Skippers Rant

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Thu 1 Oct 2009 10:30

Skippers Rant


It occurred to us the other day, on the way back form Gib, that we have now sailed over 14,000M – more than halfway around the world for a Vendee Globe race – OK we have taken a few years and they do that much in 2 months. This is the total of our Legend 4,000M our Moody 9,000M and charters in Canary Islands, Greece, Florida and Thailand - not bad, with a further 6,000M on the Rallye Iles du Soleil (have a look


We have coped with a range of problems and sea states, plus the Tsunami of 12/26, even sailing downhill through the Straits of Gibraltar, where because of the huge volume of water flowing into the Med (1 million cubic metres of water per second!) it’s 1 metre higher at the west end than it is at the east end, and still more adventure to come. Even sailing from Cadiz to Isla da Culatra on a 100M trip – the wind was up to F6 so we had F7 over the deck and every seventh wave breaking green water over the deck, after a few of these I noticed the cruising chute had been washed overboard and was hanging on by the clips. So up forward, breaking the Skipper’s rules – (Lifejackets in F5 or above and always at night, plus Safety Harness when going forward in F5 or above) but I sat on the foredeck heaving it back on board getting wacked with every seventh wave – but hey the water is warm and I’m in my shorts and sun hat – so life is good.


Then during a tack, the sheet got caught on the snap shackle for the preventer line that we had parked on the guard rails – so a quick rescue before the guard rail got ripped off as we powered up. Next during reefing the leech line on the Genoa came out of its pocket and caught in the roller furling drum, so I could nether reef or release – so another trip forward – anyone want to be my bowman on the transatlantic trip ?


Anyway all settles down as we head towards the beautiful anchorage and I go down to check the nav on MaxSea only to find no NEMA input to my PC – a quick call to Greenham Regis on the Sat Phone and it seems my Raymarine E85001 has gone down again – the third unit in 3 years !!


So it’s not all sunshine, floating along drinking G&Ts watching the world go by – most days it’s bloody hard !! – but we’re not complaining


Love from us both & Suzie Too xxxx