Fw: Back to Europe - 3

Tue 10 Aug 2010 12:24
----- Original Message -----
To: story
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 8:13 AM
Subject: Back to Europe - 3

On Monday morning (May 10) we finally reached the area with some wind and set the sails after 29 hours of  running with the motor.
In the late afternoon   the wind got stronger ( 6-7 Bf) turning to northeast creating  waves higher than 3m. We had to steer as close as possible to the wind to keep the direction. It became quite uncomfortable and by dawn the wind turned to NNW which was our direction The fight against the wind, the waves and the current was hard, but despite very good boat speed we could only make 4  miles towards to destination.
By  the evening we had enough of shaking,  rolled the sails away and did the last 70 miles under motor. At 6:05  local time we crossed the finish line at  the entrance to the St. George's harbour on Bermuda.  In 6 days and 17 hours on the ocean we sailed 864 nautical miles (1600 km).
We had a very friendly conversation with the Bermuda Radio about 26 miles to the coast. They supervise the 30 miles circle around Bermuda and they offer navigational help and give the permissions to enter the harbour through a very narrow channel. They do ask a lot of questions about the boat, the crew and its equipment. We have sent the questionaire in advance, so the radio procedure was rather short. 
The customs dock was empty and the procedure was fast without any questions, but some paperwork which I prepared in advance. They are open 24 hours.
The pier in the Dingy & Sports Club Marina is rather short with a space for 15 yachts. We set the anchor in 7m depth and 50 m of chain and went stern to the pier as the first boat. In the late afternoon the wind started blowing again reaching some 25 knots by the next morning. Our two neighbourd on the starboard side had to leave as their anchors were no longer holding.
We did not have any issue but we were staying on GIN'S the whole day
to be able to react fast to wind increase or anchor slippage.
Friday was calm and we payed a visit to the Bermuda Radio station.
It was very interesting to see how they monitor the space around the island to protect the very wide range of reefs. After that Igor rented a small bike ( moped ) as foreigners are not allowed to drive a car on the island and we drove around for couple of hours.
The new crew for the next leg to Azores islands arrived on Saturday night and Igor left on Sunday morning via New York and London to
Now it is time to prepare the boat and the crew for the start on Wednesday at 12:00