Sunrise was at 0700 am and the three of us were underway by 0500. It’s always just a little odd leaving at dark, it’s probably something we will become more and more accustomed to as we do it more often but sailing at night for now is a little uncomfortable for us.
After the anchor was up and we were well underway, Krista went down for a few more Zzzz’s while Ken and I manned the helm. We would all take our turn.
The winds were once again blowing 20-25 knots on the nose and the seas were 6-8 with the occasional 10 footer. Not the best conditions at all but we had a deadline and after all, we were seasoned sailors now. Lol!
We were 8 hours to Nassau with wind on the nose the whole way and the seas had built a bit enroute. We arrived at the outer harbor where the Cruise Ships dock at 1300 (1pm) and the wind according to our wind vain, was still blowing 25 gusting up to 28 knots.
Our plan was to dock at Harbour View Marina for the next 2 nights to find Ken a flight home and to solve an alternator belt problem.
We were assigned a port tie, bow in slip, that had us docking with the wind blowing us directly from behind. This would normally be an easy dock for me, but not with 25 knots of wind blowing us into a 28 foot wide slip! Our beam is 23 feet, that gave me approximatley 5 feet to split between the port and starboard gunnels! Oh Boy.
First attempt we came blazing in, not because I'm some sort of Cowboy, actually I had little to no power on at all, in fact, just enough to keep control of the boat, but the wind was messing me up big time. It was steadily pushing us forward at a speed of close to 4 knots from behind! The dock manager knew this and had 4 guys ready to catch any one of our mooring lines when thrown. Krista and Ken were ready, Cole stood close by Dad watching it unfold! I headed in.
First attempt aborted, I couldn’t get her lined up with a comfortable split side to side going into the slip, and not knowing how fast the wind would actually push me in from behind, I was too fast.
Second attempt aborted again. I think I had the speed figured out this time, with just enough reverse power to slow us down making it safe to enter the slip. But, if the wind were to catch one side of the boat even a tiny bit more than the other side…we were going to go sideways into the slip, crashing into the cement docks and I don't like to think about what the aftermath would have looked like...
This was tough and scary! This was a narrow slip and I wasn't sure I could do it.. Maybe we should have moved on and tried anchoring, but the harbor is infamous for fouling anchors. The harbor is old, people have been using it since the 1700's! There are stories of continuous dumping of just about anyting into it including old cars or appliances and those kind of things can snag an anchor for good.
Well no need to anchor. Three times a charm! I was beginning to think the Marina manager would shout above the roaring wind telling us to go and drop the anchor somewhere until things calmed down a little and then come back. That wouldn’t work for us.
So this time I was all in. I slid Saltair 3 into that slip like a seasoned pro! Ken and Krista did their job perfectly, getting the mooring lines to the dock hands, keeping us off the walls, and the dock hands did their job. We were safely moored without any accidents. Whew...
Harbour View has a nice little pool, wide docks and it is right in town with restaurants and amentities across the street. It is $2 per foot per night with $8 dollars for unlimited water, but as we were starting to experience... WiFi was not available. But after another rough passage, we were happy just to be docked.
Ken got his flight, we found out where to get an alternator belt and Dominoes Pizza was on the menu for dinner that night. Everything was All Good.
Harbour View Marina, not labled on map, is just left of Bay Street marina amoungst the four sets yellow docks (or marinas) shown on the map
The Pool at Harbour View Marina, Nassau, New Providence