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Monday, April 29, 2013

Lynyard Cay

This stay in Royal Island Harbor was the best we had ever had. Historically, we only stay one night and never launch the dinghy. This time, we explored the mansion ruins and met a young couple on a 30 foot Hunter named 'Journey.' Our first sailing friends cruised in a 30 foot Hunter and when they returned from Mexico and upgraded to a Passport 40 they named her 'Journey.' I love life's little twists like that. We became fast friends with Mark and Jade and were sad to see them head south. It was a tough goodbye and such is the cruising life.

We knew today was going to be work. We had five to six foot swells out of the ENE and one to two foot wind chop. The winds alternated between 12 and 17 knots out of the ESE, with relative winds just forward of the beam. To put it plainly, it was too rough to fish. There was an aluminum sloop off our starboard for the entire nine hours of crossing the Northeast Providence Channel. They flew a French flag. We have no idea who they were, but it was kind of nice to have company.

We were listening to another boat, 'Cool Cat,' trying to get a report on the conditions of the same cut we planned on entering. The outlook at that moment was not good. Little Harbor Channel had breakers all the way across. The tide was still ebbing when we heard the report, and we were still several miles out. Cool Cat went to another cut further north. We kept trying to slow down Hold Fast so that we would arrive at slack tide. We reduced sail and got her below five knots but then the winds freshened and we were back up above six knots. I must admit that six knots is more comfortable in bumpy seas than 4.5 knots, but we really were trying to slow her down. We were near the end of the ebb tide when we arrived. It was decision time. The French boat made a run for the cut and pulled it off. We lined ourselves up with the full main, a little jib and a growling Ford Lehman. There was no reading water today. Myron hand steered and focused on the chart plotter while I watched the swells and called out when they were going to hit us (quarter stern) and whether they were breaking. We only had one swell break and that was mid-ship. We had another swell knock us 90 degrees right…but Myron straightened her out and we were in! Cool Cat called us in the middle of our run on the cut. Myron said we would have to get back to him and the guy shouts "good luck buddy!" When we got back to him he told us he had surfed a wave in his catamaran in the other cut at 15 knots! Glad we chose this cut.

Too much fun for one day. Now we are anchored inside, sails stowed, tired bodies showered and ready to relax. Hopefully in the next couple of days we can take care of a few errands and reunite with Barb/Barry, Paul/Sue and our friends at church. Soon enough we will be looking for a weather window to sail to the U.S. How time flies.

Love to all,

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