Summerwinds of Cuan - St Lucia
Emily, Ann & I crossed the finish line last night at around 8.15 local time in a crossing time of 21 days which brings to a close this blog and this part of our adventure. The last 5 weeks have been amazing. The preparations & parties in Las Palmas, the crossing itself and now some more parties with the climax being the final prize giving and party on Saturday night. The reason for the whole affair: 'to cross the Atlantic on our own boat' has been accomplished again. We could have done it without the organisation of World Cruising Club but I think it wouldn't have been half the fun. Full credit must go to them as organisers for making such a great event happen.After this we head to Martinique for Christmas where we will leave Summerwinds in a marina and head back home to. read more...
Summerwinds of Cuan - Penultimate Blog
Less than 100 miles to go. Its 03.45 local time. ( We will have sailed through 4 time zones by the time we reach St Lucia in the coming hours.). Emily came off watch at 03.00. So its me holding the fort until around 8.00 when things start to come to life again. This should be our last night at sea. Hopefully we should be in late this evening or early in the morning tomorrow. We are all looking forward to getting in, as three weeks is a long time to be at sea on an non stop roller coaster ride. However from me anyway there will also be a tinge of sadness. There is nothing that I have ever experienced that comes close to the isolation of being on a little boat in the middle of the ocean and also the 'can do' feeling that you need to be able to do this type of thing.We all agreed that it. read more...
Summerwinds of Cuan - Problem & Solution
So here we are eating breakfast in the cockpit, calculator to hand. We had just had two of our best daily milage totals for this trip. Now calculating when we would get to St Lucia. We were seeing the total 'miles to go' peel off in recent days, so a few days left to go. Did we want a night arrival, or perhaps slow down and get a nice daytime sail past the finish line.The wind then turned itself off. Well not off completely, not so that there was a flat calm requiring the use of the engine to get us back to a healthy six knots. But down to like one notch on the car's heater fan. Enough to keep moving , but doing nothing for our milage or our morale.Solution.Fishing hasn't been great on this trip. We are down to our last lure with up to now nothing to show for our efforts. "Well, we. read more...
Summerwinds of Cuan - It's not all beer & skittles out here you know!
Last night was one of squalls, big seas and strong winds. Fortunately all was from behind, but we would just get the boat set up, running lovely with her two poled out headsails. No sooner would the sky darken hiding the light from the moon, the wind speed increase quite dramatically as the rainy squall passed through. It was exhilarating in a scary sort of way.The seas were running behind at around 3 meters but higher at times. As the wind started to increase, so would the boat's speed. Looking back at the following seas the blackness of the water blanked out the milky horizon until it was much higher than that of the boat. The foaming wave crests could be seen and heard as they grew closer to the stern. The transom then lifted as if to let the wave pass underneath as Summerwinds. read more...
Summerwinds of Cuan - Our boom is like Mary Poppin's handbag
We are currently sailing downwind with two headsails both poled out with separate poles. We have the mainsail up with three reefs in and cranked down tight centrally. The wind and sea are from behind. The sails are pulling us forward and reefing is very easy. Just ease the sheets, pull in a few turns of the drum rope and the sails open & close up like curtains. The purpose of the mainsail is to counter against rolling and stopping as broaching as we run down these big seas.Since running with this configuration, we have found other benefits. We have long had a metallic clunking from the boom when the mainsail slatted. We spoke to riggers, suggested perhaps it was something to do with the reefing mechanism. They said no, but it was always a mystery. A couple of. read more...