When The Wind Won't Cooperate
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
We have so many stories relating to this title, but today's story is about our crossing from The Abacos to Eleuthera. We anchored at Lynard Cay the night before to get more or less a straight shot out of Little Harbour Channel. We would have loved to explore Little Harbour but after an eventful day, we arrived around sunset and didn't want to be dependent on high tide to exit the harbour.
We made the crossing with a buddy boat, Ment To Be, and we both picked up anchor at 4:15am. It was a beautiful clear night (morning) with a crescent moon which illuminated our path beautifully. We motored out with no issues and were greeted by light chop but calm conditions.
Although the conditions were relatively calm, this was the first time I felt a bit seasick. I think it was the smell of gasoline (our old outboard was stored in the lazarette with our PFDs so they smelled of gas) and going below in the red light. Aaron also didn't feel great so we were so happy to see the sun and hopefully start to feel a bit better.
We motored until sunrise and when we could see what we were up against, we raised the sails. The winds were maybe 11 knots from the W/NW and we had 3 foot seas at a period of 10 seconds which gave us a nice push from the following seas. The sails cooperated and we managed 4.5 to 6 knots, depending on the peak or trough of the waves from astern. We had to trim the sails a bit as we went but it was all good for about 4 or 5 hours.
The forecast predicted the winds shifting to the north around 11 or 12, but they didn't, and then they completely died off. The wind dropped to maybe 6 knots and shifted to directly behind us. We attempted wing-on-wing a couple of times, but the sails just flopped around in the light wind. By now we were down to about 2 knots and our projected arrival time was 9 pm. No matter how we trimmed the sails, they just would not hold the wind and we didn't want to jibe the whole way and add countless hours. Dejectedly, we turned on the motor and furled the jib.
With the motor on, we made good time again and proceeded through Egg Island Cut around 3 pm and pulled up to anchor at Royal Island. It took us four times to set the anchor and after 12 hours and almost 58 nautical miles, we were finally in Eleuthera.
Though it doesn't sound like much, this crossing, on top of all of the storms and delays we had experienced in the previous two weeks, really got us down. It was the first time we confessed to each other that we weren't happy and we didn't know how far we wanted to continue. It was cathartic to admit to each other how we were feeling - before this we had kept our concerns to ourselves for fear of disappointing the other person and stepping on their dreams. We vowed to be more open and honest with each other about how we feel about the trip, and also to make the most of our time while we are still going. We are certainly not going to quit, but we have re-checked our expectations and recognized that we need to put more effort in to finding the enjoyment of it, rather than letting circumstances get us down.
See how we did in our next post where we explore Eleuthera!