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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Purgatory in Misery Bay

We got here the evening before but for the record we will call today...

Day One: Yes it is that bad when It starts with “Day One:” We woke up to 20 knots from the East and a boat anchored 75 feet from us in a huge anchorage. They were abeam and riding the waves too. No big problem, but really? We relaxed for a few more hours hoping the extra wind was a “morning thing” No! It wasn't. We spent the day lounging around and hoping for the wind to catch up to our forecast, or actually slow down to our forecast. It never did. By mid afternoon it was breaking 25+ and Tin heard the other boat whistling at us early in the afternoon. He called it to my attention and it seems that thing were so bad that BooBooTinTin had decided to have a wrestling match with Mercury and was currently pinned to the mat with Mercury's foot holding it down. (the waves were beating us up so bad that the dinghy went under the motor as Gemini Dreams rocked in the waves) .Now as all the world was rocking and splashing I had to referee the two apart and send them to their corners. Score Mercury 1: BooBooTinTin scratched up and a tube cut! We let more line out on BooBooTinTin's leash and they didn't get into any more fights. At this time we also noticed the boat that was 75 feet away kept sliding away. Sometime in the late afternoon he was about 50 feet farther down wind than when the dinghy fight took place. Either they didn't notice while sitting in the cockpit or their discomfort factor didn't kick in until almost sunset. During sunset they decided to anchor DIRECTLY upwind from us. With them only 50 feet in front of us watching the captain try to set a second anchor and wondering as I watched his first anchor drag ever so closely to where my anchor rest, if they would meet. One of the locals came by and asked if I needed help. I filled him in on all that was going on and suggested the other guy may need some. When he was done he settled in 75 feet to the port side now instead of the starboard. At least he drifted to our side as he set the second anchor. We dropped our lunch anchor over the side just in case we needed a back up if things got worse overnight! There was no way to row it out and properly set it.

Day two: Getting up early and checking the wind seemed useless.  I could hear the whistling rigging from the berth. The boat felt simi-calm, meaning the wind was over powering he tides and she was riding out the waves instead of rocking from side to side. Our anchor was set and all was good.  Around 10am or so the other boat worked very hard to get their anchors up and by now probably need marriage counseling. I watched that 32 foot sailboat leave Nixon Harbor and know that by now they just need a divorce attorney. By the time they left the seas at the entrance were 6 foot! The whole top of the waves coming from a 35 knot SW wind was just gliding into the bay. It was not a good place to be. The option of being pounded by the SW growing 35 knot winds and waves sounded worse as once we were out of this bay we had to enter between the Bimini Islands and not get beached there. I sat there for what seemed like hours (minutes) on the bow watching the waves run under Gemini Dreams. I kept thinking that she was going to bottom out in the sand as it was hard to tell if there was enough water still under he keel. Checking the Lowrance she was going from 1.7 feet to 7 feet as the waves rode underneath I finally gave up and went below saturated with stress. About 30 minutes into some Tv show I did my glance at the Lowrance and we were dragging. I was quickly on deck assessing the situation and we were sideways with the waves. The lunch hook had popped off the bow cleat and was holding strongly but quickly pulling us stern to! I tied a bumper to the end and quickly untied it from the stern, over she went! Then Gemini Dreams settled in bow to as she hooked in. With now over 40 knots there was no way to row an injured dinghy to set another anchor out, and I am not that suicidal. I tossed it as far as I could and hoped for the best if it was needed. After all it's little brother did the job the day before.

About 30 minutes later at the peak of the wind storm, BANG! I thought someone crashed into us or we hit the poles sticking up out of the water. It was a big bang, The chart plotter showed us still in the same position. Up I went with flash light in hand, NO OTHER BOAT, THE POST FOREST WAS WAY OVER THERE, WTF! It appeared after checking the foredeck that we were broadside as we slid down a wave and when we were tossed by the next one the anchor was so tightly embedded that the starboard pinch cleat was ripped completely off and the guard on the anchor roller was knotted up. I verified the lines were in good shape and we kept riding the storm. It was a long night!

 3/4 line chaffed through during the blow

Missing Cleat and bent (somewhat straightened now) roller guide

Day three: Forcast 5-10 random N 30+ after 7pm With hopes for the 5-10 random between the unforeseen 30-45 SW and the forecast 30 N we wanted to get out of this place. The light winds never happened. I was on the foredeck pulling on the anchor to see how hard it was going to be to get two anchors up if we could leave soon. The secondary was easy but the Fortress was going to be motor over only. We would have to leave the lunch hook and come back hoping someone else didn't like the over priced fortress at the end of the big blue bumper. Then I saw it coming! A black horizon. Flash backs of Marathon last March appeared before my eyes. There was NOT going to be a light wind today. Just as if someone flipped a switch the winds went from 35 SW to 35 N! Seriously I felt one gust on my left shoulder and within 10 seconds I had a face full of north wind. Good thing is the fetch was less from the north so after the wind changed the wave direction (about 45 minutes) the night was calmer but just as loud. Another restless night

Day four: Continues the north winds started on day Three. Those north winds were the only thing right with the weather, or almost right being three hours early. Going stir crazy!

Day five: Winds back east 25knts Cabin Fever!

Day Six: Winds down to 15 in the mid morning. Row out to fetch the lunch hook. Pull in the secondary. Before we get the Supreme in it is over 25 knots again  and I settle back in for another day.  During this time I had Tin working on misc. things and one was trash duty.  I tossed his collection into a large bag and then into the dinghy, out of site out of mind.

Three or more hours later I was in the cockpit staring at the beach and crashing waves over the rocks.  Still staying here for another day!  Just before I started to go below I glanced at the dinghy,  Good it is still there.  I turn, head to the companionway and freeze solid.  The subconscious had just taken over!  I yell for Tin to get on deck, NOW!  I was pulling off my shirt and getting ready for a swim in the churning water.  The leash on BooBooTinTin  was loose.  Hell there was no longer a U-bolt in the dinghy!  As I stood there wondering why it wasn't drifting away any faster...  I saw that the trash bag was weighting down our towing bridle and keeping it from drifting away.  With great team work and me outside the railing and bimini, slowly pulling on the line I was able to make it into the dinghy.  Using the anchor rode I fetched earlier I tied it to the front seat and then to Gemini Dreams.  Then I also clipped the towing bridle to the handles of the RID kit (Note: Never do this, ever!  It will pull the kit off and the dinghy will still continue out to sea.) which was a bad idea in the moment of stress.  I quickly got back in the dinghy and clipped the bridle around the seat also.  Now I only had to stress about the next thought that kept banging around in my head. "Would the seat rip out?"

Day Seven: Winds down to 15 knots in the mid morning after the prep from yesterday we were able to get out before the winds came up again. 20+ going into the channel between N and S Bimini. There were 3 sailboats escaping the harbor that day. Two went back toward the USA and one went north and may have made it across the banks. We made it to Bimini Blue Water Marina around 9:30am and were able to check in 7 days 14 hours later!

Stay tuned for more adventures....Man life is good!

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