Raritan - Raritan – 12/11/18 – Day 18 – Land Ho!
Well, we made it. Pete was right. After 17 days, 23 hours and 10 minutes, we crossed the finish line at St. Lucia.Early on the first day of our voyage, Pete announced that his statistical analysis of the situation had determined that we had a 100% chance of making it to St. Lucia alive. Each day we’d ask him for an update, particularly after harrowing events such as an unplanned jibe with snapped preventer or a shredded Code 0. Pete’s unapologetic answer each time was 100%.I’ll have to admit that, although I agreed in each case with Pete’s analysis, the trip has been harder than I’d imagined. Night watches in particular were quite taxing in a boat which is not designed to go directly downwind. An unplanned jibe can be devastating to both boat and crew, so unrelenting vigilance is. read more...
Raritan - Raritan – 12/11/18 (11/12/18 for those from Europe) – Day 17 – Captain Slog, stardate 17.256.9
Voyages of the USA ship Raritan. Pete survival prediction still at 100% I think we’re going to make it. We had to resort to engine for a few hours last night with the sailors blight of too much sea and not enough wind to keep the sails from thumping and banging all night and keeping everyoneawake. The wind picked with the coming dawn and the sea state a little more regular. A good days sail under 1st reef and jib dodging rain showers where possible. 2nd reef in main at dusk. All round, top notch, team effort working like a well oiled machine now. Floated the idea of hanging a right Bernard Matissie (sp?) style and shunning the publicity of the finish in St Lucia for an immediate return trip to Europe. No takers.All joking aside, it has been a pleasure to be involved with this band of. read more...
Raritan - Raritan – 12/10/18 – Day 16 – Managing the vagaries of tropical weather
It’s been over two weeks now and I think I can safely say that we’re all looking forward to being back on shore soon. As Doug noted above, conversation has turned to topics like, “Won’t it be nice to be able to eat dinner without having your food slide off your plate or your plate slide off the table?” Or, “What sort of food are you looking forward to most?” French fries are near the top of the communal list.It will also be nice to be able to take a shower or walk around without constantly rocking and rolling and trying to keep your balance. We all definitely have varsity-level sea legs now and re-acclimation to terra firma might be interesting. As I write this (1430 on day 17), we have 163 miles to go, which has only increased our anticipation. Our arrival looks to be on Wednesday. read more...
Raritan – 12/9/18 – Day 15 – A “day off”
The previous few days have provided us with some drama and chores. Today we found steady winds of 12-16 knots and decided to take it easy. No spinnaker, an easy day of sailing primarily Westward with plenty of time for the crew to sleep, shower, read, or lounge in the cockpit and listed to music. In the morning we ticked past the 500 miles-to-go milestone, which felt significant. Our arrival in St. Lucia seems pretty likely to fall on Wednesday evening, and we’d like to do what we can to ensure we arrive before sunset. Many of the cockpit discussions revolved around what we will eat, drink, and do once we reach terra firma. Our relaxing day helped prepare us for a taxing night.As we get closer to the Caribbean, we find ourselves sailing through numerous squalls. A gust of cool air is the. read more...
Raritan - Raritan 12/8/18 Day 14 – A day of chores
Morning broke on the day marking our second week on the water, and we were of two minds: on the one hand, we were making good progress and the end was in sight; on the other, we’d lost our most powerful sail. The wind was beautiful, but the swell was still irksome.We set about some housekeeping in the morning before shifting into a bigger gear. Ian climbed up into the end of the boom to repair a fraying second reef line. We’d worn completely through the cover and it would snap if not repaired.After a jibe, we set the spinnaker and marched west. The increased sail power reduced the effect of the swell and everyone’s mood improved. Unfortunately, early in the afternoon, we discovered with a binocular inspection that we’d chafed through the spinnaker halyard at the top of the mast. We had. read more...