Friday February 10th, 2017
Once we had rested up after our crossing we scouted out the area. John and I took a dinghy ride over to the washed up sailing vessel along the western shore of the southern part of the harbour. It was a ketch from South Carolina likely a victim of Matthew. The owners had scrawled a sharpie message that they were coming back for her but I don’t think that will happen. The cost and logistics of recovering a boat down here will resist that ever happening. The boat has already been pillaged significantly and I think the engine was gone. The hull is full of diesel and engine oil. There will be no environmental clean up or government agency concern about any of this. The ocean will absorb.
We did some chores on Thursday and we were getting ready for the blow that was to come in the evening. We crossed when we did because a cold front was coming in from the north on Thursday night between 19:00 and 21:00hrs. It arrived as scheduled. When Mangos left after dinner on Thursday ML suggested that we tug on our anchor as the wind was coming in from the North and we had set to the South West.
When we tugged on the anchor it quite easily popped out and skidded about 20 feet and dug in again. Now my confidence in this spot was a little shaken. I gently pulled again to let it set then ramped up the rpm to dig our rocna in. It held and then it didn’t this time the anchor popped and skidded about 30 feet. It was time to raise the anchor, look and move somewhere else. I assumed that Mangos would have noticed the commotion as we weren’t that far away.
When the anchor came up it was a round ball of mud, clay and weeds. Little chance that it could dig in as this mass rolled along the bottom. “We are of here”. We moved west past two other boats and dropped in 10 feet in a spot we had successfully hooked in last April. The anchor now clean (we dragged it over just submerged to clean it and to let it think about what it had done) set quickly and solidly. We tried to call Mangos and let them know we had moved from ‘no fixed address’ to a fixed address 3 or 4 hundred meters away.
Apparently, our unobserved move created a bit of a stir on Mango. Karen came on deck to do her final check of position and stuff and proclaimed “we’ve slipped” and “we’re far, far, far away from the other boats”. All their electronic and sailing savvy came into play and they began to realize that they were in fact in the same place. “Where is FRACAS”? We had left. We had our radio on as agreed… so when the questioning voice asked “Fracas”? we could respond. We told them our story and everyone went to bed. Well almost everyone. I decided that after the anchor slip and the arrival of the cold front and winds from the north gusting almost 30, to stay in the cockpit wrapped in a sleeping bag. At 03:00 Friday I went back to bed. About an hour later I was back on deck as the wind had piped up again.
Here are a few of the pics from Great Sale Cay. I will get back to blogging in near real time later today:
Some pics from the next day: