Ascension Northwards - Day Twenty Three - Arrived!! 14 04.443N 060 57.024W
Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 7 May 2014 02:38
We had forgotten how flat the Caribbean Sea is behind the islands - the west, leeward side, was completely protected from any swell. With the anchorages at St Helena and Ascension Island both being open roadsteads (along the coast with hardly any protection) we hadn't experienced such flat water since leaving the marina in Cape Town back on 13th March! While we kept the wind, it was like sailing on a mill pond. And we did keep the wind most of the way up the west coast, but had to motor the last hour or so into Rodney Bay, and arrived at the marina at 15.00 this afternoon. So safely tied alongside. The passage took exactly 23 days for a total distance of 3,142 miles - marginally the longest we have done, just beating the passage from the Galapagos to Marquesas. (But that only took 17 days 22 hours - we flew and had good current, unlike this passage where we had the doldrums to contend with, a lot of counter current and wind ahead of the beam some of the way.) At 23 days it also equals the longest passage duration (the Atlantic back in 2008 - that was really slow!)
We were operating GMT-2 hours on the boat, as were the other boats on the net (all but one of which have now reached their destinations), but St Lucia is GMT-4. So we've gained time by putting the clocks back another 2 hours. So we're operating GMT-4, which is BST-5 - confused?! It means we're now 5 hours behind the UK. That feels a little strange after having been 10-12 hours ahead of the UK for so long up until the summer of last year.
Oh, and just one other small detail - at 08.33 this morning (10.33 GMT), just after passing the Pitons, we crossed our outward track. And that, of course, means we have sailed around the World - two new circumnavigators! After some of the hiccups we've had that sounds good, it sounds very good!!
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