High off the progress we’d made in just two days at the marina, we were feeling good about ourselves as we paid our bill and prepared to back the boat out of her slip. Unfortunately, our confidence shattered as Brian put the boat in reverse and we realized that we had not thought through the sneaky combination of current and wind that blew us back against the dock. The boat started drifting dangerously close to others as Brian spun the wheel to and fro, doing whatever he could to regain steering. In a terrible blur, the boat nearly missed a neighboring cutter and collided with a wooden piling. People started yelling from the dock. I threw all my strength into fending us off as the rub rail carved a notch into the piling, which then caught the dinghy and pulled until it was nearly torn from the boat. We narrowly escaped (the dinghy, with brand new motor attached, miraculously did not pop) and putted out of the marina with our tails between our legs. Whenever we feel like we’re becoming less green, all we need to do is visit a dock and be reminded that we’re still total amateurs.
Struggling to shake off that bitter experience, we turned just up the way to Nassau Harbor (where we’d spent our first night in Nassau), and began preparing for our next challenge – weathering a storm. Two cold fronts, bringing gusts of 45 knots, were predicted to hit starting later that evening and continue for the next two days. We preemptively took extra care setting the anchor and letting out tons of chain to prevent dragging. After that, all we could do was wait.
By nightfall, the waves had built and the boat started getting battered by wind and rain. The wind howled above our heads, shaking the masts and rattling the rigging. We started being rocked and rolled in all directions. Now, at the end of day two, we’ve barely slept, gripped by constant worry that the anchor will drag and we’ll smash into a neighboring boat, the cement retaining wall, or the war ship parked at the nearby dock. We’ve watched a dozen movies, checked our position in relation to objects on land, and done little else.
We expect the storm to finally subside sometime around midnight, and tomorrow we’ll leave Nassau and move on to Allen Cay, at the top of the Exuma Islands. At last, we’ll have our first opportunity to experience the Bahamas that we’ve come here to see.