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Amazing Grace - Amazing Grace Log 2: Preparation is the Key to Success

It’s now T-2 days until we set sail to Colombia. And we are NOT READY. But we’re getting there 😊.

In the meantime, our days are filled with seminars about the route, weather, currents and tides, best places to provision, can’t miss places to explore, etc. etc. My novice sailing brain can only follow about 50% of it, but Captain Dave is soaking it all in so he can teach us along the way.

You guys have a lot of questions for us about the route: Why go westward? What about hurricanes and bad weather? Why not spend more time in Indonesia since you’re already over there? Isn’t this dangerous? And to those we can confidently say that for a circum-navigation expedition in under 2 years, this has been well thought out and we’re sure it’s the right trip for us.

Sailing west allows us to pick up the trade winds which allow for better and easier sailing. The schedule was carefully planned (by someone much more knowledgeable than us) to allow us to avoid hurricane and cyclone season all around the world. Yes, that means we’ll rush through some interesting areas, but we can always return on future trips. And we are absolutely, purposely avoiding areas of the world where pirates are prevalent, or the natives aren’t welcoming to foreigners.

Still, this is an adventure and it will be challenging in all the best ways, beginning with our first sail. We expect tail winds averaging about 30-40 knots on our way to Colombia from St. Lucia. That’s A LOT OF WIND- so we’re working hard with our fellow sailors to select the best routes and techniques to get there safely.

We also have a lot of general preparations to do. We replaced the halyard (line/rope that raises the main sail), got all our spare parts repaired if necessary and stowed, organized the cabins and the galley, and are working to get all the electronics and safety equipment working.

The good news: The true mark of a sailor is that they enjoy working on the boat as much as they enjoy sailing it. I guess I can’t quite call myself a sailor yet.

In the craziness, we also remembered to start building community with our fellow boats and take time to enjoy the island. The World ARC put on a couple happy hour events, complete with steel drums, local appetizers, rum punch, and Piton. We enjoyed mingling with the other boats and learning their stories. I don’t see how we could ever be bored with so many people from all walks of life.

Now let’s chat everyone’s favorite subject: food. Dinners have been FABULOUS. Admiral Anne searched high and low to find us the best French restaurant on the island, Jacques, where we “cheers”ed to the next 15 months with new friends. Food highlights were a portabella and goat cheese tart and the coconut crème brulee.

Other dinners included Captain Dave’s steaks on the grill and the most amazing Indian restaurant, which was recommended to us as the “best Indian food on 3 continents”. I don’t know what 3 continents those were, but it was the best Indian food I’ve ever had- and we again enjoyed getting to know fun new friends.

Admiral Anne and I enjoyed the island’s signature cocktail, a BBC (banana, Bailey’s, Coco Lopez). This thing could convince anyone to move here.

See the full blog with pictures and video here:


Kristen Pankratz

First mate, Amazing Grace

TLDR: Always try the local cocktail.

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