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Although Sunday’s weather had brought us strong intermittent squalls for most of the morning, we still decided to take our chances and make the six mile run to Chacachacare as opposed to spending another night in Chaguaramas.

Not the first fuel slick we have witnessed in the harbor.
Yeah, I think I’d rather go swimming at Chacachacare than in Chaguaramas.

After we cast off from our mooring ball, the dark clouds to the south of us spelled out in no uncertain terms that, if we wanted to stay dry, we were going to have a bit of a race on our hands. We did pretty well with that race too. We managed to stay ahead of the wall of rain which had shut off almost all visibility to the south and east of us, receiving no more than a drop or two during the trip to the island. That good fortune lasted right up until the point when we entered the harbor at Chacachacare. It was then that our luck ran out, we were completely engulfed and our visibility dropped to next to nothing.

Numerous fishing boats which a few minutes earlier were enjoying their Sunday on the water were now zipping every which way, seeking shelter from the storm. Even though we had turned on our navigation lights, I still was uncomfortable with the amount of small boat traffic that I had observed just prior to the squall overtaking us as it seemed that none of the other boats had the sense to turn on their nav lights. In addition to that issue, knowing that the Garmin cartography for the island could use a bit of improvement, I decided that it would be safer doing donuts out in deep water than it would be trying to anchor our boat without being able to accurately see our position. And so that’s what we did. We did a 180 and motored back out of the bay until the fast moving storm passed. The bright side of this little delay? We collected about 20 gallons of fresh water during the deluge. Bonus!

As if having to pay attention to the depth of the water, shelter from the elements and swinging room relative to the shoreline wasn’t enough, after the squall passed, we decided to try our hand at anchoring nearby some overhead power lines. Now to be honest, they could have been telephone lines instead of hydro lines, and regardless of what they were, they “probably” weren’t live, but even so, the following video that illustrates just how sailboats and hydro lines do not get along is burned into my brain. Why bother anchoring in that spot then? Because it offers the best shelter from the swell which tends to roll into the bay each evening, making for an uncomfortable night’s sleep. As it turned out, with the way our boat was swinging, we were probably as much at risk of running up on the shoreline if our anchor dragged as we were of hitting the power lines. Fortunately, Rocky did his job as he always does and neither of those two situations occurred!

You may not be able to see the wires behind our boat in the above pic but trust me, they are there.

4 Comments

  1. Mike – I’m interested in the specifics of rainwater catchment systems. Can you elaborate on yours?

    Thanks
    Deb
    S/V Kintala
    http://www.theretirementproject.blogspot.com

  2. Scary video. Did the mast just hit the lines and an electrical current caused the fire?

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