Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Last Hurrah

We had time for one more trip to Gorda Sound (Saba Rock) after Carly’s visit and we arrived around the time the weather forecasters started watching the system that became tropical storm Emily. For the few days we sat at anchor here it blew a steady 20 – 25 around the clock, with gusts around 30 knots. Pretty windy for a protected anchorage. Erring on the side of caution we decided to head for the nearest marina in case things got ugly. Before we left though…. this was our evening sky. 

Windy anchorage (22 knots) but nice water temp (85.6)
The marina wasn’t very full when we arrived, but as the day wore on the boats just kept coming and coming and coming; everyone seeking shelter from the storm. By the end of the day the place felt like a floating refugee camp (albeit a nice floating refugee camp)… too many people packed into too small a space.

Emily came and went with only high winds and lots of rain here. Heavy squalls came and went for the better part of two days and we collected more than enough rainwater to fill our tanks and clean off the boat again.

On the last day of windy rainy weather we walked over to the east side of the island to see the wind and waves. Things had calmed considerably but it was still pretty choppy looking.

To get to the other side... turn left at the RED house. There was even a RED doghouse in the back.

You've gotta be tenacious if you live on the windward side.

An unusual friendship.
Boulders ala The Baths
With a day to go before our haul out, we left the marina for one last night at anchor, one more chance to swim and snorkel off the boat and be rocked to sleep with the sea breeze to keep us cool. Up early the next day we started in on chores to get Saralane ready to be hauled.

We’d already moved up our haul out date from August 10th to the 5th and we wondered if we'd stayed just a little too long. Our timing was good in one respect however – we’d finished our last swim and then started seeing giant blue tinged jellyfish floating through the water - a summer regular in these waters. (Add a photo of the giant jellyfish to my ever-growing list of “great photos I didn’t get”.)

We cleaned the dinghy and pulled it up on deck – the last time we did this was in preparation to go offshore (see 'Dinghy Dongs' March 2011) - it was sad to deflate the little boat upside down on deck this time knowing we’d be leaving soon. 
Pulling down and packing away the sails
Lonely Saralane - last one out.

First look at the centerboard since the Bahamas (see 'Centerboard Fix' March 2011)
We’ll spend the last few days here in Virgin Gorda getting Saralane ready to be put away for a few months so we can go back to the states to visit, work and take care of things at home. It’ll be a hot, sweaty, work filled couple of days but we’re not the only ones sweating it out on the hard here and we’ve already made some friends!

Greg and Barbara who run the daysail operation out of Caneel Bay, invited us over for a beer...
... along with Maurice, who has GIANT hands. Where's the beer can?!
It's not polite to decline an offer of beer down here....
I’ll try for one more blog post before we fly home next week!


Cindy Barnard said...

Oh my...this has to be a bittersweet time for you.
On the other hand, some of us are very excited with the prospect of seeing you in the flesh sometime in the next few months.
Maddie....your pics of the sky just before hauling Saralane are fabulous.

Miles said...

See you guys soon. Bien viaje