Shepherd Moon - Paddington Bear land (or continent, at least)
We've sailed to Colombia, near neighbour of deepest, darkest Peru. That sounds a lot more exciting than we've sailed to Saint Lucia. The past 24 hours have been a rollercoaster ride. The seas pile up in this corner of the Caribbean Sea and so we've been surfing down big, steep waves, which is great for our speed if not our nerves. Unfortunately, Eddy, a close friend of Equatorial Current, did take offence at our faux pas over the name and has been doing his best to push us back the way we came.You'll be pleased to hear that we were too busy yesterday to spend much time fretting about colour-coordinated sailing attire; instead we spent the day changing sails. We even managed to get the mainsail up for the first time since we broke it leaving Cape Verde nearly two months ago. A bit like a. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Pride comes before a fall
Thankfully the Equatorial current is very forgiving and hasn't gone off in a sulk just because we called it by the wrong name in yesterday's blog. It has continued to whisk us along westwards at a couple of knots, helping us achieve a noon-to-noon run of 179 nautical miles. The sea has lost the glorious electric blue of the mid-Atlantic and is now more grey-blue, with splashes of white where the waves over steepen and tumble in on themselves. It's still very beautiful in it's own way.The big news from yesterday is that Jacob and I had showers and so we are both squeaky clean. That also meant new pants for me, this time with a rather fetching maroon waste band that happens to match the maroon belt on my sailing shorts. Perhaps I took a little too much pleasure in my colour-coordinated. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Pants day
We have made excellent progress over the past 24 hours. Between noon yesterday and noon today we have covered 170 miles, compared to the miserly 110 miles per day we averaged across the Atlantic. Picture a finely tuned crew, constantly tweaking sheets and grinding winches, eking out an extra tenth of a knot here and there - that wouldn't be Shepherd Moon. Picture instead the skipper lounging in the cockpit in just his pants. Not, I hasten to add, common-or-garden pants, but high spec technical pants. Even so, it wasn't a pretty sight. An early morning squall was to blame (which also explains why I was wearing pyjamas in the cockpit when we were pooped by a greybeard). My shorts and T-shirt took all day to dry in the 80%+ relative humidity, but my clever technical pants dried. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Visitations
We made good progress west yesterday, and we didn't break anything! Even the Blue Water Runner behaved, at least in a relative sense, although that bar is set very low; about sea level to be precise. Yesterday morning we saw a squall approaching on the radar and decided it would be best to furl away the Blue Water Runner until it was safely past. We'd managed to get it more or less furled but it was still a bit baggy around the clews (the bit where the ropes are attached, or more accurately, the sheets). We tried unfurling it a smidge to tidy it up and in the process the top and bottom unravelled, with only the baggy bit left furled. With ominous dark clouds fast approaching, we decided the only option was to drop the sail and get it tied on deck. Now where else would you drop the Blue. read more...
Shepherd Moon - Counting chickens
Now, where were we? A lot has happened since our last blog entry on the 4th December, but some things never change. This morning the Blue Water Runner ended up in the sea, but this time it was down to user error rather than equipment failure, but more on that in tomorrow's blog.Having arrived safely in Saint Lucia we scooped up Daisy and her boyfriend Chris, and spent a glorious week or so sailing down through the Grenadines. I never realised that snorkelling with turtles could be so cathartic. Our accident-prone Atlantic crossing faded into a distant and rose-tinted memory, and all was good with the World once again. We obviously managed to break a halyard whilst flying the Blue Water Runner, but that goes without saying. The only unfortunate thing was that the inevitable "bang". read more...