Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rainy and Windy: The Daily Dose

Rain, Rain! Go Away!
It seems that we have found ourselves in a crummy weather pattern here in St. Martin. There have been 5-6 squalls with high winds and rain every day. They do not last long, but you have to close up the boat completely each time. The winds have been blowing up to 25 knots at times. Fortunately, there have been minimal waves and no swells in the lagoon.

We have let out over 120 feet of stainless steel chain just to hold us in place in less than two meters of water. And we are swinging quite a bit. Apparently there is a lot of grass below and anchors slide right through it as boats get pushed to the other side of the lagoon. There have been several VHF alerts that boats are dragging and would the owners please return and reset the anchors!

The Dink: Our main mode of
transportation in port.
In between showers, the weather is fabulous: sunny, clear and nice breeze. We have spent some time checking out the Dutch side in the dinghy and going under the bridge to Simpson Bay where there are beautiful beaches. The water is turquoise just as you see in all of the brochures! The bottom is white sand so you don’t have the dark patches of weeds and coral heads. Absolutely beautiful!

We hang the dinghy off the side to
help prevent theft of it.
We had planned to head to St. Bart’s, but the prediction of high winds and huge swells changed our plans. We are riding out the wind gusts up to the low 30’s while swinging around the anchor as the winds shift from Southeast to Northeast within minutes. Quite a wild ride that has had us up in the night several times to check out the situation! 

Then we learned that there is a music festival in St. Bart’s. It is probably wonderful, but our concern was with finding an anchorage or mooring ball to get comfortable in a northwest wind. We figured the anchorages would be crowded with the festival and we would be late-comers. Also the cruising guide says that you need to anchor where you have a 360 degree swing. That is a huge area for us when we put out the chain! So it will be St. Bart’s at some other time.

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