Thursday, December 23, 2010

Arrival in Cat Cay; 40nm to Miami!

I haven't been able to access the site for updates. I'm on Cat Cay waiting for Christmas morning when there is supposed to be good weather to cross to Miami. I've had awful weather since Puerto Rico. No wind, or strong stormy wind from the exact direction I want to go. Bad news. I'm almost there though.

This update is from a week or so ago:
Exhaustion. I’ve been open ocean and coastal sailing daily for the last 20 days with occasional overnight stops.
After I arrived in Ponce, Puerto Rico I hopped up to Mayaguez on the NW side of the island, then departed the next day for Grand Turk Island. What a miserable sail, walking speed the whole way and one 24hr period of dead calm. However, I made it in 4 days and arrived 24hrs before my father and step-mother arrived on their cruise ship. So we had a nice, though brief visit. That night I weighed anchor and sailed north behind the cruise ship. I went north of Caicos islands bound for Mayaguez Isl. North of Caicos I was becalmed again, the weather has been very aggravating! I changed my destination to Rum Cay, which is a bit further away. I never made it, the wind shifted and strengthened to the NW (just the direction I wanted to go) and I had to backtrack a couple hours to take refuge on the SE point of Mayaguez. It wasn’t much of a refuge, the wind was very strong and running parallel to the coast, and the swells rolled along violently in the same direction. I dropped anchor anyway and slept in short periods, rolling violently and getting up to check the anchor, which dragged twice buy held for the rest of the night once I paid out more line and it found its spot and dug in. Leaving the next morning was a nightmare. The high winds and swells continued, so getting the 45lb anchor and 50ft of chain back onboard by hand took an hour. Before sunset, I made the anchorage on the SW side of the island, which is well protected by a long reef. What a joy it was to drop anchor there, the water was calm and the boat protected from the wind by the land. I rowed into the small settlement to look around and walk the dog, but when I returned I collapsed into my bunk and slept soundly until morning. I was completely exhausted.

Unable to update the blog from Mayaguez I continued on to Rum Cay 130 or so nm away. I arrived Friday shortly before sunset. I’m relieved there was a place to stop today, I’m rocking an awful headache. 

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