Waves break into silent bursts of shimmering white as they beat themselves against the rocky cliffs in the distance, jagged white breakers sparkle against the deep blue of the sea as they roll past the reef, wind gusts roar, whistling and banging through the lines, the rigging shakes and the flags snap as Happy Dance swings ponderously back and forth, tethered to the earth like a kite on a string.
Birds soar and dive on the wind, sunlight reflecting off their wings as they dance wildly with the gusts, rays leap from the quiet depths to view the angry sea above, sending plumes of mist flying along the surface, their splashy returns to the sea hidden in the white peaks of the waves.
We’re hunkered down, cowering behind a low outcropping of land that juts out into the sea protecting us from the worst of the steep wind blown swell just outside the point. Our anchor is dug deep and our chain is stretched out straight, creating patterns in the sand as it swings from side to side.
The forecasts said to expect strong southerlies today so we’ve been waiting here in this semi-protected anchorage, waiting for the storm to arrive and quickly blow itself out. There is very little fetch between shore and Happy Dance, yet the white caps are kicking up into confused steep waves from the gusty winds blowing through the gap in the hills. Thankfully we expect this to be short lived and should be swimming in calmer waters by this afternoon.
Lying at anchor on days like this isn’t the most comfortable, and it’s even worse at night when you can hear the roar of a gust coming your way in the darkness and you can only imagine where the rocks lie in the distance. At least in the daytime you can see the wind on the water, you can see when a gust will slow a bit, and you can see just how far away danger really is. We always have an escape plan in mind for the horrible what ifs; what if the anchor drags, what if the engine won’t start, what if we have to make a run for it.
To pass the time when paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking or swimming aren’t especially inviting, we spend our days onboard. The junk basket on the navigation table that holds collections of boat cards and little stuff gets reorganized, the v-berth gets a makeover with added slats and shelves for storage and even a comfy reading nook, the mending pile gets attended to, boat cards get printed, bread gets baked, shelves get cleaned, books get read, and blogs get written! It’s just like a rainy day in the city when your car is in the shop, only our house is bobbing in the waves and the wind howls straight through the living room. Ah, life afloat, we love our happy boat!