BLOG 27 – We Have the Power
The brown, Sargasso seaweed is now surrounding us in swathes, and the water is a pure blue. We have been looking for a lost fishing net, and a demasted Transac boat, but would be lucky to see it, but it’s nice to have a focus.
We have sorted our battery problem by shorting the VSR, which was hindering us for safety reasons (kind of like when your car goes into meltdown because the puddle light isn’t working). The navigation has been easy without it, and we haven’t used the auto helm, anyway.
We ended the day in perfect symmetry: the sun setting ahead of us, and the super moon rising directly behind us; we were definitely going west.
Martin has been doing videos, today, so I hope they can be posted.
BLOG 28 – A Good Washing Day
When the weather gets so hot that you can’t move, without breaking into a sweat, it is always important to get the hatches open as soon as the rain has moved on. When a squall hits, it is a race to close down all hatches, and dump some sail. We had a few buckets of seawater come in on various occasions (hence the lack of cabin lighting, and extra mopping up of the heads), but when a flying fish lands on the deck, and slides into a slightly open hatch, then that’s unlucky. When the hatch is right above the skipper’s bunk, then that’s doubly unlucky. I think I mentioned how absolutely minging these things are, but in your bed, it’s as welcome as a skunk in a wardrobe. When you come on deck in your underwear at 2am, with a bundle of bedclothes, and the crew can only laugh, that’s got to hurt. In the brief period of mirth, we were hit by the biggest squall so far. The wind gusted from 10 knots to 35 knots in a matter of seconds. Martin dumped the bedclothes, and we dumped half the sail as the hatch closed, with Martin on the dry side of it. Even heavy rain wasn’t going to get those whites right.
300 miles to go.
The fish survived.
BLOG 29 – A Scottish Summer
This was very much like a summer’s day in Scotland, but perhaps warmer. The sky was grey, featureless, and the rain was incessant. For the first time, since Portugal, it was actually a little cold. The wind dropped off enough for us to refuel, and the familiar squalls returned, and the swell rose to levels we were accustomed to.
We were getting good at dodging the squalls, and we made it through the night, without getting wet.
The following morning was gorgeous, and there was a strange ambivalence on board as we knew there was only a day left, and we wanted to arrive as much as we wanted to stay in that lazy flowing sea for ever.
With 100 miles to go, Martin staged a photoshoot, and we went to bed knowing we would see the green mountains of Saint Lucia looming in the morning as soon as the sun started to rise.
BLOG 30 – Rum and Cigars for Breakfast
It’s an overwhelming feeling to approach land after three weeks at sea. The icing on the cake was a huge turtle, carelessly waving an arm as it ducked under the swell to avoid us (they are as cool as their role in Finding Nemo would suggest). Small boats came out to greet us; some were adorned with palm leaves, and selling fruit; a photographer took shots, with the hope of selling us the prints. Every time a boat comes in from the Atlantic, there is a claxon of horns as other boats share your arrival, and this is a regular event as more boats make it across.
We were greeted by two of the marina staff bearing fruit, rum punch and smile. Every boat gets this treatment, and every smile is genuine.
We made it: we crossed an ocean.
We don’t usually smoke cigars, but as we sat back that morning, in the blazing Caribbean sun, with a MonteCristo in one hand (thank you so much, for such an insightful gift, Georgia), and a rum in the other, every little thing was going to be alright.
Thank you to everyone who has followed, shared, liked, and helped to make this a successful trip. I will reply to any comments, when I get back to Edinburgh.
Thank you for all of your donations to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, and for the wonderful messages, which have brought tears to my eyes.
This has been the trip of a lifetime. Hopefully it will make a difference.