Monday, March 24, 2014

Déjà Vu

We checked the forecast and set our route from St Piere, Martinique to Dominica. We are heading north again to be in Antigua for Race Week. The forecast called for 15 kts from the east with 5 ft seas. Perfect!

We have learned that leaving early gives you a slight advantage over any wind that builds throughout the day AND we had 55 miles to cover.  So anchor was up at 6:30 am and we sailed through the lee of the island to the Martinique Channel. By 9 am, our staysail was sitting in the cockpit next to us instead of on the stay 60 feet in the air where it belonged. Turns out a 35 kt gust was the last straw for the halyard that was chafed as it comes out of the mast. Luckily, the sail stayed on the foredeck as it collapsed. We turned the autopilot on and Baxter and I worked in 30 kt winds and 10 feet seas coming over the bow to fold the sail, bring all the sheets forward (lots of fun on the leeward side with the toe rail in the water), keep an eye out for fish traps, make sure the oncoming squall is benign and keep the boat on course. Whoever said the Caribbean is always 16-20 from due east has not paid it a visit this year.

The next eight hours were rolly and gusty. As soon as we had the sails trimmed for 17 kts at a 60 degree wind angle, they would gust to 35+ from 150. As we pulled into Prince Rupert in Dominica, we were pretty tired but used the last of our personal energy reserves to tie up to the PAYS mooring water ball and fill our water tanks (over 120 gallons). 

We are not sure if we're staying in Dominica for more than one night. We have a few issues to work through - including what seems to be another bee in the fuel tank (yes, that reared it's ugly head today as well) and re rigging the staysail halyard. However, customs is not open on weekends and checking in here is difficult with Kala so we may just move on to Iles Saintes. 

I think we'll sleep on it…

Our messy cockpit with the staysail in front of the wheel…and it's only 10 a.m. with 7 hours to go. It is going to be a looonnngggg day.

Ridin' it out.

The torn staysail halyard.  The little black thing in front of the upside down dinghy is not supposed to be there and the string hanging off of it should be attached to the TOP of a sail.

1 comment:

Doug Miracle said...

Looks like y'all are having a blast! Keep the updates coming, love reading your stuff.

Stay safe, have a cold one for me.

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