Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Storm in Cane Garden

The last two days, we had been laughing at the weather postings at Accuweather site; the day before, minimum temperature was shown as 0 degrees C in Road Town, and yesterday a mix of snow and rain was expected. The person entering the data must be from Canada, or joking! Same site has been giving reminders for 30 knot winds from north-east / north, for almost a week; and we did not know if we should believe it.

Well, it came with a vengeance on Tuesday night! Although the bay is only open to west, the configuration of the mountains allows winds coming down the valleys in accelerated fashion.

Tuesday morning we started to see the winds getting stronger, and took a mooring close to the north end of the bay, seeing that the rap-around swells were less severe there. But that location put us smack under the vide valley between the small mound at the tip of the bay, and the big ridge going all around it.

Tuesday night, around 11:30 we got awakened by the howling, accompanied by an occasional whistle of the wind, which sounded like a truck hitting us. There was some rolling by the swells, which came from the side, after breaking up at the tip of the bay. We felt we were left in the cross-fire of the see and the wind. After listening to the howls for a while in bed, we got startled with a sudden thump on the side. Al immediately jumped out to check, and I followed. What we saw was really interesting; it was our mooring buoy hitting the port side hull from the outside. While we were watching, it started to move out, and came towards the starboard side; at which time Ruyam got whirled around like a top.

One can imagine the noises coming from all directions, including the lapping of the sea. Since we could not sleep, we sat at the gully and surveyed our neighbors. It was a sight to see; every moored boat was heading at different direction, their mooring balls at different sides. However we were the only ones up it seemed, most of the people had been partying all night, and apparently oblivious to the weather. Nothing to be scared of, it was just annoying. I am thankful that we were not at the Road Town harbour, which I am sure, was hit much worse than us; but Al was arguing to the contrary. I think he forgot that we had been subjected to less vicious north east winds there, with devastating results. I still like Cane Garden Bay, which at least rolls gently, because the winds, which come at right angle to the swells, do not create waves. The sea seems calm, but breaks with violence at the shallows.

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