My usual morning practice has me gathering weather information from around 06:00 to 07:00; I record all this information in a spreadsheet day to day and maintain a month’s worth of information. By doing so, I can see trends and patterns in the ebb and flow of the trade winds, but this year there seemed to be no ebb, just a solid flow of 15 to 25 knot winds right on the nose for the course to Sint Maarten. Not helpful, no sir, not at all. Oh, and the seas often ran 9 to 11 feet. Challenging to say the least, and not for us. So, we waited.
By no means were we the only boat waiting on weather. At one point we had 27 mega yachts of varying descriptions anchored in North Sound, waiting for the wind and seas to die off. A few of the big boys wandered around the BVI a bit, but after a day or two they came back to sit and wait.
Just like us, on a slightly different scale.
As is often the case in the BVI, we must deal with ignorant charter boat captains. This one knew he was way too close, but would he relocate? Oh no; way too much work.
Finally, we saw a three day break in the weather with seas gradually subsiding and wind veering well to the South; a chance to go. We made final preparations, took care of clearance formalities and headed for Sint Maarten on March 20th with a forecast for 5 to 10 knot southerlies and a 4 to 6 foot seas. The day started off well enough with the winds just as predicted, but we encountered many waves that far exceeded the forecast, and right on the nose. Those kinds of waves cause our bow to slam down the back side of each of those waves, and unless I drove the boat to weave through the big ones, we had a hard long ride ahead of us.