Barbados for Christmas

The aim was always Barbados for Christmas with the boys and we have had a great time. Marie, Tristan’s girlfriend also joined us which was a special treat. We are now in Martinique – which is just delightful. The pilot book describes Martinique as a breathe of civilisation. No offence to Barbados but it is very welcome. We spent 20 days on anchor in Barbados and we were completely self sufficient but beach landings are nearly always wet and sometimes rather too exciting. The battle against sand and water assaults to our technology has resulted in one phone down – not too bad!

Oliver and Stuart were with us for 10 more days after arriving in Barbados. Activities included probably too many welcome/leaving socials including many rum punches. Importantly Stuart ensured that our fishing kit was suitably upgraded and organised a fishing trip where the lures and lines were up to the job and we duly caught big fish. Oliver organised a clear up of the Careenage and reached the local newspaper. We also enjoyed some sight seeing and in particular visiting a magnificent flower forest. We were very lucky to see baby turtles hatch and make their epic journey to the sea. This happened just along the beach were we had walked daily. At our anchorage “Terry” turtle also visited daily which was delightful.

The boys were with us for ten days. We celebrated a Swedish Xmas with a Xmas eve party on the boat and then normal Xmas with lunch at the local hotel followed by racing on Boxing Day. Activities included sub aqua diving, swimming, and sightseeing.

The Trans Atlantic trip

The journey so far Cherbourg to Barbados

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.

Generalactivity – 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.

. The

Cape Verdes

We leave the Cape Verdes tomorrow for Barbados.  We have really enjoyed our time here.  The country is very third world and reprovisioning  has been a challenge – I don’t suppose we will fade away but the cuisine may be rather limited at the end.  We have washed our fruit in an attempt to avoid cockroaches but our French neighbours were rather more diligent.   On one island the scenery was spectacular – photos attached.

La Corunna in the sunshine

Finally crossed Biscay! No photos of that as not really a photo moment – big seas and winds.  Philippe and Jon Luc, our French skippers certainly knows how to do Biscay and were great.  Now well rested and motoring in glorious sunshine just of La Corunna and actually we would love a bit more wind!  A bit of mending this morning on the boom brake and Julian’s tools came into their own.  There are many of them, but I am told you cannot have too many!  Should be round Cape Finisterre this evening and heading South.