11:12N 53:30W Swallows and Amazons

S/V Blue Argolis
Greg and Sue Hill
Sun 18 Dec 2022 15:31

Latitude: 11 12.380N ; Longitude: 53 24.817W Sunday 18 December 2022 day 17 at sea

Well hello folks, and thank you for tuning in to the next instalment of ‘BA to the Caribbean’ ;)

We are now 3/4 of the way across, making good progress in a lively wind. Yesterday afternoon and through out the night we’ve had from 13 to 30 knots of wind as squally gusts have come through. It’s very grey and cloudy, Greg had an horrendous rain shower on his watch, if it wasn’t for the fact it was dark, he might have grabbed the soap! We had reefs in, reefs out, shake it all about, several times. At the moment we’ve got 2 reefs in main and genoa, no mizzen, just went to shake out and wind back up to 22 knots, so left it in ….. anyway, we’re back cracking along nicely at 6 knots…. But the breaking swells are huge, making living interesting again. Hey ho, we’re used to it now, but more sleep would be appreciated! Our last 24 hour run was 135nm on the log; 151nm on GPS longitude, 363 or 481nm to go, depending! The weather forecast is for more of the same so …. we could be in 21 or 22nd? But, the question is where?

No we still haven’t decided where landfall will be, but there is good reason for this. We always said we’d make land fall in Barbados, based on the song ‘We’re going to Barbados’…. yep, it was as whimsical as that! But, when checking, customs and immigration arrangements in Barbados, they seem in the south at least, to be difficult for yachts and there are only anchorages, with not facilities. Humph! So, not keen on this now! Next, we thought Port Louis, South West Grenada, there’s a big marina, with all facilities and them some :) and…. we have an along side berth booked, none of the trapeze act we had to get ashore in Mindelo! The only issue is pirates! Yes you read right. We’re not talking Swallows and Amazon here, but organised drug gangs that apparently hang around the between Trinidad and Tobago and South Grenada, with reported incidents of yachts being robbed en route to their destination. Our Rhum line course to the south tip of Grenada would have taken us 20nm north of Tobago…. :0 And, I’m not really very brave! So, we’re now heading further north to put some space between us and Tobago….. in fact our current heading will take us to Barbados ….. or maybe we’ll sail on to St. Vincent? Choices, choices!

We’ve sent out a few emails to get some up to date facts on the pirate risks …. We are awaiting responses and then we will toss a coin and take our chances! 

Which brings me onto ‘swallows’…. Sailors are a superstitious bunch, they also like their tattoos! For passages of over 1,000nm tradition has it that you have a swallow tattoo :) our passage when we get there will be over 2,000nm, ergo 2 swallows. Luckily we have our own tattoo artist in the family, our daughter, Kate Hill, professionally known as Loxxi Moon Tattoos (check her out on Facebook/instagram) :) Kate next time I’m home I need 2 swallows please …. Get designing please ;)

Anyway will update with our decision tomorrow 

Yours aye

Greg and Sue xx