We never intended to spend any time in the Bahamas. We really want to get to the Virgin Islands so I can clear up some remaining mysteries in our family history and so Jack can see how much has changed since he lived there in the 70s. We also want to get to Puerto Rico for the same family history reasons and also because we both like it.
We stopped at Spanish Wells with the hope that a fair wind would find us and give us a lovely fast 1000-mile passage but it was not to be. The winds howled from the east for the entire time we were there making us glad we’d picked up a mooring. Boats came and went but mostly heading south to the Exumas, north to the Abacos, or west back to Florida or other east coast destinations. No one went east because it was impossible.
For the non-sailors: sailboats can’t sail into the wind. If we want to go in that direction we have to zigzag back and forth, or tack, just like a skier slaloms down a hill but in reverse, because we want to go uphil, or windward. The alternative is motoring and that not only gets expensive, but we can only carry so much fuel onboard so we have to factor that in to any decision.
We saw that Friday and Saturday the wind was to turn SSE, then Sunday and Monday east again but very light. We figured we’d make some time sailing eastward Friday and Saturday, then continue under power Sunday and Monday and that would just about get us to 65 degrees longitude where we could turn south and enjoy the SE trradewinds all the way to the Virgin Islands.
That was the plan. We moved the boat to Royal Island to be in a better position for a fast exit to the Atlantic and I spent all afternoon and evening Thursday making food so we wouldn’t have to cook for the first few days. I made a pasta salad, a wild rice salad, curried lentils and tofu, tuna salad for Jack, faux tuna salad for me, and hardboiled a half dozen eggs. We also have the “snack bucket” which is perpetually filled with packets of crackers, granola bars, nuts, trail mix, gum and whatever else our guests may have left in it. We’re ready.