Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Front

About every week, a cold front passes through the Bahamas bringing with it storm conditions which may include some of the following options, high winds, big waves, thunderstorms, squalls, and dangerous conditions. We spent the last front at Staniel Cay. There are several things to be nervous about as a front approaches. First, nobody wants to be the IOTA (idiot of the anchorage)* and make a fool of themselves in front of a critical audience of cruisers who are more than likely to use your poor showing as educational and entertaining monologues for large social gatherings. Cruisers are also adept at giving play by play critiques on the VHF as you fly across the anchorage, dragging anchor and endangering others. A front brings yet another opportunity to make a reputation so that new acquaintances greet with you with knowing looks and comments about, "Oh, you're THAT AMANTE".
Fronts are tricky since they usually hit hardest during night when you would like to be warm and snuggled up in you bed, letting the unpleasantness roar by. Unfortunately, you need to watch out for your neighbors and their anchors as well as your own. This unwelcome task is called an anchor watch.
Pat Vance( creator of the acronym IOTA) reminds us that we live in a peculiar world. Imagine waking up in the morning to find that while you slept your house had run amok, causing mayhem and destruction in the neighborhood. Our house and the homes of our neighbors, like Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde, have potential for unpredictably bad behavior.

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