Friday, May 30, 2008

Leaving Nassau, heading Home!! May 2008
Now that Kathryn and Ron have left, our final visitors of our sailing odessy, and we have met up and separated from Jim and Dinah on Evergreen, it was time to make our way north. Time was passing, and hurricane season approaching.
Raft was refueled, rewatered, reprovisioned for the trip. Our plans were to head for Beaufort, with as few stops as possible. As always, weather was our major concern. And weather in the Abacos has always been tough to deal with. We were anchored in Nassau harbour with a cold front approaching, and a potential window to jump to the states after it passed. The two captains (Paul on Vixon and us) and decided that the anchorage behind Chub Cay would be just as good an anchorage as Nassau for the cold front, and that would take one day off the trip home. So we motor sailed to Chub and anchored in Frazier Hog Bay.
From the charts, we expected the anchorage to be more protected with drying sand at low tide than it was. But we knew that the marina at Chub was now a "mega marina" so not really an option. At first we were the only boats in the anchorage, but were joined by a couple others. We checked out the island, not much to see, had a beer at the Berry Beach Club, again not much happening.
Picture: Berry Beach Club
All the excitement would happen that night!! Why must excitement happen after the sun goes down? Luck of a sailor. Here is the report.
At sunset we noticed dark clouds coming our way, then the lightning flashes in the distance. By 2100 we were in 46 knots of wind, from the west. It was dark and we had not expected anything this intense. We were anchored in Frazier Hog Bay, in 12-15 feet of water in good sand, with Vixon and two other boats we had seen in Nassau, Fantasy Island and Caledon. The wind maxed up, and a big wave sideswiped us, and Ross felt the anchor give way. We motored for over an hour while the anchor dragged and grabbed, in good sized wind chop. After an hour the winds slowly dropped back down to 15kn, Ross dropped the second anchor. He hadn't wanted to do that earlier, in case they fouled each other, plus our backup anchor only has 40 ft of chain, and he didn't want to risk running over the rode. We had a restless night, and this morning we calculated we had dragged about 400 ft, fortunately there was lots of room in the anchorage, so except for our pride, no damage was done.
We have reanchored, and are still sitting here, awaiting the approach of the cold front, expecting 20-25 kn from the NE later today. Hopefully we won't have anymore squalls....Last night was the highest winds we have seen in all our time out here.
Things did settle down, and the last couple days in Frazier Hog Bay were bumpy but nothing like we experienced that night.