Thursday night saw most of the cruisers on deck at 0100 to check on their whereabouts and any boats dragging during the thunderstorm tearing through the anchorages. Gusts of 55 knots were recorded and someone said they had measured 75 knots but we were dubious about that one. We were very thankful we had changed our minds about leaving for Trinidad at midnight as we would have been hit just a couple of miles off the coast, a dangerous position to be in with reefs all around to be swept onto.
It was windy, for sure. The howling of the approaching gusts woke us up first, then the rocking of the boat in the wind making it difficult to stagger through the saloon and out on deck. The view from our cabin window was one of light streams of white water being blown across the anchorage, boats bobbing violently about and no sign of the lights on the nearby shores due to the lack of visibility in the storm. Even our neighbour put their masthead light on, the first time they have lit their yacht in the 5 weeks we have been here. No comment!
We put the smaller electronic devices in the oven, as the lightning was very close. The oven acts as a faraday cage apparently but you have to remember not to light the oven without taking your stuff out ☺ We switched the VHF radio on, tuned into the cruiser’s hailing channel 68 and heard 1 yacht in Prickly Bay was on the reef when her mooring broke. The coastguard and some cruisers went to their aid. Mount Hartman is known as a hurricane hole with great holding, so we weren’t surprised that none of the boats got into any difficulties here. We stayed in the cockpit, ignition keys at the ready, hoping the dinghy didn’t flip over, until the storm passed through about an hour later.
Beyzy’s anchor held beautifully as always but these were the windiest conditions we have been at anchor in to date. The following night we were warned that similar or worse weather would hit at midnight, so we folded away our sun awning, hoisted the dinghy onto the davits, let out 10 more metres of anchor chain and filled a waterproof grab bag with our passports, boat documents, keys, money, jewellery, reading glasses, laptops and chargers. Just in case we broke our chain and ended up on the shore! In the event, there was just a short squall but nothing like we had had the night before.
The only breakage we had was the snapping of our port flag halyard which was very old and worn anyway and the state of our Ocean Cruising Club burgee and Welsh flag bore testament to the force of the wind. I went up on the bosun’s chair today and put a fresh line on and should probably replace the starboard one as well, as this hoists our courtesy flag when we enter each country, a must.
Whilst waiting for our weather window for Trinidad we carried on socialising, having a great evening with Gavin and Mandy on ‘Secret Smile’, half price pizza night again at Prickly Bay Marina, watching the Grand Prix, went along to jam sessions at Whisper Cove Marina, played Mexican Train Dominoes every Sunday and met friends at the build your own burger lunch at the Merry Baker in town. When it rains it pours and Mandy gave us a 1000 piece jigsaw, which we completed whilst stuck inside. We will miss all the easy familiarity of Grenada and are especially sad to be missing their Carnival yet again. It is in August and we are never here then. Trinidad’s is in February and we hope to be in the USVIs by then.
We’ll be glad to get the boat ashore now though and clean the hull. It is warm and still (most of the time) in the anchorage and the growth of weed on the swim ladder which we only left in the water for a week, gives a clue as to what is beneath us. We run the engine weekly just to discourage barnacles from growing on the prop and test the bowthruster regularly too.
So, we should be setting sail in the early hours of Tuesday, arriving in Chaguaramus late afternoon and hoping no squalls hit us during our 83 mile trip.
Quick update – leaving Wednesday now as the wind direction is slightly better!