Cold Front Passed - AOK, Photos Posted

Posted March 2, 2009 at 15:39

A certain 'weather guru' that everyone listens to around here at 06:30am did it again: scared everyone with 'the most significant cold front (CF) of the winter so far' and '40kn squalls', 'rain', etc...  Fortunately, he was wrong, again.  By now (last two months) the accuracy statistics of the CF forecasts  definitely  tip in the favour of the NOAA grib files combined with the  NOAA  'SW  North Atlantic and the Caribbean' text forecast -  they predicted what was going to happen much better.  In hindsight (looking at the buoy observations) even near Florida (Fowey Rock, Ft. Lauderdale), where the front was stronger on the path to here in the Exhumas, the worst wind gust was 35kn.  Here, the max wind gust was 30kn, no squalls whatsoever, no rain.  The average windspeed over the worst 6hr part of the CF was about 22-24kn.  Dora was up til 2am to wait for the front to arrive, I was up since 1am this morning on anchor watch with one eye glued to our instruments and gps track to detect if the anchor drags (I'd hate to be woken by the sound of an anchor-drag alarm - I'd rather be up and monitor).  No drag whatsoever, the sand-wave in which the anchor was buried (the end of the shank was at least 6" below sand surface) held.

Now, I am not complaining about the outcome.  Maybe it's better this way (scaremongering by weather gurus).  If it weren't for that, maybe we wouldn't have re-anchored in this narrow channel down to the less-than-10ft accuracy of being close to the hard-bottom center and far enough from the 1ft-depth fringes of the channel, but still over deep enough sand for the anchor to hold in 40+kn of wind gusts (presumably,  it never got tested, only up to 30kn or so).  We went around with a dingy,  found such a spot, dropped a marker buoy with a small spare dingy anchor, then took Dazzle there and after two tries, hit the spot close enough.  Then I dived, and moved the anchor another four feet away by hand and flippers for 'more sand' ;-).  Later I emptied the dingy and took the small motor off to prevent the following scenario: big, light dingy, small motor = possible upside-down flip in high winds = motor caput/drowned with salt-water.

We spent the evening last night before the front arrived on Wind Whisper anchored near us in the same channel, where Dennis and Katia prepared a nice lamb-chop dinner with baked cube potatoes/onions and Dora contributing a salad and wine...

I posted some pictures of the last two weeks today in the Northern Exhumas and Exhumas - Great Guana Cay galleries as we're borrowing someone's wifi here (psssst...)
-- Z --