Heading North - Day One 14 20.197N 061 10.666W

Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 11 May 2014 17:51
Underway once again - bound for the BVIs where we may be hauled out for antifouling and other underwater maintenance jobs. Left St Lucia at 06.00 local time, but that's not our time! As we have on more than one occasion in the past, we decided to keep our own time and are operating on GMT-2 rather than GMT-4 that is local time. That means we didn't leave until 08.00 our time - a much more sociable hour for those that don't like getting up early! The above is our noon position, so after 4 hours.

We started the passage wondering whether we would have enough wind as the forecast was for light winds and it was very light to start with. However, by midday we had far too much - 25 to 30kts gusting higher. It's built up a really nasty sea too and as our course takes us away from the islands we're getting very little protection. Saying the other day that we had forgotten how flat the sea can be in the Caribbean, we had also forgotten how rough it can be between the islands and offshore. Not sure where this wind has come from, but we hope goes back there pretty soon! We hadn't forgotten that the winds can come up quickly so left this morning with a double reefed main, just in case, and used the genoa to keep the speed up. By lunchtime we had rolled the genoa away and had been going under main alone, but as the wind increased (and we've had gusts up to 36kts now), the main came down and we're under just the staysail, and still making 5.5 to 6.5kts. If we thought Caribbean sailing was going to be easy, then it's making sure we think again - we've had more wind today than we had all the way from St Helena!

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