Like most things that involve the ocean and nature, expecting the unexpected is almost a given. Things rarely go as planned, unless you are lucky. We were not so lucky. Today was planned to be an exploration of Cayman Brac, kite mapping, finding the Teignmouth Electron, and diving. Those plans were changed at 2am. We knew winds were supposed to pick up today but we didn’t quite realize just to what extent. Our fearless leaders Eric and Shanley were up at 2am battling the elements. Our bow dipped under the waves as the swell built. I woke up briefly to things crashing and rolling around the bunks. Shortly after the crashing noises, the engine started up and I fell back asleep to its monotonous hum.
Waking up to the theme of Pirates of the Caribbean as my alarm, I made my way up the companionway to see what was going on. Shanley, Eric and Rico were motoring up to what was the supposed more sheltered side of the island. They found a mooring and we stayed there through breakfast. While preparing to go ashore for our first planned adventure, plans changed as our mooring line snapped in the waves. Next thing we all knew, we were motoring away from Cayman Brac and towards Little Cayman in hopes of picking up a better mooring and shelter from the swells. I took the helm for the passage which took up the rest of the morning. During this time Courtney, Aneese, Kim and myself took it upon ourselves to serenade the crew with Disney songs and classic rock. I don’t think we actualy finished a song or even sang it correctly for that matter. It was fun regardless and even towards the end Eric joined in singing falcetto for the Disney songs. After no avail of finding a better mooring we decided to raise the mainsail and yankee while under power, and while trying to steer directly into 20 kts winds with the occasional 25 kt gusts. It was a challenge but we met it head on and we were underway back to Grand Cayman. With the yankee set out on the spinnaker pole and the mainsail let mostly out we had ourselves set up to run with the wind. Swells didn’t get any better the further we headed from land. There were 4-6ft rollers that gave us quite the ride. Nothing compared to Deadliest Catch but exciting none-the-less. Trying to use the head in these conditions can get interesting… talk about bathroom humor! Dinner being made in the galley was highly entertaining. Rolling from side to side made the chefs think quick on their feet and with bacon and mac n cheese flying every which way, shouts of dismay and shock as each wave passed could be heard up on deck. But like with every other challenge today, the task was completed with smiling faces. Dinner on deck was another entertaining feat. The pot of mac n cheese had to be held to keep it from flying across deck with each passing wave and people sat in each others laps as they were knocked off balance. The last dish towel was almost compromised but Shanley dove across the deck from port to starboard just to save it from falling to deck and held it safe above her head in triumph.
We are still under way to Grand Cayman, rocking and rolling as we go. It’s safe to say we had it easy on the way out, things are rougher this passage but that just builds character.
Nothing really went according to plan today, but things rarely do. The ability to adapt to changing conditions is a valuable one. This trip has been more than what I could have hoped and I have learned more than what I expected. It hasn’t been what I thought it would be, but that is the beauty of it.
A hui hou Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, until we meet again.
– Rebecca (aka Bec the Diver)
#hashtag, its a thing (or at least that’s what Courtney said)