Preparing for bad weather

Saxon Blue's Blog
Harvey Jones and Andrea Stokes
Mon 20 Dec 2010 02:54
Sunday night - St George's, Bermuda

Funny old day today - I suppose it was productive in the end but it seemed a real struggle and there were a couple of times when I felt like just throwing the toys out of the pram and hitting the bottle.

We had a disturbed night. It took me ages to get to sleep as I'd drunk too much Coke during the evening. Soon after I did drop off, we were both woken up by waves slapping under Saxon Blue. It got really bad with our cabin vibrating with the impact so we got up to check on the lines and fenders. Kali was also awake so she, Andrea and I had a cup of tea before going back to bed. The wind had abated a bit by then so we did get a few more hours but we all got up feeling a bit the worse for wear. Bill had a great night and slept all the way through.

After breakfast, Kali and I got our wifi network connected to the internet via the hardware that John Ash fixed us up with ages ago. We hadn't needed it until now as we either had great wifi or none atall. Now we had a week signal that we wanted to boost and share. It all worked well after a bit of fiddling with cables. After that, we started looking into the weather coming our way over the next week or so. Not so good.

There is a big low pressure system moving over Bermuda in the next few days and then another with only a short break between. It doesn't look as though we'll have time to get sufficiently far South between them to make the trip to the Caribbean an option so we're currently thinking that we'll have to sit them both out here which means it will be after Christmas before we can leave Bermuda. Andrea is still hoping to fly home to the UK on Tuesday but that is relying on Gatwick being open with the arctic weather. Even if she does get home, we don't know where she'll have to fly back to or when. Hey ho.

We went through the motions of moving Saxon Blue to a marina in Hamilton to sit out the coming high winds. Kali went to chat with the Customs guys and get their thoughts. In the end, we had a talk with a great guy called Mark who runs the docks here and he suggested that our current location was one of the best on the island and that moving would make things worse. As it turned out, it was a good call as the wind really started picking up in the afternoon and it wouldn't have been much fun trying to dock in a strange marina in that.

Our friend Donald came by with some bread that he'd baked for us, some Cassava to try and some fillets of Bass which he'd caught so that was lovely. He'd gone to another party after we left him and had only a couple of hours sleep. Andrea gave him a tour around Saxon Blue and I think he was suitably impressed.

Kali and I got going on our ever-increasing jobs list. We ended up making good progress on some of the important ones but I was feeling a bit defeated by how much we've got to do and how more stuff needs doing all the time. It seemed like a treadmill today, rather than a challenge. Things like the outboard on the tender now running significantly worse than it did before its expensive service in Annapolis are particularly annoying. Thanks Chad. Andrea and Bill did some shopping and he made preparations for dinner while Andrea did some art work.

By then, the wind had really picked up and was blowing us onto the dock with only our fenders holding us off. That's only a matter of time before something gets damaged so we decided to rig lines right across the dock to the other side and hold ourselves off in the middle. Kali ran our two white mooring warps over to the other side and we winched and motored into position so we're now hanging off two long lines tied to a cannon barrel embedded in concrete. It's a long step onto shore but that's OK. Hopefully, the wind will veer by midnight and it'll get a bit more more sheltered but we're going to sleep in the forward cabin tonight with Kali and Bill sharing the bunks. At least we won't get slapped under the stern but we'll be close to Bill's snoring so that may prove worse.

Just after dark, I realised that I hadn't actually set foot on land all day so Andrea and I went for a walk into the town. We got back just in time for Bill's marinaded fish with prawns, smashed potatoes and stir-fried vegetables. It was a truly excellent meal. While we were out, Andrea and I decided to take the next couple of days to explore Bermuda so we're going to visit the old Naval Dockyard at the opposite end of the island tomorrow and stay in a hotel in Hamilton, the capital city. I think I really need a break from the boat for a couple of days so I'm looking forward to the change of scenery. The only trouble is that it's late already and we still need to get packed up.


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