February 5-6, 2010... Riding Out the Front

Friday morning we woke to a dilemma -- do we head to Little Farmers Cay for the 5F or do we hightail it outta town to find someplace to ride out the next front. This front was supposed to be stronger and longer than the previous ones, so we were giving some serious thought to this decision. Well, as much as we wanted to enjoy the festival -- practicality won out. We got in the dinghy to see what it would be like to get to and from Farmers in the 'return flow' winds that were preceding the front. Not pretty. We were drenched in minutes. Oh well.
We did have a wonderful day at the beach at Bay Rush Bay on Thursday, so we counted ourselves lucky with that and settled in for frontal passage planning. We thought we'd go north (as the winds were out of the south...) and find some southwest-west shelter. Unfortunately, our first pick from the charts was totally insufficient - no elevation on the cays to form a lee and lots of rocks to swing into. Ugh. So we ended up between Dennis and Sampson Cays. It even calmed down enough to allow us an exploratory kayak trip around South Sampson where we saw sharks at the fuel dock! Boy, were we ever fooled by this calm before the storm. NO SLEEP LAST NIGHT. The winds picked up and the rolls set in. Continued this morning with winds up to 28 mph. So bad, that we even called the Sampson Cay Marina to ask if they had a berth for us (they didn't.) (Remember, this is the crew of the Anhinga -- the 'we like to anchor' people - so you know it was bad!) The front finally went through about mid-day, and we breathed again. But we had swung a little too close for comfort to Dennis Cay. So about 2pm we weighed anchor and made for the basin outside the Marina. Much better in here. We'll be able to sleep tonight. (We keep asking, "Isn't this supposed to be fun?")

Sampson Cay (anchorage 1): +24° 12' 21.06", -76° 28' 35.28"
Sampson Cay (anchorage 2): +24° 12' 32.28", -76° 28' 29.82"

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