Snow Leopard
Sun 23 Nov 2008 09:33

Ready to go.

This is being hurredly written on the day before departure. Two of the crew, Martin Akery and Keith Taylor have arrived and are currently giving the boat a final clean. Bill Barker should arrive this evening after a family wedding. Goodness knows what state he will be in, but the next 2700 miles should sort him out!


The boat is ready to go and so are we. Yesterday we went out for a little crew practice – reefing, spinnaker drill etc, but there was so little wind that we came back early and did the spinnaker hoists moored to the dock wall.


Ten days ago all the cats were moved to their own private marina, which belongs to the Club Vela Latina, a club solely dedicated to the racing of traditional lateen rigged boats. Unfortunately their season has finished so I was not able to hitch a ride on one. They are about 20 ft. long with one enourmous lateen rigged sail. They have a crew of about 7, most of which hang off rudimentary trapezes, in an attempt to keep the brutes upright!


Although we ate not racing we do have a friendly rivalry with a 60ft Fontaine-Pagot cat from Canada, named Papillon. Quite a lot of pride and St.Lucia bragging rights hinges on the result. You can track our progress, and Papillon’s on the ARC website www.worldcruising.com and follow the links to the ARC.

We will also endeavour to put our position on this site every 3 or 4 days


The weather looks fair for the start with 10 to 15 knot northeasterlies, which with the local island acceleration zone could give up to 25 knots, so fair speed under the big blue and yellow masthead spinnaker. After that the weather looks more tricky with a large area of light and variable winds in a day or two’s time. The navigator is going to have his work cut out!


Wish us luck and here’s to a safe and enjoyable passage!

Dressed overall                               

We’ll keep the blue flag flying high!


Sunset over Las Palmas


Snow Leopard wall painting (courtesy of Lionel Willis)


Papillon – the enemy



Drama in Las Palmas

As I was wandering along the quay at 8.30 on one Saturday morning I thought I saw swathes of mist rolling down the harbour. When I went to look it was actually a large fishing trawler on fire. There ware three tugs in attendance and they were trying to put out the fire. Suddenly a lot of shouting preceded the fast abandoning of the boat, which was then hurriedly towed out of the harbour, I presume to sink in deep water.





Voya con Dios