Walkabout - Walkabout - Never a dull moment on the Atlantic - Day12 Mindelo to Grenada
Pretty much every day, when the sun is going down, we comment ‘where did that day go??’ Before we embarked on this adventure we were probably the same as you, wondering how you fill your time in such a small space for so long. But the days go quickly. Keeping the boat sorted and safe, and managing nav and sails, looking after ourselves and each other - and the day is gone!
Yesterday was fairly chilled. We did shake the reefs out of the main. Then got overpowered, so decided to go to reef one - only to discover that the clew attachment block had fallen off!! So no reef 1. So down to reef 2. Figured out the problem with Reef 1, and had to clamber up to the end of the boom to refit it (a shackle had obviously come undone, and had disappeared.
After that things settled down. Had a good chat with Tortuga on the VHF. We have been within a few miles of each other for about 36 hours now. At one stage there were several others, but they have all headed off in slightly different directions. So there was just the 2 of us - until about 0100 (Walkabout Time, UST-3), when a boat called ‘Tiramisu’ appeared on AIS, about 9miles away. And then it started to get interesting…
Tiramisu called us on the VHF, to say that he is Norwegian, single handed, heading to Martinique - and he has a problem. He has been in touch with the Coast Guard and they advised that we are the nearest vessel, and that he should request us to rendezvous and stand by whilst he attempts to sort his problem. He has a loud banging on the hull - probably got something wrapped around the keel. He plans to stop the boat and get in the water to dive under the boat and attempt to remove whatever is there. If that is not possible, then to assess whether there is any damage being done, and whether it is safe to continue as is.
So we are to stand by close to him whilst he goes in the water, in case of a problem. So we have slowed down, dropped the main and have a bit of Genoa out, adjusted our course, so that we can meet up around day break and he can look at the problem. I have to say, getting in the water and under the boat in these conditions is not something you undertake lightly. There is big swell and 18-20 knots of wind. Stopping the boat will be nigh on impossible, and getting hit as the boat rolls is a real possibility. He will be tethered to the boat, but this will drag him through the water. It is a challenging exercise.
So our progress to Grenada, is halted for a while, whilst we give support to Tiramisu.
His lights are in sight now, and sunrise is in about an hour.
We will provide an update once he is back on board and happy with his situation.