Weathering the Storm with the Swimming Pigs, Big Major Spot, Exumas

As long as we have to have another storm, might as well anchor off the swimming pig beach in Big Major Spot anchorage – at least we’ll have entertainment during the storm!  Typical of this winter’s cruise, there’s yet another major blow coming over the weekend.  Chris Parker was calling for winds in excess of 30 knots and squalls 40-50 knots.  That’s a major concern anytime, but when you’re new to a cruising ground, it’s a bit stressful finding the right spot to safely weather a major storm.  This one was forecast to continue blowing for 3 days, and pouring rain for 2 days.   Luckily, our choice was right.

Poor swimming pigs, the seagulls were relentless!

Poor swimming pigs, the seagulls were relentless!

9 seconds of video showing one of the swimming pigs.  Altogether I think we counted 6 pigs, but it’s hard to tell because they don’t all come out at the same time.  🙂


Originally since the wind was forecast from the east, we decided to try the Staniel Cay Yacht Club – it looked sheltered from the east.  But during the prior weekend’s storm (with winds from the west), the yacht club had kicked all the boats off the dock just prior to the storm because their docks have no shelter from the west.  In the middle of the night the 2nd night we were there, the wind came up from the EAST and the swell and surge had us rocking and rolling and BANGING into the dock.  We rightly decided we’d be safer out in the anchorage at Big Major.  Here’s a photo essay of the adventure!

Big Major Spot Anchorage. No protection from anything but easterly component wind, but big, spread out and great holding in sand

The kayaks and Winterlude crew explored the caves along Big Major by kayak before the storm.

The spot we anchored looking toward Pig Beach

The view the other way ... the mega-yachts apparently thought our cThoice of anchorage was good too!

The view the other way ... the mega-yachts apparently thought our choice of anchorage was good too!

Unfortunately, mega-yachts mean the anchorage is subjected to all their toys.  I HATE these buzzy noisy little mosquito pests!

Unfortunately, mega-yachts mean the anchorage is subjected to all their toys. I HATE these buzzy noisy little mosquito pests!

And here comes the storm … at it’s height it filled our dinghy three times in a few hours and the rain was torrential, blowing sideways and finding it’s way into any nook & cranny that wasn’t absolutely watertight.  Luckily, we only discovered one interior drip on Winterlude and it was from the starboard window which we knew needs rebedding.  That project now moves up on the list!  🙂

Cool, we can use a good fresh water rinse to get all the salt off the boat!

Cool, we can use a good fresh water rinse to get all the salt off the boat!

nside looking forward - no we're not underway, that's the boat heeling at anchor!

Inside looking forward, no we're not underway, that's the boat heeling from the gusty winds during the storm!

Then the rich folks on one of the mega-yachts decided it was time to leave — in the middle of the worst part of the storm, I guess they’d had it with the crappy weather.  So they just called the seaplane folks to get there outta here.  This seaplane landed one boat over from us and attempted to take off the same path, but couldn’t get enough momentum into the wind.  We were all afraid that he’d never gain enough momentum to clear all the masts in the anchorage if he was lucky enough to lift off.  Luckily for all of us and the rich folks, he took a different path for a runway the 2nd try and made it.  I bet it was a rough ride inside that little seaplane though!

Seaplane 1st Attempt to Lift Off -- Not This Time!

Seaplane 1st Attempt to Lift Off -- Not This Time!

Time to Bail the Dinghy Before it Sinks!

Time to Bail the Dinghy Before it Sinks!

And it just keeps on raining … we almost wore out the Yahtzee dice!  And the solitaire cards are pretty dog-earred!

What do cruisers do during a storm?  Play games, of course!

What do cruisers do during a storm? Play games, of course!

The Storm Looking Aft

The Storm Looking Aft

 

And the glorious morning after the two day siege .. of course it's still blowing close to 30, but at least it's not raining!

And the glorious morning after the two day siege .. of course it's still blowing close to 30, but at least it's not raining!

 

 

 

 

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