returned our course and tucked in the leeward side of North Bimini. We dropped the hook off shore just far enough to stay out of the rolling waves.
Down comes the sail. When I get to the head the top swivel was missing all its ball bearings. When we rebuilt the lower part of the furling way back in Panama City it was way too windy to pull the sail down and change the top. Bad Decision. Now we were doing it in Paradise. So there I was unbolting all that was replaced and doing it again. Missing our first day of the window.
So what do you do when you blow the first real chance to cross and continue on the the Exumas? You Decide to let your crew go snorkeling and find some conch. The Fisher King has done so well with his patience. He really needed some time in the water. This turned a bad day into a good afternoon! Good decision.
The Fisher King collecting Conch
He managed to get two conchs and lost the location of another one he found while putting the first one on the boat.
Later we moved south and anchored off shore just off CJ's. A good decision. You can get really close here but too close and you are in the swells. You also have quick access to the internet just a couple blocks south at the Straw Market. Good ice, hard frozen, is available a couple blocks north at Bimini Blue Water. You could also check in from this location and save the fight of the current in the bay or the marina fees.
The review of the weather showed the best window in the last 3 weeks or longer but still not perfect. Tomorrow we head out again.