Tuesday, March 28, 2017

High wind good news bad news

One of our morning coffee buddies
Most of the eastern Caribbean has had really high winds for the past 8-10 days.  It is forecast to continue. What do I mean by high winds?  Sustained 20-25 with gusts to 30+.  Yesterday, reports were coming in from USVI and St Maarten of 40 knots.

Here are some things I /we have learned with high winds.
-You need to have a good anchor set.  We do
-Once your anchor is set, it may never come out.
-Once your anchor is set, you are not anxious to change anchor positions, even if it might be less windy/white caps/rolly.
- Swinging around so that you are 180 to your anchor set is weird in no wind.  It is un-nerving in strong winds.
-Charterboats are scary.  Charterboats in high winds are very, very scary.
-The wind generator keeps the batteries 100%.  
-With the batteries at 100%, you can make lots of water with the watermaker.
-With the batteries full, you can charge lots of devices.
-With the batteries full, you have to find things to use the power on. 
-After a swim, I can get a free blowout of my hair just by standing on the foredeck.  My old salon on land charges $35+ for this service.
-Dinghy rides are....exciting.
-Dinghies can flip tied to the boat.  Ours did not but I thought it would last night during a squall.
-Cleaning the bottom of the boat in white caps is challenging. 
-Cleaning the bottom of the boat in white caps means you will swallow a certain percentage of saltwater.
-Do you think turtles end up with a snoot full of sea water when they come up for air and there are white caps?  I know I end up coughing and sputtering.
-Laundry dries really fast in high winds on the lifelines.
-It is easy to lose laundry drying on the lifelines.
-I lost a rug I really liked.  I got it in Port of Spain Trinidad.  It would probably be totally wrong to ask cruising friends there to get me another one given that they are vegetarians and the rug is made of strips of suede leather, right?  Yeah, I know, wrong.
-Winds between islands is usually higher than forecast in normal weather.  These past several days, those areas have really been screaming according to reports.
-Speaking of screaming winds, OMG - winds on the front edge of passing squalls are just howling! WOW!
-There is rumored talk of a break in the winds.  Cruisers are prepping to sail on.  Everyone is anxious to move on to the next anchorage.  We are not.  We have friends coming.  Yay!
-Another overnight update - Screaming winds overnight.  I woke up several times because it was so loud.  I never turned on the electronics to actually see what the readings were but they HAD to be in the mid to upper 30 knot range.
-Update - a cruiser friend said his wind meter hit 31 knots overnight three times.  WOW!
-Cruisers stay put in high winds.  We don't like to break things.  We like to be comfortable.
-A few days ago, a cruising boat anchored next to us with NO rig.  They had on their foulies and the boat was beat up - torn dodger and bimini.  It was obvious they lost their rig sometime recently.  Ugh!
-Charterboats go no matter the weather.  They have limited time, they must see it all...even if it is only for a couple of hours before they dash on to the next stop.
-The last few days, the charter cats powering in around 16:00 - 17:00 with everyone tucked below while the hired captain steams in wearing his/her foul weather jacket.  Just another day working in paradise.

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