Day 6

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Fri 12 May 2017 17:50
Date: Friday 12th May 2017
Time: 17:00 hrs
Position: 32:22.753N 64:40.075W

Total Distance Travelled from Nanny Cay: 845NM
Time Taken: 5 days 14hours 35 mins
Total Time Motoring: 70hours
Average Speed: 6.3knots

We arrived at the Spit Buoy, just outside the entrance to St George's harbour in Bermuda at 2:35 this morning. The pattern of some sailing interspersed within a lot of motoring continued, although when we had wind it was stronger than it had been previously.

The weather forecasts had predicted very strong winds building at much the same time as we were due to reach Bermuda, although the precise strength and timing kept changing every few hours. I was anxious that we may find ourselves trying to work our way into an unknown harbour in the dark and with rising winds, not something I would normally try to do.

As it happened the winds stayed away for most of early Friday morning. We were able to enter St George's and anchor in Powder Bay, as directed by Bermuda Radio Control. The event of the morning was the ARC Control team turning up at around 9:00am in a small dinghy carrying Nat's bag with them. And it was his bag, not that of some other hapless KLM passenger. Needless to say Nat was very pleased.

At around 10:00am the winds finally arrived blowing at gale force through the anchorage (up to 42 knots). It was quite chaotic with some boats dragging and snagging other boats anchors. One boat in the harbour was blown aground on a reef and appeared to be quite badly damaged.

There was a short period of calm before the winds arrived again from a different direction. We actually dragged ourselves for a little before I turned on the engine and motored slowly ahead to reduce the pull on the anchor chain. It would appear that holding in the anchorage was poor. After an hour or so of this the winds started to abate and we able to up anchor and go across to Ordinance Island to clear in with Customs and Immigration. As we lifted the anchor we found a long length of electrical cable tangled around the anchor. It was probably this that had caused us to drag.

After clearing in we motored around to a mooring ashore at The Dinghy Club where we plan to stay till we are due to depart next Wednesday.