Weather Weirdness

Not our imagination, not simply whining because paradise is less than ideal, just the fact that this season was filled with more wind than last. What surprised us was learning that the months of December and March are historically windier months than Jan and Feb in the Abacos; so what months found us there? Yep- Dec and March. No wonder boats flock in toward late spring.

Cold fronts seemed more plentiful and double fronts kept us on our toes. While in George Town we saw our first (distant) water-spout in its early formation stage. Thankfully it did not mature into a true spout.

A spout begins to form out of the clouds- never finishes thankfully

A spout begins to form out of the clouds- never finishes though

Just because we scooted out of the Abacos early didn’t mean we’d escape some of the frontal systems that were headed south. Sat and Sun 3/23 and 3/24 were extremely hot days with highs in the upper 80s.  A massive rain and T-storm system covered the area from northern Florida (St Augustine) into North Carolina, undoubtedly dumping several inches of rain in a day-long deluge. Glad we missed that one. Our turn came Sunday with a small system, once again sent over from the Gulf Coast.

Sunday felt akin to being in a blast furnace as the wind blew 12-25kts all day with gusts 25-38kts. The temp held high at 86 during the afternoon. For once I was glad to have all that wind. We watched the rain blob inch closer (on the chartplotter), the wind speed increasing as it approached. Always looking for a photo opp, I noticed what I described as “billowing smoke clouds to the south. They were huge and lasted until the deluge began when I turned my attention to the lightning show. The next day we saw in the local paper that those clouds were real smoke from a 200 acre fire about 20 miles south. Ouch, not even yet 100% under control. Shows just how dry things are. Even Weather Underground displayed a warning.

Smoke clouds had me fooled; unfortunately they were real

Smoke clouds had me fooled; unfortunately they were real

Right after the one 38kt gust we looked around and saw a boat off its mooring, albeit under command. The boat slowly circled around the basin area during the rain storm, finally taking another mooring. To entertain ourselves we played detective. With lines hanging off her bow and the mooring pennant line still attached to the mooring ring, the vessel’s captain appeared to have made a slight mistake- as in tying a knot to form a loop in the pennant (these have no thimble, just a long line you cleat) through which lines were run to and from cleats at the bow. The marina received a call saying the pennant had broken and the boat moved to a different mooring. Captain did not make a big deal of it and said they’d be leaving in the morning anyway.

Rainbow after the storm

Rainbow after the storm

Monday morning we checked that pennant and no surprise; it was perfectly fine.  Good thing, as the marina put another boat on it before bothering to take a look. Most mooring pennants have a thimble, but if they don’t you are taking a big risk to tie a loop in it. Better to tie the bitter end around a bow cleat, then use your own line to run through the ring, attaching both ends to a bow cleat on the other side. This way you are attached to the mooring with two lines. Have to admit we didn’t feel all that bad for them; a lesson learned and not the disaster it could have been.

The relative humidity had dropped considerably. After my long, luxurious marina shower I used the hair dryer just to get my hair from wet to damp and when I combed it pieces of hair behaved as if this was the dead, dry of winter. Actually took me a second to recognize what I was experiencing as dry air is not typical wherever we are.

By Tuesday, the temp had dropped- plummeted is more like it- to 56; a drop of 30 degrees since Sunday. Yeah, thanks “up north” for giving us a taste of winter in spring!  None of this funky weather bothered the manatees and dolphins who continued their daily wanderings and feedings through the basin.  Too bad the water is so murky. Even from the dinghy in good sunlight we could just barely see the shape of a large mama manatee as she enjoyed a swim with her calf.

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