" A LADY" trip around the world ,,, ( presently sailing from St. Lucia to the A.B.C. Islands )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 7 Jan 2010 14:16
WEDNESDAY 6th January 2010............. departure day..
06.30..We all got out on deck and prepared " A  Lady " to go to the fuel dock for Diesel ,
We were the first to arrive at the fuel berth, ( by just a few minutes only) and when they opened for buisness at 08.00 we filled up with 700lts
of diesel and filled the rib tanks with petrol
09.00 we returned to E3 , our marina berth and docked there for the morning,
We had already cleared our papers for leaving St. Lucia , and Philip was on his way to the top of the mast to change the light bulb in the tricolour
fitting up there. this took about an hour or so.
We topped up the water tank and washed down the cockpit while the hose was still on deck.
The two tanks on board ( one for diesel and one for water ) hold 1 ton of liquid in each tank,
We treat the water with a capfull of bleech, and the fuel tanks with an " enzyme fuel treatment"  and a " diesel water absorber ".. These additives
keep the fuel clean and free of water and condensation.
We checked the Chandlery for the new water pump for our generator, as we have a small leak in the mechanical seal of the existing  genny.
but it had not arrieved, it was in the system somewhere but we were not going to have it before going to sea.
However    Peter Turner    on " Asolare " would hopefully bring it with him to Panama as they would not be leaving St Lucia untill 18.00 hrs
The wind was easterly and we had a good start in a fleet of approx 34 boats, the first and only mark on the course was outside  CASTRIES
harbour and we were 3rd boat around the mark, just ahead of a swan 72, skippered by David Mc Arthur from Bunchrana,
Of course Donal knows his father, who it seems was very much involved in the setting up of "FRUIT  OF THE LOOM "
( thats my man , DONAL, he knows everyone , and if he dosent, he will surely know someone who knows them anyway, )
DONAL dident waste his time in the RAF flying or anything like that, HE WAS NETWORKING for the future.............
Anyway, after passing the mark at Castries, we set a course for the A.B .C, Islands , Off the northern tip of Venezuela.
A B C stands for the islands of :-  Aruba, Bonaire, & Curacao,  These Islands are supposed to be beautifull, so we will have a stopover there
before going onto the " San Blas " islands near Panama.  .............A distance of approx 500 miles...
15.00 We were goose winging along in17knots of breeze and doing 6.4 knots over the ground.
Then it happened,, always some feckin thing to spoil the day. 
WHAT WAS TEARING, we looked forward and sure enough, the " Yankee" headsail got caught in the " jump struts" ( diamond stays )
and ripped the    Leech Line      off the total length of the sail . however the skipper decided to roll up some of the sail and we would carry on,
which we did in fine style.....
21.00 Dinner  ( a stew prepared by Donal himself) was served in the cockpit, under a beautifull starrey night sky, with the milkey way
particularly visable and spectacular.....
THURSDAY 7th  January 2010
01.00 hrs   Kevin ( not feeling so good ) and the skipper were on watch. the Moon came up around that time and brightened things up .
We passed a number of ships travelling out from panama , heading east along...
02.00hrs  The wind was rising and now blowing 27 / 28 knots , so we reefed in some of the mainsail, which helped balance her up alittle, but
overall she was rolling like our dogs used to do in the cow shit years ago, especially when we would go to " Crookhaven "
02.30 hrs  Donal , appeared in the hatch to relieve the two on deck,
06.00 hrs the skipper got up to another beautifull day, walked the boat for a bit of exercise, and collected the 6 flying fish
which had come aboard over night,,