18:01.980N 63:05.801W St Marten

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Fri 21 Dec 2007 23:38

Friday 21 December 2007  18:01.980N 63:05.801W   St Marten


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 far.

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.


I 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. 


So, 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.