Sunday, March 9, 2014

Waiting to see

Newbies though we be, we have definitely become a part of this wonderful band of sailboat wandering gypsies. Today Kim & Kenny on Loon, and Stephen and Dorothy on Marigot, part of the little tribe that formed here in Black Sound over the last couple of days, headed off through the Whale and on to places south. Though we had been planning to head back west and north to visit places passed by, it look like Kintala will be following along behind them tomorrow. The next bit of weather is close on the heels of the one just passed, suggesting that the prudent be tucked away no later then Tuesday night. To the west and north and within reach by Tuesday night given the light winds forecast, there wouldn't appear to be any place to sit out the weather. However, Treasure Cay lies barely 20 miles to the south and east, on the other side of the Whale, and offers just such a tucking.

The Whale is a channel out of the Sea of Abaco though a barrier reef, into the Atlantic, and back into more protected waters that may still be the Sea of Abaco, or the Abaco Sea, or Abaco Sound, or maybe Marsh Harbor ... I can't really tell from the charts and it isn't like the ocean has lines painted on it. Passing through the Whale can be a problem depending on what kind of ocean swell from the deep Atlantic is plowing into the shallow bottom of the channel, and we haven't done anything quite like this before. So, though the plan is to cross the Whale and head to places south, it may be that we end up back in Black Sound to wait out the weather. It all depends on what mood the Whale is in tomorrow.

When it comes to sailboat gypsies that is what passes for a plan; we may do this, if that, depending on the other, maybe ... we'll just have to see. It is the way most of humanity has lived for most of history. We could plan to do some things when we got to some place, but getting to that place was subject to all kinds of changes and delays.

But then we got all industrial and smart and created tools (trains, planes and automobiles – and really big boats) that could handle more and more weather. Our plans got much more intricate and elaborate, and usually work out pretty much as we intend. People all over drive 20 miles to work and back every day, not often wondering if it will be possible to go that far today. Others fly hundreds of miles and arrive just hours before a meeting. Just in time inventory goes by container ship and truck, and generally gets there just in time. This constant fulfilling of plans drives society and dominates lives, and all of it depends on things and people moving to given places at set times.

Sailboat gypsies get there whenever, if at all. Plans are really just intentions, and not very dearly held ones at that. Allens – Pensacola Cay is a place we want to visit, but that may not happen this year. From where we are at the moment it is the wrong way with the wrong wind and weather. Treasure Cay is another place we want to visit, and it looks like it might be the right way with the right wind and weather.

We'll just have to see.


S/V Island Bound said...

What are you guys using to get and view your weather GRIBs? And what are you using to track your progress on the Google Earth maps?


Unknown said...

When we sailed through Whale cay a couple of weeks ago, the seas were 5' and the wind was from the southwest at 25 knots. We beated through and had waves breaking over the rails, it was very exciting. Watch out for the marker post, they are pretty close together. I almost rounded up on one of them during a 28 knot gust. In hindsite I should have reefed or motored through. On our way through going North it was a beautifull day and awesome sailing. Very easy. I would wait for calm seas if you have the time. Hope you guys are having a blast, wish we were there. The Abacos is awesome!

Deb said...

We view our GRIBs on SailGrib on the iPads. The download is small and it goes out 5 days. It has the same data as NOAA but in a very user friendly format. The tracks are done on Navionics for the iPad, saved and emailed to myself. I then download them into Google Earth and save the image and put it in Blogger. I'm sure that there's an easier way to do it but I haven't found it yet.

Deb said...

Brian we only missed you guys by a week! We're lovin' it here and it will be hard to go back. The only good thing is that grandbabies are there so that will get us back there!