Passage from Tortuga to Los Roques

Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Mon 29 Jan 2007 02:14
What really happened on the way to Los Roques.
After the nightmare of our last passage, we decided to follow a rigorous approach to our passage preparation.  Meals were cooked in advance, snacks stowed in handy places, a thermos of hot water was made ready,  harness  was hooked up, passage plans laid out......
We left at four in the afternoon, with the idea that we would arrive 110 miles later in daylight to creep over a coral reef with me on the bows as lookout...
Mimi felt ill soon after we hit the swell after pulling up the hook, so she was clipped on and harnessed up on the floor of the cockpit, where she went to sleep.
Whilst I was on watch, and trying to step round her, I lost my balance due to a sudden lurch of Sarah Grace and landed on the steering pedestal and engine control, and somehow disenganged the engine control.   This was unfortunate, as we were now not sure if we had a motor.
For some unknown reason the depth sounder gets hysterical as soon as you get into very deep water, and constantly sounds the shallow alarm, and you normally deal with this by pressing buttons until it shuts up.   When I did this on this passage, I seemed to give it amnesia.   
The upshot of all this was that we were running under bare poles at dawn,  with Dos Mosquises to port, rummaging around in the focsle looking for the cardboard box with all the nav instrument instructions in it, to reprogramme the depth sounder,  waiting for yacht Jem to come in whilst we tried to get the engine engaged.   
It all came good in the end: the depth sounder woke up,  the engine control re-engaged, and we gently chugged into the shelter of the bay over the reef.......and had a massive fry-up.