Passage Bahamas to USA – Nassau to northern Abacos.
We’d been anxious to get going. It was time to go home. Hurricane season had officially started a few weeks ago and you could tell things were getting heated around these parts. Consistently we’d start to see thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. Big billowing clouds. You could watch little shoots making a run skyward. Mini atom bombs. And then the big anvil top which would light up like fireworks after sunset.
Call it what you want. Anticipation, worry, nerves. A slight twinge of primordial fear was in the air. Our first big passage was in front of us. Five to seven days at sea. “Bluewater” as they call it. The day before we’d received an update from our weather routing guru – Nice following winds all the way to Virginia but squalls in the 40 to 50 knot range. Nothing we can’t handle we thought to ourselves. “They only last a few minutes.” That was the day before. Last night a massive squall came ripping thru the anchorage. Winds close to 40 knots. It’s hard to describe the noise other than violent. Everything screams. The stainless steel rigging shrieks. The Bimini top vibrates at a frequency that seems impossible. Every so often the boat takes up all the slack in the chain and yanks at the anchor. Testing it’s resolve, threatening to put you on the reef only meters behind you. 20 minutes later and it was over. Back to bed we went. Wet and groggy.
And just like that, we were out here. In the big blue Atlantic. It had only been a few hours but now we were in the middle of nowhere. No boats. No land. Nothing. Just the big rolling swell of the Atlantic and gentle breezes at our stern. We both hoped the upcoming night would be equally gentle.