Friday May 3, 2013
Where we’re sitting in the West Bay of Port Antionio, it’s a pretty protected little area with Navy Island blocking us from most of the Caribbean sea and just a little sliver of open water in front of us covered with shoals. It’s very calm and as soon as we dropped anchor here on Monday the first thing that crept into our minds was ‘Finally. A still spot in the water.’. Things became so much easier once we weren’t violently or even slightly constantly rocking back and forth. Dinners could be made without me getting seasick (Yes, it can happen even at anchor), boat projects ensued, and we were quite content in our little spot. We figured this was the best little protected bay that anyone had ever stumbled upon. Then came today’s storm….
In an almost somewhat lazy day on the boat, we had allowed ourselves to sleep in and then make a nice breakfast of eggs and very thick sliced bacon and coffee. We tooled around on the internet that was sometimes coming into range and just generally relaxed. Then it was time to head over to Tamarisk since Jason had found out that Matt is a whiz on little internet set-ups and doo-dads, and needed his bullet set up as well so he could pick up wifi from his boat instead of heading to shore. Piers was once again on a hunt for boat parts in Kingston which meant that Jason and Jimmy were stranded there without the use of a dinghy. Jason was fine to sit there, obviously, with the promise of internet in his future, but Jimmy and I decided to ditch the scene and grab some lunch in town. We went to a cafe serving pizza and sandwiches that was run by a non Jamaican that we spent almost our entire lunch trying to place his origins based on his accent. Even though I’ve never been there and have no idea what the people sound like, my money was on Morrocan while Jimmy was going with Spanish.
Due to a miscommunication with the server as we were trying to leave, apparently they thought that “I’d like a Coke and the rest of my sandwich to go please” meant “Please make another sandwich and make sure I get charged for it.” Luckily it didn’t go to waste and was given to Jason when we got back to the boat, who had only eaten a can of beans so far that day…straight from the can. Matt was just
figuring out finishing up the last touches as we got back and soon Tamarisk was set up with internet on their boat. We were promised many free beers that night to be paid back for Matt’s hard work. I love when I can reap the spoils of my husband’s skills. We were all sitting around enjoying the air conditioning and now high speed internet when it started getting really gusty outside. We checked outside the hatch but everything was still looking normal so we went back to messing around. As the wind kept up it strong gusts and dark clouds began to roll in we figured it would be best to head back to Serendipity and close all the hatches before a storm blew in. We got back just in time.
Soon the glass calm anchorage that we had been spending five days in had little white caps rolling through as the wind shot in from the one unprotected area on the West Bay. All of the boat owners that had been lounging by the marina scrambled back to their boats to make sure everything was secure. We turned on the instruments and watched the wind speed climb into the mid 30’s and stay there. Even stronger gusts came through and we watched it top out at 42 a number of times. A few of the boats around us began dragging back towards the marina and we watched as the owners would up anchor and begin circling the bay, looking for a more secure place to drop. We knew our Rocna would hold us in place but we were only worried that the half dozen boats in front of us would not. Looking off to our port side we could see Tamarisk begin moving back towards shore as well. It was a good thing the guys had been on their boat because it took some quick action to get their anchor up before they ended up on the rocks. There were a few failed attempts to re-anchor in the same area next to us, but ultimately they had to give up and find a new spot.
In total we saw four boats that had to re-anchor due to the storm. As is the case for most strong storms, it was over in 30 minutes, but no one wanted to leave their boats for awhile just in case another one was on it’s tail. It was also a nice excuse to finally be back on the boat, doing a little cleaning, finishing a few small indoor projects, and just relaxing after being on the go for multiple days now. We relaxed into the evening until getting a call from Tamarisk asking if we could please either bring them some food or shuttle them into town since there was nothing to eat on the boat. I guess when you’ve eaten a can of beans for lunch it’s a little repetitive to have it for dinner as well. Picking the guys up we also placed a call out to Rode Trip and all met up once more at Ambiance to hang out. Matt and I enjoyed free Red Stripes while we all listened to Rhianna and Taylor Swift pump through the speakers, this time without any threats from me to burn someone’s boat down.