Arrived safely in the British Virgin Islands

Alia Vita
Rob & Frances Lythgoe
Wed 11 Nov 2015 12:40
Well, what a trip! That was certainly the toughest passage we have endured so far.  We took exactly 9.5 days to sail 1,590 miles. Had we been able to sail a direct route it would have been only 1,275. We experienced our biggest recorded wind so far at 66.4 knots and our fastest boat speed at 18 knots, both of those were thankfully very short lived in a squall.  The reason it was the toughest passage to date is that all but about 1 hour of the trip were ‘to weather’, ie into the wind and Atlantic waves, it is exhausting just sitting still. We turned the boat downwind for an hour a few days ago to get showers, re-secure the dinghy, check the rigging for any problems and just to generally take a breather, but as soon as we turned back to weather we were back on it.
I have been astounded at Frances’s ability to prepare two meals a day, from scratch, for 4 crew in those conditions, and I am so relieved that we had Bill and Lydia Strickland with us, it would have been pretty tough on our own. The boat has been amazing, she is sporting a few ‘battle scars’ but nothing of any consequence, just minor wear and tear items. We are now going to have R & R and give Alia Vita a bit of pampering. This passage made crossing the Atlantic like a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon, and we prefer those walks. We will probably not have another upwind passage to do for years, from here it really should be with wind and waves behind us all the way to Australia.