Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Tue 15 Dec 2009 23:55

Position:  12:58.4S 038:30.9W, Terminal Nautico, Salvador, Brazil

Passage Distance: 2,144 miles

Date & Time:  15 December 2009 1150 UTC


At 1150 UTC this evening the razor-sharp crew of Mina2 tied up at the Terminal Nautico in Salvador and stepped ashore for the first time in 13 days 11 hours having sailed 2,144 miles from Cape Verde.  We downed our first Caiprinha (the first of many we hope) to celebrate the successful conclusion of our first ocean crossing. It was an emotional moment.


If I were to list all our honours on this passage it would go on for pages! Suffice to say Mina2 did her bit, thanks to her superb crew. This is one happy skipper.


It has been, for all of us, a great adventure. Here, in a paragraph by each of us, is a summary of what it has meant to us:


Peter: Before setting out on this trip I didn’t really know what to expect.  I was excited but also slightly apprehensive.  Having never done a sailing passage of more than about ten hours before, two full weeks at sea and crossing an ocean seemed pretty intimidating.  I wasn’t so much nervous about the conditions we’d encounter, although the idea of being hit by a storm so far from land was a bit of a concern, I was more worried that I’d go a bit mad without any way of escaping the confines of the boat itself and with no outside distractions.  That hasn’t been the case at all.  In fact, two weeks later, and with land finally in sight, there’s a strong part of me that wishes we could overshoot the headland and carry on going.  I’m sure that when I touch dry land for the first time in a fortnight and see everyone I’ll be really excited to do so but it’ll feel rather sad to step off Mina2 after such an amazing experience, and strange to interact with people other than my dad, Venetia and Neil, who have been my only point of social contact for the last two thousand miles.  Reading this back it seems rather serious but, in my defence, it’s about forty degrees below deck and I’m too tired to think of anything light-hearted.  By the way, my phone has completely died now, so if you want to get in touch over the next couple of weeks please send me an email.  Thanks! x



Venetia: Mango bombs! A terrific two weeks with wonderful sailing, great company and lots of laughs. Thank you Tim and Mina2.



Neil: This trip started for me almost one month ago on 16 November when I began my long-awaited journey to Dakar in Senegal , the starting point of the Atlantic crossing. After working hard for the past twelve years with very little time off I was both looking forward to the impending Adventure and in need of the break! We started by sailing about 460 miles, arriving in Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands after 2 ½ days of romping along in heavy seas and high winds. It was an excellent passage enjoyed by us all, including Colin who “doesn’t do passages” but who still made a superb travelling companion.


The following week or two moved quite slowly with a mix of social events including drinks in town and on board, and we were always accompanied by good music and stimulating company. The stay in Cape Verde was topped with a sugar-coated cherry in the form of an island visit to San Antao, one which I will never forget as long as I live. We were shuttled by a rusty old ferry to the Garden of Eden, walking and living in the valleys and mountains of a volcanic creation, the likes of which must be few and far between!


The final chapter of the trip of a lifetime lasted for almost two weeks, all of which at sea and isolated from the world in our own little universe. At night it feels like God has placed a domed bowl over you with a night sky painted with more precision and beauty than Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. By day I can best describe the feeling as being on a perpetual oceanic treadmill. You know that you are moving but there is no point of reference – it’s a very surreal experience. I’ve loved every minute of it and have never wanted it to end, but as we approach the twinkling lights of Salvador you can’t help but get excited.


Thanks to Tim, Peter, Venetia. It’s been very special. Neil Out.


Tim: To have the opportunity to sail one’s own yacht across an ocean for the first time is every sailor’s dream. It is a dream which evolves over a number of years and then, after many months of preparation, it comes to fruition. The anticipation is immense. The expectations high. But what we have experienced has way exceeded my wildest expectations and, I hope, the expectations of my crew. It is the crew which makes or breaks the satisfaction of such an experience, and I could not have had a better crew. Working as a team, the mechanics of sailing the boat have worked like clockwork, but what I will remember most about the trip has been the joy of sharing this incredible experience with each other: the seas, the skies, the creatures, the fast sailing, the slow sailing – and the loathsome Doldrums. But as much as anything else I will remember the laughter. My, how we have laughed. Thank you so much, Venetia, Neil and Peter for making my dream such a happy one.