With a forecast of 8 to 10 knot winds from the northeast we decided to make the 80 mile trip to St. Martin starting at midnight on Monday so we’d arrive in time to get into the lagoon before the end of the day Tuesday. A north swell is supposedly on the way and having rocked and rolled in the anchorage in Marigot during a north swell before, we thought we’d avoid it this time if possible.
|Skip adjusts the tack pennant before leaving|
|I go up the mast to attach our running back stays|
This isn’t a great situation in rough conditions; having one of two crew out of commission. I worry about Skip getting worn out doing most of the work, he worries about me being sick. That’s why it surprised me to hear him mutter “Bitch…” as I lay there trying not to moan out loud. Skip’s a soft spoken, gentle guy and doesn’t tend to address me that way. In a stupor of seasickness I didn’t have the energy to argue; after all, I can be a little trying. A split second later when an ocean's worth of sea water crashed down the deck, filled Saralane’s cockpit and spilled through the companionway, I realized he wasn’t talking to me. Mother Nature can be a bitch too.
When the captain starts cursing the sea it’s time to reassess the situation. We had a brief conversation that went something like this:
Skip: It’s gonna be a long night….
Skip: What do you think?
Me: Gonna be a long night….
This half hearted conversation went on for another minute or two and I’m not sure who suggested it first, but we decided we just didn’t need to make this passage in these miserable conditions. It’s one thing if you’re days into a passage – you just suck it up and keep going, but we didn’t have to be in St. Martin the next day and it was indeed, going be a long night. We turned around and limped back to Virgin Gorda.
We hailed Chill on the radio and advised them of our change of plans. They were meeting family in St. Martin and decided to carry on with a promise to contact us by radio in a few hours to let us know how they were. They arrived safely in St. Martin the next afternoon after reporting having seen no break in the high winds and 10 foot seas during the passage. We’re disappointed that we’re not there with them, but in retrospect, and at the time too, it was the right decision for us. It took a day or two but the green tinge has left my skin and we’ve both started to feel like ourselves again.
So, here we sit in the BVI. We left North Sound for a change of scenery and are happily bobbing at anchor in Benures Bay on Norman Island. There’s no let up in the forecast high winds for at least the next week so we’ll settle back in and do some of the ongoing boat chores that need doing.
|View from our quiet spot in Benures Bay|
PS - We’ll see you in St. Martin soon Chill.
PPS - Happy first night of Hannukah everyone!