Whenever we’re away from the dock, either on a mooring or at anchor, we pay very close attention to the weather. The wind can gust very strongly during a rain storm (we call them squalls), sometimes to 35-40 mph, and anchors can drag in that kind of wind. Even if our anchor holds tight there’s no accounting for how well other boats are holding and we’ve seen unattended boats drift across an anchorage, their anchor skipping along the bottom until it catches one or more anchor chains of other boats, making a real mess for everyone involved.
The Bahamas are often subject to the same weather systems that sweep down from Canada through the Mid-Atlantic States and Florida. They can then stall out anywhere between the Abacos and the southern reaches of the country. Sometimes the northerly frontal winds reach all the way down to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. They are often called the Christmas winds down there since that’s the time they normally occur.
This weekend is an example of a strong cold front reaching the Abacos Friday afternoon with North to Northeast winds forecast to reach 30-35 mph, and then a secondary cold front following close behind it with winds forecast out of the West to Northwest from 25-35 mph with possible gusts over 40. With a forecast like that all other considerations become secondary and we begin looking for a place to hide out, either an anchorage or a mooring with land protecting us from the directions we expect winds from.
For this weather “event” we are choosing to take a mooring right here in Green Turtle Cay, opting for the area we know versus the unfamiliar cruising grounds 25 miles south of us.
Even in these days leading up to the fronts the consistent trade winds out of the East to Southeast are keeping our wind generator humming and the sunny skies are keeping out solar panels busy, both generating power to keep our batteries charged up, allowing us to live well off the grid. That’s how we like it.