How to Pass the Time in a Deathtrap

There are myriad ways to sail the waters of our good mother.  For every body of water or path of wind there is a broad vein of information to be mined for that perfect piece of advice to get you through without problem.  The difficulty with all that information is figuring out whether the nugget you need exists from an internet article by a well-known circumnavigator, maybe a sail instructor at your local yacht club, some old salt expounding upon the joys and dangers of sailing the deep blue sea from his permanent stool at the local bar, or perhaps from one of the many books published by the guys and gals who’ve done it a dozen times with ease.  On MarVyn we have chosen to mix and match these sources, hoping to draw what we find most useful from each one.  Currently, our path whisperer is Bruce Van Sant and our chart experts are the Explorer Charts and Garmin Blue Charts.  Van Sant’s book Passages South has helped get us safely this far south and east in the face of strong and determined southeast trade winds. We find him a tad snarky and sometimes heavily judgmental but if you’re able to let those things slide off you then his advice is seasoned and sound.  The charts have been spot on every time we have needed them and we are extremely grateful.  Our current anchorage, however, was a brilliant bucking of the system on the part of our buddy boat Rondo.  (By the way, you should check out their kid-produced blog http://www.svrondo.com.  Lots of great stories from their world, but also some good pics of our kids! Proud momma.)

MarVyn and Rondo exploring a bat cave on Acklins Island

Our passage from Rum Cay to Acklins was meant to be a continuous sail on to Mayaguana.  The trip was cut short, however, as the ocean was not exactly like the ice of the Olympic Oval in PyeongChang.  We had a couple waves.  They were sort of big.  And we had some wind in our face.  Like a bloodhound on a Sunday afternoon car ride.  But otherwise it was a beautiful, sopping wet, kid-vomit-inducing overnight hell.

Art therapy after a long passage

It took both boats a while to recover.  We all slept in and really didn’t do anything for two days.  So you can imagine that the decision to stop short along the way was welcomed when Rondo radioed that we should look into this bay.  When I heard them mention the name Attwood Harbour, however, something immediately ticked in my memory bank saying that was a bad idea.  I asked for a moment to look into it and quickly found the passages that had stuck in my mind.  Explorer Charts has this to say about the anchorage:  The rugged north coast of Acklins is a place to be only if you are passing by in settled weather or if you are caught in an emergency situation.  Van Sant’s comment on Attwood Harbour? Deathtrap.  The italics are his, not mine.

But we’ve been here for a week now.  We’ve been neatly tucked in, sleeping soundly, building sand villages, gorging on lobster and grouper, exploring creeks filled with rays, having our first whale encounter (momma and baby humpback!!! no pics, sad!) and waiting on the next weather window which should begin opening tomorrow just after midnight.   Until then, we’ll continue to wallow in the misery of paradise in a deathtrap.

Sandville—it’s incorporated and has a flag!

Clint’s and my favorite game in a deathtrap? Cake or Death.

I choose death.  No, wait.  Cake!  I meant cake.  Yes, definitely cake.DSCN0925


8 thoughts on “How to Pass the Time in a Deathtrap”

  1. Moms and grandmoms don’t like to think about death traps! Sure doesn’t look like one. Loved talking to the girls today. XO


    1. I wish I had seen this message this morning! We JUST walked through the settlement with flats all around but didn’t think to take binos. Oh well! But we did get to see a ton of whales!! (Though how many whales could a ton really be?) Will post Marley’s image of our super-close encounter sometime soon. Love you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s