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It is “blown’ a hoolie” out there, just as it has been for the past few days and is forecast to continue to do so for at least the next few days. It’s not just here that this is occurring either. Extra strong easterly trades are effecting almost the entire Caribbean right now, and on islands all over, we have friends who are holed up, waiting for the conditions to moderate so that they can comfortably move their boat.

It was gusting like this all day yesterday.

We are extremely grateful that we took advantage of the weather window that we did to move our boat to St. Martin. There is no way that we would want to be traveling out there right now and if we had a place that we had to be, as in, St. Martin to catch a plane, we would have been forced to travel. That would have been hard on both boat and crew, something we try very hard to avoid.

This made me think of a pretty significant difference between cruisers and those who charter boats for a week at a time, especially one-way charters. The golden rule of cruising relates to avoiding sailing on a timetable. Guests who wish to visit are frequently told that they can either choose the location to be picked up or the date but not both. This is because conditions such as we’re experiencing right now can not be accurately predicted months out, or even weeks out. Those who charter boats though are essentially doing exactly that. They are booking a vacation, typically months in advance, putting their hard-earned money on the line in the hopes that they’ll have some nice sailing weather on a given week. While one can get a basic idea of what the conditions might be like that far in advance (dry season vs. rainy season), it’s impossible to know exactly what the weather will hold. And so here we are. While most cruisers are tucked away in protected anchorages, willing to wait for the seas and the wind to lie down a bit, charter boaters are out there “getting their money’s worth.” I don’t blame them at all for doing so. In fact, if I were in that situation, I’d probably do the same. I’m just glad that I don’t have to be out there with them right now!

By the way, we do have some friends who are running on a bit of a timetable and are planning on sailing out of St. Martin later today. Fortunately they’ll be heading west with the wind and the seas at their back. We know they’ll have a fast sail. We hope that it’s a comfortable one too.

We were planning on heading to the beach yesterday but given the weather,
we opted to stay on board and play games and music.