Once the storm ordeal recounted HERE was passed, both Joe and I felt pretty low. On one hand, we were thankful that our sailboat survived, and very thankful to S/V Narval for their rescue, but we were tired, traumatized and in need of a safe harbor to process and restore our confidence.
I remember crying and telling Joe that “I am NOT having fun!” This statement was important because we always said we would sail and cruise until we were no longer having fun. Joe wisely knew I was saying this after being up for several days and having experienced a traumatic event. What Joe remembers is how fast things went to hell. We wisely made the decision that we would head to Spanish Wells and stay at the marina while we provision and regroup. Joe did smash his hand, but we had the supplies to clean and dress the wound. His injuries did not require a doctor.
You may be wondering how Ethan fared through the storm? He was a trooper and slept through most of it. We did wake him up to have him wear his PFD, in case we landed on the rocks. We reassured him as best we could. He did very well and was spared any trauma.
Post storm, and after a good cry, I emailed a cruising friend, Behan on S/V Totem, wondering if our experience was typical or not. If this was typical, then perhaps I am not cut out for cruising, I remembered thinking. Behan was great! She assured me that in all their years of circumnavigating the world, they had only had one really bad weather experience. Hearing this made me feel much better. Thanks, Behan!
We spent almost a week at Yacht Haven Marina in Spanish Wells. We spent time understanding what lessons could be gained from our experience? What we did right and what we did wrong? This is a soul searching moment because you can learn something from every event.
We also consoled ourselves visiting some of our favorite places in Spanish Wells- Papa Scoops Ice Cream, Buddha’s Restaurant, and spending time with friends. The grocery store there is the best on Eleuthera, plus we always love to rent golf carts and tour Spanish Wells and Russel Islands.
I am happy to report that Joe and I recovered from our Royal Island storm ordeal. While we had several other storms after this one in the 50+ knot range over the next 6 months, our anchor set up did just fine. There was no more drama. We rebuilt our confidence, put in place what lessons we had learned, and the rest of our 2016-2017 cruising season went very well.
Now we are looking forward to another refit on MAHI this fall in Florida, and then back out to the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico during 2017/2018 season.
We have learned to respect the weather and to expect the storm reality to be much worse than predicted. We do have Predictwind Forecast Modeling software on MAHI that we receive through our Iridium Go! When we have cell coverage, we do get weather emails from Chris Parker and can listen to his forecasts on our SSB radio. The Royal Island storm was predicted to be much weaker than what we experienced.