February 10-13, 2010... Pipe Cay Adventure Continued

In the wee hours of Wednesday, we awoke to a mooring ball (near which we had anchored) hitting our hull. Fixed that. Then the dinghy painter got wrapped around the rudder. John dove under the boat to fix that. Then back to bed at 3am. No sooner were we dry and in bed when the front which had come through dumping lots on rain on us had dragged us. Up again, in the stinging rainstorm, we tried anchoring in the dark. Not sure we did a good enough job, we weighed anchor and drove over to the mooring, picked it up and decided to use it. We had found out earlier in the day that a liveaboard couple had put this 3000-lb mooring in a few years back. They couldn't vouch for the safety of using it as they hadn't done so, or inspected it, in a couple of years. We decided that at 3:30am it was better than nothing. Then we also put the anchor down.
Next morning, it was like magic. The mooring and the anchor were taking turns holding the boat in a V formation -- like we knew what we were doing (of course we didn't... but we were lucky.) We breathed more easily seeing that we were maintaining our position while turning with the current and wind (in not so orderly a fashion). We were smack in the middle of what we started to call 'the atoll' - an area in the basin surrounded by sand hills that almost broke the surface at low tide. This atoll managed to keep the steeper waters at bay when the wind blew and left us in a more comfortable position. We decided to stay here to wait out the NEXT front due on Friday night. Thankfully, our well-set position held through the front and we had a fairly comfortable ride through the storm.
We did another kayak expedition on Thursday where we investigated the north end of Pipe Cay; saw a beautiful little yellow warbler on the beach and several baby conch marching along the sand bars. We were at low tide on the way back and had to lead the kayak along as we marched across the sand bar -- good thing we were dressed warmly -- it was pretty cold. As a last opportunity to get out before the front, our boat and land neighbors invited us to go 'downtown' on Friday afternoon. Downtown refers to Staniel Cay - the settlement about 5 miles south of here. We provisioned some and took in the town. It was a great boat ride to and from -- though as the winds were up on the way back, wet as well! Thanks to Tom, Nancy, Britta, and Mike for the great outing. Back at the boat we prepped for the front, taking down parts of the enclosure and moving fly-away items below. Then we hunkered. As predicted, the storm came through with upwards of 30 mph winds and we were thanking our lucky stars that we had settled into this spot. The wind blew through the night and into Saturday; not really allowing us to get off the boat. We'd hoped for one more kayak trip, but it is pretty rough for a plastic bath toy out there. So, here we sit, planning our escape south tomorrow.

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