March 3, 2010
Red Shanks anchorage, George Town, Exuma
VHF – radio used for communication. Think old-style party line – there is NO privacy on the VHF, even if you think you have a “secret channel”
Weather window – a break in the weather that forecasts wind from a favorable direction to go where you want. For our purposes, right now, wind forecasts for other than east/southeast.
Chris Parker – the weather god. Seriously. Google him.
“reading the mail” – scanning the radio and listening to any conversation that sounds interesting. Sometimes I break in when I just cannot resist (usually that’s when I know at least one of the boats conversing, but not always!)
gunkholing – finding cool places to anchor that maybe are not quite deep enough, or are far off the beaten path, or are just FUN. You can’t gunkhole in a place where there are 400 other boats, even if Red Shanks comes as close as you get here in Oz – oops, I mean George Town.
Now for the blog . . . The VHF (channel 68) is constantly busy with boats chatting about the regatta, kids on the beach, the weather, Chris Parker, shaving legs, what’s for dinner, and who is anchored too close to who else. We are staying on channel 16 for our sanity. Our friends all know we won’t answer on 68 – and forget scanning. And this from the queen of reading the mail! We sailed in, saw the forest of masts, and almost just kept right on going . . . we didn’t, though, and have enjoyed our time here – but it is far, far time to get moving.
Holed up here for yet another front (anchored next to another BCC), we seem to be finally catching a break on the weather. Tomorrow we and Osprey head off for an overnight sail to Samana Cay, one of the sites reputed to be where Columbus first set foot in the new world. Gunkholing along both coasts of Long Island, in the Crooked and Acklins Islands, and Conception have to wait until our return trip. Samana Cay is uninhabited and rarely visited by cruisers – the perfect antidote to George Town (boat count this morning 325) at regatta time.
Anyone who wants to look up the National Geographic article that makes the claim (convincingly, I have heard) that Samana, a tiny, reef-fringed cay off the north coast of Crooked Island, is indeed Columbus’s landfall – we’d love to see it. We’ll post pictures and share our own opinion after we have internet once again.
The weather window is supposed to hold through the weekend; if all goes well, we will be in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (and be reunited with our watermaker part) by Sunday.
Apparently I will be spending my night watches tomorrow night sewing the courtesy flag for Turks and Caicos. Good thing it will be 20 feet in the air.