Kidd Cove, George Town — 12•13•22
I pulled anchor this morning, to head into Emerald Bay Marina where Trouble will stay while I fly to New Mexico, to have Christmas with the family.
The winds were gentle at about 13 knots. It’s a short hop over the EBM (Emerald Bay Marina) of about 12 nautical miles. As I was having a nice sail I did notice a very large odd swell that was happening. It did not correspond to the current wind and must have been a remnant from a far-off storm that never reached the Bahamas. While the swell was large, the interval between each swell was so great you barely noticed it sailing. It was like driving down a rolly country road. I did notice these swells breaking onshore in a large fashion that I had never seen before in this area.
With the direction of the swell and the size, this could be a problem going into EBM. The swells would come in sets of 5 then there would be nothing for about 15 mins. My plan was to wait for 5 sets to come by then head in. I played out all the worst-case scenarios in my head and prepared Trouble for them.
As I was lining up for the entrance to EBM I noticed the buoys to mark the channel seemed a bit more to the right than I usually go in. As the large swells came in the buoys would disappear underwater, then pop up as the swells passed. I didn’t want Trouble anywhere near these buoys if I couldn’t see them as they went underwater. The swells would come in and then break magnificently on shore. I had to make a hard left into the marina channel or be washed up on the rocks. I’ve been in EBM numerous times and have never seen it this wild.
I was counting the sets and after the 5th set came under me I started to head in. Then right when I got to the critical no-return spot, I heard breaking water behind me. I turned to see a wall of breaking white water behind Trouble. At this point, I was committed and could do nothing but try to keep control as the wave threw Trouble sideways.
So much for trying to count the set as a rouge one came through. Hindsight I should have waited a minute or two and I should not have been so far to the right. Luckily Trouble did what she is supposed to do and let the wave slip under her. I was a bit shaken, but proceeded on, and even hailed a boat headed out to keep the power on as the swell might be nasty.
After I tied up to the fuel dock and was trying to put that incident out of my mind a couple of Brits came up to me and said, “You want to see the video?”. I said, “No, not right now, I just lived it“. After getting Trouble fueled and tied up, I went to find the Brits with the video. They gave me the video and said I could post it. They also said the boat that went out after me had zero swells and got out smoothly!
Christmas in Santa Fe, New Mexico
I left Trouble behind for a week as I flew to New Mexico to meet up with my family.
Emerald Bay Marina — 12•27•22
After a fun Christmas with family, I headed back to Trouble in the Bahamas. After cleaning up Trouble and myself we headed back to George Town for some provisioning for heading down to the south Bahamas. But more about that next post.