We have just anchored in Prickly
after a 22 hour sail from Barbados.
It was lovely to get the sails up again, albeit a bit shattered and torn, and
despite the confused seas and lumpy ride, it felt wondeful to be out at sea
again. Talulah picked up her heels and fairly skimmed along at 7-8 knots all
After 11 days in Barbados,
we are overdue (no WiFi there) in thanking our dear friend Jonathan for all his
support from the UK
on our Atlantic Crossing. Daily we emailed him our position via the Sat Phone,
and daily he emailed us with weather advice, humour, news from home, support
and encouragement. He was an absolute star, and with us all the way, despite
not actually being onboard. 22 days at sea, with virtually no radio contact, goes
by very slowly, and the funny, supportive emails we received were the highlight
of our day – thanks all who wrote!
Our last 3 days of the Crossing left us very tired.
After logging engine hours meticulously to keep track of fuel consumption, can
you imagine our horror when suddenly with a cough and a splutter the engines
ran dry, with still another 300 miles to go. We were exactly 100 litres short according
to our calculations after emptying the spare fuel into the tanks during the big
5 day calm. It transpires there is a major mistake in the Owners Manual
whereby it claims that we have 400 litres of fuel in tanks, but in fact there
is only capacity for 300 litres. This is something you might have thought we
should have known, but having never had to fill the tanks from empty before it’s
not something we’ve ever had to test. It’s also something you
might think is not a real problem on a sailing boat, but we need the engines to
keep the batteries topped up, because the solar panels don’t work very
well in (partly) cloudy conditions and a certain amount of wind is needed for
the wind generator to work effectively. So off went all the electrics and
electronics, and so steering by hand with only a star (and compass) to guide
us, we hand steered the last 300 miles, taking it in turns for one or two hour
stints for 2 ½ days. The huge Atlantic swell and confused seas made it impossible
to lock the wheel, and the same swell made us bash poor Talulah’s nose as
we came into the fuel dock after we had managed to get one of the engines going
for the last few minutes before arriving in Barbados. It was an unnecessary
challenge, but one we were equal to, and when we finally berthed we felt we had
really earned our stripes as Atlantic crossers.
Our very good friends Ronni and Gerard (Jonathan’s
brother) were in Barbados
on a 2 week holiday, with their 2 daughters Lily and Elsa – Gerard used
to live there, and both he and Ronni know the island and its inhabitants well,
the best Rum bars and the coolest beaches …. So, from over 3 weeks alone
in the ocean, we were welcomed into a magnificent party scene, glitzy houses,
beautiful picnics under palm trees, and found ourselves sitting next to many a bikini
clad celebrity on a few occasions. It was surreal. Gerard and Ronni gave us a
wonderful Christmas lunch in their villa, (they looked on aghast as the 2 of us
tucked into 4 helpings, realising we hadn’t eaten in 2 days!) and on New
Years Eve took us to a couple of fantastic parties (quick shop for a frock and a
pair of shoes – Ali), one of which took place in a spectacular beach
house, with a glorious infinity pool and an indoor pool full of albino sharks.
It was lovely to spend time with them and the family too. We won’t leave
Talulah at night at anchor, but we did manage to crash a few hours on a bed in
their villa on New Years Eve. Though it was hard to sleep with no rolling
Bay is the only place to anchor in Barbados, so
its not good cruising ground, and an exposed anchorage with no facilties for
yachties - also right outside the island’s top nightclub, which thumps
til the early hours …. But we were surrounded by turtles, and other
boats who had also just done the Crossing, so with lots of catching up and
story-telling over Rum Punches, and with 3 wrecks for snorkelling and diving
from the dinghy close by, it wasn’t a bad place to be! And the locals
are lovely, lively and helpful.
We are now very happy to be in Grenada ….
Happy New Year to Everybody !!!!
Talulah Goosewinging out of the Canary
Up she goes… Cruising chute out but not much
progress – mid Atlantic
Tired but very happy. Drinking Rum Punch on the
beach on Christmas Day. Some ambitions are worth it!
Does the colour of the sea match Ali’s eyes?
Glammed up and ready to party. New years eve with
Gerard and Ronni.
As seen swimming next to Talulah.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Where’s the tinsel?
Elsa, Gerard, Ronni and Lily on Bottoms Bay.
Gerard and Shane cool off at celebrity beach party.
The beautiful Cranes