Sunday 5 Jan, BHS day 6: At anchor in Royal Island Harbour and with no incentive to go ashore we just potter on the boat.
As expected, Cloudy Bay wakes me up as the wind comes in at 3am. First it’s rain, then suddenly the cold front hits with 25kt force as wind instantly swings from S to NE. The anchor stays put and I watch it for a while also observing the other yachts to make sure none are planning on dragging down onto us. I finally get back to bed at 5am, but sleep in the saloon where I can clearly hear the anchor alarm.
We awake to see our new surroundings, having daringly arrived in the dark last night. We are in a the fully enclosed bay on Royal Island. Nothing much to look at, just a vegetation lined bay with milky turquoise water and a small dock at one end. Apparently the island was in development, including a planned marina here, by some famous US football player. But the project went south and stopped. The dock where construction staff landed is all that remains.
With the wind comes cooler air and thankfully a drop in humidity. A welcome change from the last few days stickiness. And we open all the cupboards to let this dry air circulate the boat to reduce any dampness. Outside, it actually feels surprisingly chilly!
During the morning we debate about going into Spanish Wells. There are moorings there for $25 but the only one that will take a 50ft yacht is taken until tomorrow. The small marina has berths but I don’t really fancy maneuvering in a shallow marina while it’s blowing 20kts. So we decide to have a chill day on board while the wind blows through.
After our last few days of constant activity it actually feels nice not to have an agenda for once. And it looks like we are not alone. None of the other 7 anchored yachts are leaving either. Other than the strong wind, it’s quite calm in this enclosed bay. But outside we can see the sea raging.
While Oana is happily into her book, I decide to tackle the floor mat project in the aft locker. We’ve had mats of some sort in there till now, but they were the foam type which absorb moisture. In USA, one of our many Amazon purchases were two good quality rubber mats that also allow water to drain under them.
Soon the aft deck is covered in all the regalia from the aft deck locker: multiple mooring lines, wash buckets, bow ladder, side ladder, folded passerelle, water filter system, dive compressor, folded bike trolley, kedge anchor, scuba tanks, shore power lead ….. and a lot more!
The old mats are removed for templating the new ones and the lockers given a good clean. Not that they were particularly dirty.
The new mats were pretty pricey so we take our time before making cut-outs for the various piping and other protrusions coming through the locker floor. Measure thrice, cut once as the wise carpenter says (or in this case, the wise carpet layer).
Once cut to shape and laid in, the new bright red mats look great. Pity we actually have to cover them with all the junk! The whole job is done, equipment restowed and deck returned to normality, by dinner time.
It’s not until I come back into the sheltered cockpit tent that I realize just how cold I got out there. So chilled in fact that the winter-woollies have to come back out to warm me up! I thought they had been stored away for the long haul. It’s now pretty clear that unlike the Windward and Leeward islands, the Bahamas is pretty strongly affected by the winter weather from the US continent, especially cold fronts.
Mid evening we get back to video editing. We are about 3/4 through the 350+ clips from the Herrington maintenance month. While editing we realize just how much we got done in that month before we launched.