Swift

Summertime in the Islands

June 23, 2018 - Green Turtle Cay, Abacos
by Capt. Matt

Truly Bahamian
Summer has arrived in the Bahamas. Hurricane season officially began 16 days ago, and in another month we must be 300 miles north of here if we want insurance. So what’s summer like in the Bahamas?
Great Guana Cay
The wind has stopped blowing. The wind blew all winter. It blew and blew and blew. During May every day included "up to 30 knot winds". But June, June is heaven. For over two weeks now, winds have not gotten above 15 knots…and that’s only when an afternoon thunderstorm rolls by. There hasn’t been a cold front in over a month. There is actually a cold front passing right now, and winds are out of the west and clocking to the northwest. Current wind speed: 2 knots. Sea state: like glass.
Not a wind in sight.
The water is amazing and inviting. Not only is it glassy smooth, but the water is also the perfect temperature. It’s about 82 degrees now, and you can get in and out as often as you like without bracing for coldness or putting on a wetsuit. I hate cold water (cold is below 80) so I basically never swim the entire season we spend in the Bahamas until late May. Sad. I’ve tried to force myself in, but I just don’t like it, and I don’t enjoy it. In the winter, there has to be something amazing to get me in the water. In the summer I'm in the water from sun up to twilight.
Snorkeling Great Guana.
The islands smell amazing. I haven’t figured out what it is. Maybe it’s jasmine or honeysuckle. But you can smell Elbow Cay, Man-O-War, Green Turtle…you can smell them from 1/2 mile away in the anchorage. When walking around town, the intoxicating scents come in powerful waves. It is my new favorite smell. It’s sweet and tropical. The only smells I remember from winter were the trash fires.
Blooming.
There are beautiful clouds to watch all day long. Even by the time you roll out of bed, towering cumulous clouds are building over the islands. There seem to be two waves a day, with a shower passing about noon and a thunderstorm passing over about 4 o’clock. Each one brings cooling downdrafts of chilly air, washing the salt off the boat, and adding a little more to our rain-catching water tanks.
Thunderboomers.
And those summer days at the beach. “But it’s so hot," you say. Nope, not really. When combined with the passing clouds and showers and the numerous daily swims, it’s just lovely. I love hot, lazy summer days anyway, so I’m in heaven. Hastings is going to miss beach life too.
Lazy Daze.
It’s so quiet. The crowds have changed. We were in Hope Town a week ago, and the town was eerily quiet. The harbor, whose moorings were chockablock full of cruisers and charter boats in February, was deserted save eight or so boats. Most boats are locals and charterers. It’s not desolate by any means; there have been a few cruising boats in every anchorage. But most folks have gone home.
Nauti? Or naughty? Tough to tell with these mermaids.
So for all of these reasons, I am bummed. I don’t want to leave. I perfectly understand the risks of hurricane season: I’ve lived in Florida, mostly the Florida Keys, for over 20 years. I’ve evacuated, and I’ve stayed, I’ve owned boats, and I’ve seen how the islanders do it. I don't want to "go home" to the U.S. I want to "stay home" in the islands. 
Afternoon AC.
Can't wait 'til next year!

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3 comments

  1. Lovely post. You made me nostalgic of the islands. We had the same experience in the Caribbean. Unrelenting trade winds all winter long... And then we left. Not fair.

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  2. We loved the Abacos in summer. We were there from late June through mid-August and it was the best summer ever!

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  3. We really enjoyed the Bahamas in the summer as well. Darn those hurricanes which drove us back to the States.

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