Riding out high winds at Cape Eleuthera

I mentioned in the last post that we scheduled five nights at Cape Eleuthera marina, knowing that some gale-force winds and stormy weather were headed our way, for what looked like quite a number of days. We wouldn’t typically spend this much time (and money) at a marina, but it seemed like the best option given the length and strength of the coming storm.

We moved to Cape Eleuthera on Wednesday as planned, leaving in the morning and following 3 Lil Birds out of the sound and around the corner to the marina.

Getting into our slip on arrival was not without challenges; the wind was already high enough that we kept sliding sideways as we tried to thread the needle into the slip between pilings. We made it in and got all tied up eventually. Regina from 3 Lil Birds brought us ice cream bars she picked up when she checked into the marina, and life was definitely looking better after that. (Thanks, Regina!)

We beelined for the pool, as this was likely to be the only day of decent weather we’d get.

We all enjoyed some pool time, then had dinner with Mike, Regina, and Levi from 3 Lil Birds and also some new friends, Ben and Lise, from a catamaran named Ragged Dragon. The sunset was a stunner.

When we tucked in for the night, we steeled ourselves for the coming days of waiting out bad weather.

And indeed, we spent the next two days (Thursday and Friday) on the boat, with winds howling and rain moving through all day and all night. Other than adjusting lines and fenders, we pretty much were in the cabin the whole time. On Friday in the late afternoon, we dragged our laundry to the laundry room during a small break in the storm. After the clothes were dry and packed in dry bags ready to return to the boat, it turned out the storm had kicked it up a notch again and it had been blowing 40+ for about five minutes already. I was drenched by the time I got back onto the boat (but the clothes were dry and happy in their dry bags, so that’s a bonus). Wheeee!

Saturday brought less rain, so we rented a car to get off the boat for a while. We went back to the Island Farm stand, had lunch in Governor’s Harbor, picked up some groceries, and also checked out the ruins of a former Club Med resort. It was destroyed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and never rebuilt.

Sunday the 17th brought a change in wind direction and even more rain.

The rain did dissipate later in the day, but the winds sure kept at it. We all met up on Ben and Lisa’s boat for cards and drinks mid-afternoon anyway, and it sure was nice to laugh a lot and hang out with other people on someone else’s boat!

We all shared our hopes that this weather would finally chill out tomorrow (Monday), and we made plans to sail to Shroud Cay in the Exumas with 3 Lil Birds….if the weather will allow us to get out of here.

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