8We have arrived in Barbados! 15 days at sea – 2200nm – moving continuously, rolling continuously, nothing to see but sea, no google, no viruses, and our own time zone – an unique experience. We have lived well – good company, good food, very warm and all very safe and comfortable.
Sailing – we have sailed virtually all the way. At the beginning we had to motor for a couple of days as no wind. Our strategy of going south to 12N proved right as there were better winds here. Our sail plan was poled out jib plus staysail and main and after a problem with the main we used poled out jib and staysail with trysail – this all worked really well although created many ropes. The winds ranged from 10 to 20 knots and on our fastest day we averaged 7.7kts and covered 186 miles. Squalls featured on a couple of days – bizarrely some heavy rain seemed welcome and cleaned the decks. We experienced problems with weed.
Fishing. Stuart was chief fisherman and his enthusiasm cannot be faulted, but sadly our kit was not man enough for the job. These are big fish and they trashed our lures and lines on numerous occasions. We saw and had hooked large king mackerels or possibly tuna but were unable to reel them in. Lure making was continuous and the homemade super squid proved a hit and caught 4 dorado.
Stocks. It was a sad day when the tea pig mint tea bags and the Branston ran out. The bananas were excellent but stocks didn’t quite last the trip. The beer and wine stocks were sufficient albeit the white wine box was dubious and renamed chateau Petronius on account of its petrol aftertaste. We enjoyed some Champagne at half way and some Chateau Leoville Barton at three quarters way. Cuisine has been excellent and included Roast Chicken, curry, Mexican breakfast, chilli and panned fried dorado, Mediterranean salad and homemade bread.
General activity – books, sunbathing, sleeping, technology, a matinee, endless skipper’s jobs, photography, art, scrabble, whipping and knots, swimming in 4000m, night watches – looking at the night sky. The water maker has proved invaluable and we have showered daily and used the washing machine.