Friday, November 16th, 2012
Picton Castle is about 130 miles ENE of Barbuda – sailing due south along in sweet pleasant light trades, making 6 knots bound for Carriacou and Grenada. I plan to keep sailing on the east, about 60 miles on the windward side, of the island chain to keep the good breeze and not get suckered in to taking in an extra island. Tammy and son joining up with us in Carriacou, and seven new trainee crew members in Grenada.
This North Atlantic this fall was not a pretty picture for passages south. What a wretched North Atantic ocean this year! Some autumns seems like a good chance along for sailing south offshore but not this one of 2012. We had a good window when we sailed November 3rd, actually was good enough by November 1st after Sandy but I wanted left over seas to lay down some more. But there has been bloody little getting south offshore from New England or Nova Scotia since. Had we not sailed Nov 3rd/4th we would have been easily another week or more in Lunenburg and would still be well north of Bermuda now. Might only be setting out right now, 12 plus days later.
Yet our passage south was been fine. A bit of a slog at times, mostly because I chose to keep motoring and pushing even when we had fair winds. Wanted those 200 mile days making southing. Wanted to lose latitude. Thought about putting in to Bermuda, we came within 80 miles but then we would have been there three days and wasted the fair winds given to us at the time. And these winds were snatched away soon enough around Bermuda. Many would-be mariners believe that a vessel is out of the Winter North Atlantic woods by the time they get to Bermuda, but that really isn’t quite so. Not out of the woods at Bermuda yet, but you can maybe see the end from there.
Now we are in sweet flying fish weather, and plenty warm. I have had my traditional and ceremonial flying fish for breakfast and now all is well. This year after 16 years of fine and torturous service we replaced our 1893 cast iron stove with propane restaurant gear before we sailed , two of them actually, side by each and the new stoves in the galley are great. Will be at Carriacou in three days in these perfect and fair easterly trades.
The crew are doing great, a keen bunch, learning fast, the ship is fine, the Caribbean sweet and the South Pacific beckons.