Safe Harbor

The tradewinds increase today with the ending of our weather window. We were anchored in Freeman Bay, English Harbor and it was packed in there. We would not have enough anchor chain out for the wind that was coming. It looked like a bad scenario so we moved over to Falmouth Harbor. Lot’s of room over here and we were absorbing the openness when some knob pulls in next to us while we’re facing SE so of course when the big winds come from ENE he is directly in front of us.

I used to let shit like this bother me and many years ago I would have been on the bow giving him the old WTF arms but I’m better now. I just blog about them. You would not believe how calm I was in the other anchorage with people anchored within a boat length on all sides. I was the picture of the calm and care free American. No worries man!

To be honest I’m still pissed I didn’t take the offer of a complete paint job on KN for $1400 when we first got to Trinidad. It was a deal never to be seen again. I was one handshake away from doing it. Now I’m ready with the camera whenever a boat is too close. “You don’t seem too upset that guy parked right on top of us.” Nope. Insurance Paint job.

As long as we’re stuck for at least a week I might as well get some chores done. Our topping lift line has some chafing so I bought some new line that I will put in today. Watermaker filters need replacing and our throttle control is getting sticky. Not sure what that’s all about and I hesitate pulling it until we’re sure we’ve got good holding when the wind picks up. I’ll yank the thing out and the anchor will break loose. Just the way it goes in my world.

We still need to dinghy around the harbor to see where everything is. Our guidebooks are over 6 years old. Did I mention all the sailing this season from this point on is off the wind? It’s such a relief knowing you’re not going to be bashing into the wind and waves to get somewhere. We may get to rolling back and forth a bit if we’re directly downwind, which is kind of pukey but it’s sure better than getting the crap kicked out of you going upwind. If you’re coming south down the thorny path you better have a boat that can take a pounding upwind and you better have a motor in good shape with clean fuel tanks. Just saying. Oh and really good rigging. Not to scare any of you out of coming down but yeah it’s called the THORNY PATH for a reason. As I type this we have more boats surrounding us now. I started to get that agitated feeling but my inner Saint Pauly took over. Deb had to pat me on the shoulder, “Calm down Sparky”. Paint job. Insurance paint job.

The wind has increased some more and we saw a boat go buy with what first looked like a bale of hay hanging off their Mantus anchor swinging on the bow. A closer look and it was a chunk of rock and some woman was up there beating on it with a boat hook. They motored around until the dude left the cockpit and lifted it off the anchor. We both laughed and then wondered what we might be hooked on down below. The water is pretty stirred up right now and not very clear so I hesitated going down for inspection. I get to about ten feet and my lungs want air. Not sure if I can spot the anchor from there. Well, if it doesn’t pop out in 25 knots of wind it should be good to go right?

My stomach was all fucked up today. Have no idea why except I had coffee instead of tea this morning. Damn Nescafe’. I had some soup for lunch and it seems to have calmed down a bit but I’m kind of groggy and out of sorts. The anchor alarm went off last night and I didn’t hear a thing until Debra slid the hatch open. I figured maybe she was launching the dinghy to catch a plane or something leaving me here at anchor. That’s when I decided to check on her but she came back and I went back to the land of messed up dreams. If we had been dragging anchor she would have started the engine and I would have Jack-in-the-boxed out of that bed so fast I might have flown right out the hatch.

When we anchor we set an alarm on a tight setting. After a day or so we open up the settings figuring we’re set. It also depends on how closely packed we are among other boats. On a tight setting the alarm may go off if the boat swings too much in the wind. It’s a shitty alarm setup and Raymarine can do better than that but it’s what we have.

We were in our traveling mode and on the move every few days. Felt good. Now we will sit a while and probably get that apprehensive feeling again when it’s time to leave. Can’t help it. Sitting for a while makes you comfortable and lazy and once you find out where everything is and you have the bus schedule and location of cool bars then you get settled and it’s hard to leave again.

We will go into town today and stretch the legs a bit. I’d like to score some fresh veggies if possible and maybe find out where to fill our propane bottles. If we’re a little low I may not worry because I know I can get them filled in St Martin but I’m thinking we may be here a while based on the current forecast. February looks to be too intense for us wimpy sailors.

I have to go stare at the neighbors. Later.

Cheers!

PJB

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