Nearly there!

Sweet Dreams
Roz Preston /Ed Phillips
Thu 1 Dec 2022 17:45
Not quite land ahoy, but we are currently only 40 miles south of Barbados and 150 miles out from Grenada. The wind is blowing a fairly steady 15ish knots, just enough to keep us rolling along at 5.5 knots average. Still rock and roll, but that’s downwind sailing for you. No one said it would be comfortable!

It’s getting hotter and hotter the closer we get to the Caribbean. Sorry, all of you freezing back home but there are opportunities to join Sweet Dreams for a bit of winter cruising - let me know, names will be drawn out of a hat!

Although boats are gathering around us as we get nearer the finish line, we have managed somehow to hold on to our middle of the fleet position, 7th now in our class since Sipi is 3 miles ahead but we could make up that distance if only we got under a few more squalls and they caught a few more fish! Apparently there is mutiny brewing on that ship. Everyone is sick of tuna!

Sometimes a mad dash in 25 knots and pouring rain is just what is needed. But, it’s not about winning, it’s about taking part. And challenging ourselves.

In my naivety, I thought that once we were set up to do the crossing, the big spending days were behind me. I hadn’t bargained on the wear and tear ocean sailing takes on a boat. There is an ever lengthening shopping and repairs list, starting with a new spinnaker pole (it was carbon fibre and my fingers are crossed that Pantaenius insurance will pay for that!), a replacement light airs sail, repairs to worn bits of the Genoa, new Genoa sheets - amazing to realise that the existing ones that I still think of as new have done 5000 miles since 2020. And that squeak in the wheel is the result of worn bearings….on it goes. 🙄

Still, it was worth it to have her so well set up at the start and it will be worth it to know that when we do the reverse crossing in May, she will be ready again, for a much tougher passage to the Azores and back to Mylor.

Thanks to the miracle of satellite technology, I have been in regular touch with home. Phoebe, who is house and dog sitting, has had a very difficult few weeks with Eddie, who true to form has taken advantage of my absence to develop another health issue. Phoebe has been magnificent and today, following a visit to the Dick Vet School, sent the good news that rather than anything too serious, Eddie has a minor and very common heart valve condition that needs monitoring but nothing that requires me to get the first flight back. I hadn’t realised how much it has been preying on my mind throughout the crossing.

So now I am looking forward to our arrival in Port Louis Marina tomorrow evening. There will be celebrations, there will be fresh fruit and vegetables, there will be rum cocktails and there will be a long, long sleep in a bed that isn’t trying to throw me out all the time. Can hardly wait!

But I’d do it all again at the drop of a hat.

Last night I sat in the light of a half moon, watching the huge cumulus clouds billowing up all around, the bright stars of the equatorial latitudes, and thought again about what a huge privilege it is to be out here in the ocean in the best boat in the world with the right crew. Back in the dark days of last winter I remember waking in the night questioning my sanity and wondering if there was some way of backing out of this whole crazy idea. Thank goodness I got the better of that 4am wimp. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

Next post should be from dry land, with pics, WiFi permitting.

Sweet Dreams
Listening out Channels 16 and 72.

Sent from my iPad