Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Wed 21 Oct 2009 14:13

Well the rally has started, the tracking device is now fitted to the boat and you can track Suzie too on the Rally des Iles Du Soleil website.  It gives our position every 4 hours while moving and once a day when we are stopped.  We set off at 15.00 from the pontoon and mingled outside around the start line with 34 boats, then at 16.00 we all crossed the line with everyone waving at each other and the committee boat taking pictures.  This was the official start to the rally to the Amazon.


Around about 260 miles, so 2 nights at sea, the weather forecast was for 5-10 knots with more wind due on Sunday, all downwind.


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The sails all set and we were racing away, we raised the Big Blue Cruising Shute and we were in the 1st half of the pack as we went around the 1st bouy, so we were pleased, we were taking pictures of our friends boats and they were doing the same.  We got along side Sea Wing which is an African Cat,  Frank and Martha, taking pictures when Vita a Halberg Rassy 45 Malcom & James squashed us between them and the Cat, it took the air out of our Shute and it wrapped around the foresail in a wine glass shape.  Shit…So for the next 2 hours, we had to drop the sail, untwist it, luckily it didn’t get damaged.  Then we had to raise it again, by this time we were at the back of the pack.  Hot and sticky in 28 degrees and tired already.


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  African Sea wing Martha & Frank                                                            Vita Malcolm & James



Over the next few hours we over took lots of boats, even though this is not a race, David was in his element and was racing… and we got back our position of mid field by the morning.


We had fireworks in the sky, so many shooting stars and meteors lighting up the sea, we had sleeping whales on the surface which just look like floating rubber bags and we have never seen sparks from the hull before, we sat for hours and watched the plankton the size of golf balls light up the sea as we sailed along.


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  No Moon, just stars and lots of boat lights all around us in the distance.


On the second night at 2pm, the wind got up and we had to take the Shute down in the dark which was not a pleasant experience but necessary.  After that the boat did not sail well as within an hour the wind dropped to nearly nothing and 30 miles out we lost the wind altogether 3 knots so we had to motor the last 32 miles.  We were the 10th boat to arrive, the 2 Amels motored all the way!! And we beat all the Catamarans at downwind sailing, we thought Cats were fast at downwind sailing, David re thinking his next boat now.


The first sailing boat over the line was an open 40 with 4 children on boat and then a Tri maran came in 2nd followed closely by the next 12 boats.  We all had to motor the last 30-40 miles.


The first sight of Tenerife was Mount Tide it was so clear from the sea, its peak was full of snow and when we arrived we had glorious sunshine of 28 degrees, very pleasant.


It was brilliant to set foot on land again, We had full use of the Yacht club, so a group of us went swimming in the outside seawater pools to revive ourselves, I played volley ball with the children and was a favorite they were fighting over me to be in their team.


Unfortunately David has to go back to England tomorrow so I am on my own in Tenerife, I will let you know what I get up to in the next blog.



Love to you all


Suzanne & David