You know sometimes there are days that are just as beautiful and perfect as they can be on the hook. The sun shines brightly overhead. The seas are calm and the waters are crystal clear beneath the boat. The view of the shoreline is one of dreams with white sandy beaches, swaying palms and brightly colored huts. Yes, these are the days every cruiser and even non-cruisers dream of having. Then there are days like today…when a good day goes sideways.
We woke up to a rather nice morning in the Musket Cove anchorage here in Fiji. There were clouds but there was still quite a bit of sun. We were expecting a bit of a blow to come through which is precisely why we are still attached to the mooring ball. Better to be tucked nicely into a well protected cove and attached to a mooring that is anchored to the ground by a giant slab of concrete than to be in the out islands on the hook dealing with high winds and a chance of dragging anchor. Yes, we are glad to be here and feel good about the decision.
Somewhere mid morning I look out to find that the skies are beginning to look a bit more ominous. To the north and east it’s black as the ace of spades and a wall of rain miles across seems to be barreling down upon Malololailai and the surrounding anchorage like a runaway train sliding down a mountain. I can smell the rain too. The strong scent tells me it’s literally minutes away.
I take a few steps back down the companionway to pick up my camera as I can see some pretty interesting skies and I enjoy taking weather photos. By the time I come up the winds are ramping up quite a bit. It literally went from a few knots to close to twenty in a matter of seconds. I switch on my camera and start taking some photos and video and the rains begins. Then the winds start getting stronger and the entire bay turns into this rocky roly mess complete with whitecaps. Before I know what is happening the high wind alarm starts going off indicating the winds are now over 35 knots!
As we look out across the anchorage we can barely see boats just a few hundred feet away. It’s just a wall of white with shadows in the distance and we know it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. Dan head up on deck and that when things really start going sideways…literally going sideways.
At this point I could continue to write about what happened next but I think that showing you will really make you understand just how bad it got out here today. The good news is everyone survived but as you’ll see it was a rather frightening for a time.
Now that it’s all over it’s time for us to hit the beach bar for a couple of cold ones to calm my nerves.
Until next time,
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