Weather or Not?

Ambler Isle
V and S
Mon 7 Mar 2011 14:50
March 2, 2011
The day dawned dewy.  Such a heavy dew that I went outside with my mop to scrub the salt film off the boat.  Then I rinsed it with fresh RO water from the tank.  We are lucky.  Our watermaker desalinates 25 gallons of water per hour.  So, if we run the generator 2 hours, we can get 50 gallons of fresh water.  We seldom use that much water in a day.  The morning was calm, and the  water surface ripple-less. The good thing was:  I could clearly see the anchor chain in 20' of water.  The bad thing was:  it appeared to be tangled in a small coral head.  Valt pulled the boat backwards to straighten the chain and get it away from the rock.  When he stopped, the anchor was in plain view beneath the bow.  The chain was looped dangerously nearby.  We pulled some more til the chain lay straight out from the bow.  Think, think, think.  Heavy dew?  Totally calm water?  Didn't we just learn in yesterday's weather seminar with Chris Parker that heavy dew often proceeds a front?  Although not due til Thursday, I wondered if it would come early.  Our own experience has shown that a flat calm also proceeds a front.  Maybe "the calm before the storm" is not just an _expression_?  But we'd planned to go fishing, so we loaded the dinghy and headed north out the cut.  A big angry black cloud welcomed us.  In some places the cloud met the water:  it was already raining.  But we were heading in a different direction so we kept going.  In a moment the cloud had surrounded us, dropping fat raindrops and soaking us.  I pulled out the emergency poncho, actually a memento from Valt's army days.  Reeling in the fishing lines, we rushed back to the Amber Isle just ahead of the rain.  We enjoyed our picnic lunch aboard, and watched as more and more boats came to anchor in our protected harbour to hide behind the big hill.  The winds played with us, switching directions until the boat behind us was now in front.  The nearby boat was now far away.  We never faced the NE, which was the direction the front would approach from, so we could not really see how we'd all line up during the front.  The resident sea turtle surfaced to get a snack before the storm hit.   On shore, a pet parade, several seminars, and a pet parade were all cancelled. No bingo, no dominoes, no volleyball.   A free dinner, sponsored by Indian Town Marina in Florida was postponed.  The entire community had been sent to their rooms like unruly children.