Weather, weather, weather…

Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
Position: 25 44.822N, 077 51.519W
Posted by Bill

While waiting out the high winds in South Bimini, we enjoyed the infinity pool and the beautiful beaches there. We also took the dinghies over to Radio Beach on North Bimini, did some swimming and harvested sea shells and sea glass. Infinity pool and beach:
We were definitely ready to get moving. Like last year, so far we have had a couple of days of a decent weather window sandwiched by 5-7 days of high winds and rough seas. We took advantage of a 2 day window and left South Bimini on March 2nd. We were originally going to go straight to the Exumas, which required a 3 day window and a series of 3 day hops, one anchoring on the Great Bahama Banks, two anchoring in West Bay on New Providence Island, and three to the Exuma chain. We only had a 2 day window, and the end of the window was a rapid front approaching from the north, ramping winds to over 30 knots very quickly on March 3rd. Winds in the mid to high 20s were forecasted for a week following the frontal system, so we needed a place to go to that had good protection. We opted to go to the Berry Islands, Great Harbour Cay, and take a slip in Great Harbour Cay Marina, a very well protected harbor. We stayed here two years ago, so we knew it was a good place. We left South Bimini at first light and dropped the anchor about 6 miles from the Great Harbour entrance at 8:30 that night, at position: 25 45.115N, 077 55.739W. The next day we pulled into our slips at 8:00 in the morning. The front hit us in mid afternoon, and we have been having winds in the 25-35 knot range since then. It also got cold…mid to high 60s…brrrrr! We took the dinghies out one day on the calm side of the island, to see if we could do some lobster and fish hunting in spite of the high winds, but it has just been too cold to go. Kurt and Sharon on Byrd Ketcher bought a condo here last year, so we also have been helping them put up pictures and mount TVs, and the detour to here has given us more time to spend with them…so that has been one good outcome of our change in plans. Their condo is on Sugar Beach, which is one of the nicest beaches we have seen in our Bahamas adventures. It faces the east, where the high winds are coming from, and here is what it looked like the other day:DSC_0047
Look closely at the waves breaking on the barrier island in the background. They are pushing at least 10 feet in the air.

Crazy. Believe it or not, we saw a sailboat out there sailing south! It may be hard to tell, but the waves are probably 8 or 9 feet! Not for us:

So we are stuck here for a few more days. Initially, the forecast showed a 2 day reprieve from the winds before it ramped back up over 25 knots for another week. We still need 3 days to get to the Exumas, so we thought we were going to be stuck for a long time here, but yesterday’s forecast showed a 3 to 4 day window of reasonable wind and seas, starting this Thursday. We will hope for this to hold true, so we can make the run. There is really not much to do here, and the weather is too crappy to enjoy the beaches and waters. We are anxious to get back to the incredible beauty of the Exumas, but the weather determines our lives in this lifestyle. We have had bouts of outages of our internet access and cellular service, so it has been difficult to communicate back to the States, and to post blog entries. Such is life in “da Islands mon”.

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