The good light, strong wind dilemma.
Shy on fresh produce and eager to go exploring, Rebecca and I had hopes of making a quick dash out of Port Egmont and into the next bay to the east, Calvigny Harbor. Although we had yet to visit this anchorage, unlike Egmont, it was reported to have a spot where we could get to shore and thus make our way to a grocery store.
Calvigny is one of those places that you can really only enter in “settled weather.” In fact, if you’re in there and the weather kicks up, you may very well be stuck there until it improves.
Here is what Chris Doyle’s Sailors Guide to the Windward Islands has to say about Calvigny Harbor:
You must have good enough visibility to see the reefs off Fort Jeudy. The shoals coming out from Westerhall Point are deeper and harder to see, though they often cause breaking seas. Stay with the devil you can see. Find the reef off Fort Jeudy and follow it into the outer harbor. The entrance can be hairy in heavy winds and large swells, and I would only recommend it to sailors with a lot of experience in reef navigation in rough conditions.
As we awoke yesterday morning to view the rising sun shining off the calm waters in our anchorage, our hopes were buoyed as the conditions appeared much improved from the day previous. I just knew the dilemma that we were going to be facing though.
In spite of the warnings, Rebecca and I were eager to explore Calvigny Harbor. What good is having a narrow, shallow-draft cat if we can’t explore out of the way places, right?
Knowing that we needed good visibility to see the reefs, we waited until 10:00 AM when the sun was high in the sky before we picked up our anchor. The problem with waiting so long is that the trade winds, which are frequently calm in the early morning, almost always really start to kick up around that time. And so it was yesterday. As we made our way out of Egmont Harbor we were greeted with brisk 15-20 knot winds out of the SE and considerable waves from the same direction. In my mind this was exactly the conditions that we did not want to see.
Although I said that we were eager to see the next bay, we are in no way reckless. After flying up and over some significant waves at the mouth of the harbor, we didn’t even bother rounding the Point of Fort Jeudy as I just knew it was going to be way too dangerous to try to enter that bay. So, because we had nowhere that we had to be, for a change of scenery Rebecca and I raised our jib and enjoyed a nice calm downwind sail towards St. George’s.
Will we go back to Calvigny Harbor? I certainly hope so. We just need to pick a time when the trade winds are suppressed in some way, or figure out how to deal with the good light, strong wind dilemma.
On an unrelated topic, while underway towards St. George’s, I hung over the bow pulpit and put a couple of stripes of white tape on our Rocna’s ring. I thought this would be an easy test to see if it aided visibility before we gave it a full-blown makeover. What do you think?
Top image: Anchor lying as we dropped it. Middle image: Starting to back down.
Bottom image: Almost set.