Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Ragged Islands

We arrived in the isolated Island chain of the Jumentos a yesterday. We had an exiting trip on the way here. Nothing like a lightening storm in the open ocean to give you a little perspective on things. A Southwest wind was blowing and we navigated our way to one of the island chain's only anchorages sheltered from that direction. This involved some exiting eyeball steering through coral heads and shallow sand banks. Once again we were thankful for Kaliedoscope's shallow draught. With the sun high above us and a few crew members on the bow we easily identified the boat sinking hazards and course changes were communicated to the helmsman. We shared the U shaped anchorage with two Bahamian fishing boats.
We awoke this morning to the pleasant sight of the clear water and sandy beaches of the low isolated islands of the Bahamas. Nowhere else have we found water as beautiful. In no other country has the call been so powerful to leave the boat to its anchor and swim out diving and exploring. Forest and Josh had gained some basic skills in snorkeling in our last island, Great Inagua. With our freezer full of Dorado from the passage, we passed on numerous opportunities to shoot Nassau Groupers and large snappers.
Upon our return from snorkeling Dan and I snapped back into our roles as co-captains. We discussed the morning's weather report and evaluated our anchorage's level of protection from expected wind and waves. Our decision was made easier as we watched both fishing boats pull up anchor and head for the other side of the island. In the middle of making lunch, we postponed our move until it was finished.
The first squall arrived before we had finished eating. The wind picked up and was whistling through the rigging. Rain began to fall at an acute angle to the ground and a waterspout (tornado over water) touched down a quarter mile to the north. We watched, fascinated, as the waterspout spun whipping up a mist where it touched the water. After a short time the squall passed and we decided to take advantage of the lull to move the boat. We rounded the small island's point and tried to drop anchor near the two fishing boats. After attempts at two different locations we could not get the anchor to hold. After lifting it back to the boat the second squall hit us. The wind was more intense this time and for a short period of time it took most of our engine power to keep the boat under control. Another water spout touched down near one of the fishing boats, but they seemed unconcerned. In fact the small outboard driven fishing skiffs left on their daily fishing rounds, out into the middle of the squall. We put some distance between us and the island and waited a half hour for winds to die down. Returning, with the sea much choppier, we identified a patch of good holding sand and set down both of our anchors with plenty of chain. With the boat held tightly we settled down to play cribbage and dominoes in the cabin, safe from the rain.

2 Comments:

  • At 12:20 AM, Blogger Sandy said…

    Wow, never a dull moment. I love hearing of the next most beautiful place. There must be so many spectacular islands and you don't get used to that and take them for granted. We had a beautiful day in Seattle today and really enjoyed it. Love, Sandy

     
  • At 7:36 PM, Anonymous Phyllis said…

    I'm so glad to hear about lightning storms and waterspouts after the fact, when you have reached sheltered anchorage. And I hope the hurricanes are not checking the calendar for start of hurricane season. We need more pictures. Love Mom/Phyllis

     

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