glad its all over?

Kirsty and Lee's Excellent Adventure
Lee Matthews
Fri 21 Dec 2012 21:08
13:05.55N  59:37.01W
Well someone said to us the trials and tribulations of the atlantic crossing are swiftly forgotten after a lots of beers and a swim in the warm carribean sea. We’ve just come back from drinks with friends on their giant catermeran. While we were bouncing around getting smashed about they were making sushi and having sit down meals.....but even for them it was a bit rough. But after a few glasses of rum and a few more beers Kirsty said wasn't that bad really....and I understand what she means. It was no ‘milk run’ that’s for sure. Sam Fortescue (who partly inspired us to take this voyage having done it 2 years ago on a Sadler 34) said to me that it was a bit like a camping trip and at the end they didnt want it to end. Loads of people said the main problem was boredom and they didnt have to touch the sheets for 2 weeks.........Well that wasn’t our crossing. Of the 200 ARC boats that set off at the same time (most of them a lot bigger than us) one demasted and loads retired to cape verdes. We had nothing less than force 6 for 18 days for the trip. 4-5 m cross swells, 2 gales and a full on 50 knot squall and 3 days of no wind and motoring. We have reefed up down and sideways several times a day, run under barepoles in the worst of it and on the night the rutland wind gen nearly came down had to mop out 3 buckets of rain water from the bilges. That was our crossing, but im not complaining. We crossed an ocean.....and that puts us in an exclusive club already.... to do it in our boat and in the conditions we had even more special. We learnt a lot.... how to handle jon Jon in  a 45 knot gale, how to cook and keep moral up when you are flung from side to side continually...that sort of thing but the most valuable lesson, the ocean is wild you cant tame it with promises of good weather. You take what it throws at with, it adapt and move on. Sailors are control freaks by nature, they try to and outwit nature with clever sail plans and pilotage but out in the ocean those skills mean little. And anyway its the lack of control that’s so exhilarating. And of course when you have dealt with it and you look doesn’t seem that bad...especially after beer!!
And hey we are in paradise...and it is we are on anchorage with 30 other boats all in the same club. The location of barbados is such that if you are not a local boat and you are here then chances are you crossed the pond to get here. The sea is warm, sky is blue beaches white and the locals ..even the officials charming and friendly. We had a hairy ride into the port st charles marina last night about 2am local.We couldn’t find the breakwater green flashing light and had to rely on GPS not good. Turned out the green flashing was broken and had been replaced by a regular green bulb in a light on the petrol hut. But we got in, cleared customs got diesel and headed for carlisle bay.
next day... 21/12
It has a local town area called the Careneege and we have already picked up a boat boy who is 84 years old by the name of.....Jimmy. He looks after our dinghy when we go into town for a donation!! , tomorrow he is getting our washing done for us by his “girls”. We went to the super market which was manic and got interviewed over the tanoy by the manager who was whipping the shoppers up into a frenzy with a microphone and dance hall beats in the microphone, he commented that Kirsty had a cricket bat of rum in her hand....1.75 litres of mount gay for a tenner and told her to make sure she has lots of coke with it!! . ....everyone is really friendly here and yes they are after your money sometimes but more often they are not. Tomorrow we are going to use the facilities at the boat yard....fresh water showers, rubbish disposal and we get to use their jetty and beach chairs a beach club for cruise ship passengers but for 20 dollars we get to use it and if we buy drinks and food we get the money back....I reckon I can drink 20 dollars.
We love it here not sure how long we will stay.....we are on anchor so no marina comforts but no charge either!!! One thing we know we guess is that crossing was too big a deal to turn around and do it again in may ...when conditions may be worse. I reckon winter here summer in trinidad which never gets hurricanes... and then another winter here if we can get the beer tokens to do it.
Anyway we are off to the MC Buccaneer...floating bar.,.... by dinghy ...its dusk and time for another beer......
many thanks to all for messages of support and can email us now on this address as we will upload on the wifi in the bars
photos to follow