Aboard the Sailing Vessel

January 16, 2005

Unsettled Weather in Forecast
The weather information that we receive via radio and email suggests that a cold front will dip down into our area within a day or two. Cold fronts bring strong winds that clock around to a westerly direction for a brief period.

At our previous location, Emerald Rock, we were exposed entirely to the west. We sailed yesterday morning to Sampson Cay. Sampson Cay has a marina that is protected from most weather.

Sixteen other vessels, by my count, left along with us. Most of them were looking for shelter in an area called Pipe Creek. Pipe Creek is very narrow with shallow water in many places. Jill and I felt that with as many boats that were heading there, not to mention the one's that were already there, we would be very lucky to find a good spot to anchor. So Sampson Cay Marina was our choice.

Cold fronts seem to be a regular winter-time phenomena in the Northern and Central Bahamas. As they come sweeping down from North America they alter the prevailing easterly winds. That sends boaters looking for shelter. They do decrease the temperature, but rarely enough to cause anyone to put on long pants or anything heavier than a long sleeve shirt at night.

Naturally, the further south in the Bahamas you go the less influence these cold fronts have. We are just about at the point where normal cold fronts lose their punch. However, strong fronts can roll all the way down to Puerto Rico and beyond.

What is predicted today is a front that may push deep into the Carribean.

Sampson Cay Marina
The portion of Sampson Cay that houses the Marina is a charming part of planet Earth.

The water color changes from indigo blue, through tourquise, sandy beige, and black

Black indicates a coral head beneath the surface. One does not want to sail over the black spots, unless you KNOW the underlying coral head is deeper than your keel.

The marina has been recently rebuilt. Everything appears new. No expense was spared. The docks are strong. There is RO water and electricity available for each boat. There is a restaurant and bar and a marina store. The clean laundry facility is right across from the clean bathrooms and showers that are available to boaters staying the marina.

RO water is reverse osmosis water. This is seawater that is filtered and processed to drinking water. It is actually very good.

Sampson Cay Marina's restaurant and bar has great food, satellite TV and is a wireless Internet hotspot. I had a New York Strip with rice and peas. It was outstanding. Jill had conch. She said it was very tasty. We watched the football playoffs on TV before Saturday night and Sunday. And this web page will be uploaded using their wireless Internet router.

The marina store has everything from shower shoes and tee-shirts to fresh produce and convience store type items.

The property surrounding the marina is circled by a walking path that goes down to a nice little beach area.

A number of private residences are spaced out along the walking path. These new modern homes house the marina staff. It seems to be a very classy place to live.

Jill, who is feeling much better (thank you very much), cut my hair at the end of the long pier. We positioned ourselves so the hair would blow off into the water and be carried out by the tides. I hope my naps don't strangle any of the colorful fish in these parts.

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