Christmas Winds

ONE YEAR AGO 

Leestocking Island, Exumas, Bahamas

OLD NEWS

Grenada doesn’t decorate for Christmas quite like we do in the US, but this one corner enclave of shops and houses has done enough for the whole country.  Word is that the electric company doesn’t charge them during the holiday season.  We are a little late getting pictures, but here they are.

Entrance to the Christmas Light display

We get to visit Santa

WINDS

The wind has been blowing 20-25 knots on the port bow for the last couple days.  Steady, increased winds are common this time of year and known as the Christmas Winds.  Compass Rose rocks in the gusts and dances on the waves.  The docklines are getting a workout.  Yes, we are back at the dock.  We moved in from the anchorage a couple days ago so we would have space and electricity to work on the new dodger and repair the sail that was damaged off Dominica.  One thing that prompted the move now was that we dragged a couple boatlengths in a squall a few days back.  We probably wouldn’t have noticed we dragged except that when the wind went south we found that the mooring ball that used to be behind us was now next to us.

The winds have caused lots of fun for other boaters.  Yesterday afternoon we heard calls from two boats with problems off the south end of the island.  One was a fishing boat from Barbados and the other was a French yacht.  The fishing boat eventually was escorted in by the Coast Guard.  The sailboat was having problems steering and got towed in by one of the local yacht repair companies.  Then this morning just before dawn we heard radio calls from the bays on either side of us.  In both cases a boat with no one aboard had come loose and was drifting down on anchored boats.  Later we heard of a boat that had come loose and was aground next to the Hog Island mangroves.  Great way to start the day.

WAVES

We have waved goodbye to lots of our friends recently as they headed north or west.  But the exodus has not been without drama.  Four boats from our anchorage have had false starts or returned with problems.  one boat found their rudder bearings went bad and another had a problem with their starter motor.  A third boat had their diesel run away as they raised anchor.  Some people don’t even get started.  Dave on Persephone had his dripless shaft seal bellows come off and let water start into the boat.  The bellows was damaged, but some tape stopped the leak.  This required a haulout to repair.  We haven’t tried to leave yet, but we found a problem with our new voltage regulator that we have yet to resolve and a broken pushpit that needs to be welded.

Absaroque and Impressionist - just two of the boats that left and returned with problems

 Let me emphasize that these are good boaters on well prepared boats.

DINK CONCERT

We went to a dinghy concert in Clarks Court Bay.  A tug was anchored with lines off the back so people could tie up their dinks.  There must have been twenty of thirty dinghies tethered to the tug by the end of the concert.  The group was Madison Violet, two women and a man from Canada.  The music excellant.

The Dinghy Concert

MISC. STUFF

Just some miscellaneous pictures.

How many people will fit in our cockpit?

A lot!

 

Things we see walking the path to Hog Island
GiddyUp!

 

Red sky at night

DODGER (part one)

Our old dodger was getting pretty threadbare and we had known for some time we would need to replace it.  We stocked quite a bit of fabric and fasteners so we would be prepared for the project.  We finally started and it has been quite an experience.  Being able to spread out the fabric on the dock really helps, but the Christmas Winds have made it challenging.  We have used dive weights and buckets of water to hold the cloth down, but in a moment of inatention the front of the dodger blew off the dock and into the water.

The Dodger project begins

 

Sewing against the wind

NEXT: 

Will Eric finish the dodger or will the dodger finish Eric?  Will Compass Rose escape to points north?

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