Over 10,000 Miles 08.06.000N 56.10.000W

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sun 2 May 2010 22:49
Well we left our marina on 1 May 2009 and today we have just clocked 10,144 miles in 1 year - not bad and still over 500 miles more to Trinidad. Today Sun 2 May we are flying up the coast past Surinam and then Venezuela at 9kts with 5 reefs - 2 in the main and 3 in the yankee making sometimes 11kts with the favourable current - hope I can slow down before we reach the Caribbean
A couple of other tips before leaving South Amaerica and starting Episode 2 of our adventure - The Caribbean

I think a good water catcher is essential to a happy crew - ours was average but many boats were catching 100 litres per day on the odd day it did actually rain. Nicholas said this was the hottest of the 5 years he had been doing the rally and also the driest - they had to organise fire trucks to bring us water in Breves. There are some places you can carry water, but it's bad enough lugging diesel and provisions (beer & wine - well it's not really wine as you know it) without adding water to the list. You will end up showering twice a day - it is really hot and humid, but you just get used to it and every one has 2 tone shirts - even the locals sweat just the same.

The best method seems to be to rig a flat tarpaulin, cut to your size, so that you can still move around the boat and still use the headsail when going up river. But you need a couple of D rings on the bottom so that you can tie it to the deck when the wind blows at up to 30kts as the squall hits. Once you have it rigged throw a bucket of water in to find the low point, fix in a 3/4" plastic skin fitting and run the pipe to your tank filler with a bit of rag around it to stop the deck wash water going into the tanks.
If you also fit D rings on the top of the sheet you may be able to tie it up during the day to provide some sun protection for the forward deck during the heat of the day.
Other positions that worked well were Agapanthe up high above the spray hood between the 2 masts, Havanita alongside the boom with their small genoa pole running along the outboard side
One other note on the deck wash pump - if you have a free tail you can use it to empty the dinghy in the morning - cos it will have about 100 litres of rain water - contaminated with fuel and footwear so not suitable for the tanks. You can also use the pump if you do carry water back to the boat to pump it into the tanks without lifting the containers from the dinghy - See all good stuff - I may blog these notes as useful for all who come this way