Friday 21 December 2007
6.20 Set off for Saba, just over 15 miles. I motor sailed to try to get ahead of
the bad weather that had been forecast, but there was no evidence of it so
08.45 I was less than 5 miles, an hour, from Saba and decided that I did
not want to go there. I changed
course from NW to N. St Barthelemy
was the next on route and the nearest, but that was NE which was into the wind
and the increased swell; and I did not want to go there either. I was going to St Marten and nothing I
could say would change my mind. I
had gone 10 miles in the wrong direction, but it was only another 30 miles and I
can make it before dark if I motor sail.
11.20 switched off the engine and sailed. The wind and swell were not behind me,
but not really against me and I could do 3 to 4 knots. I just seem to have got it into my head
that I have to do 4 to 5 knots, which means motor sailing. The sails will hold the course, subject
to the wind moving about a bit, which leaves me not having to steer all the
time, even without the autopilot as long as the engine is not on. If I get too slow I can always switch
the engine back on later.
had a really nice sail and remember that this is the bit I enjoy. It is the having to arrive somewhere
before dark that causes the stress.
15.00 I was 3 miles out and 3 hours early for the opening bridge. I turned the engine back on for the last
part so that I could put the sails away and work out what I was going to
do. At 16.00 I decided to anchor
outside the lagoon and make a decision in the morning. That gives me time to put the outboard
on the dinghy and go and see if I like the lagoon before I take the boat
through. The watermaker needs to be
run, although it is refusing to work, and it would probably not like the water
in the lagoon.
I have arrived, it is not only the weekend, it is the weekend before Christmas
and I need the watermaker and the autopilot fixed before I leave. I could be here for some time.