DAY 23 - approaching land

Sat 13 Dec 2008 19:22
14:14.10N  60:17.80W
Saturday afternoon
The last few days we moved like a 'wind' (!!), very encouraging compared to the mid section of this journey when we sometimes struggled even to move. Logging 140 miles on Day 22 at steady wind strength 15-22 kn, with some local squalls up to 25-30 kn, which has given us overall a good boat speed (SOG) 6-7 knots. During the night we held 7.5 - 8.3 kn for several hours. This is what we signed up for !
We are now approaching the islands of Caribbean - we passed Barbados 70 miles to port (of course out of eye sight) and Grenada and Tobago are further 100-120 miles south. Ahead of us, soon we may see the land of Saint Lucia (where the ARC finish line is) which is 20 miles away in the south-west, and Martinique should be coming up in the north-west. Earlier we had considered as our target destination either Tobago or Saint Lucia but rejected the alternatives due to lack of appropriate diesel fuel tanking facilities. We need diesel - first thing first!  
The situation with the lack of water is resolved. We have been busy today ripping the bunks apart and we found a leak - a burst hose, we replaced the pipe and considered the problem solved. However, the freshly produced water is still not flowing into the tanks and we find again the same hose burst. Logically, there is a non-desired build-up of pressure due to a blockage and our search continues until we find a closed valve which should have been open, consequently a 60 bar pressure against it and the weakest part in the chain blows, of course. So seems we will be having our bath before Christmas afterall....
Since the wind dropped during the day we are currently cruising gently on a starboard tack with a moderate speed of 4-5 knots. Dark is coming soon on this Saturday evening, the full moon however is very effective and provides a nice 'flood light' enabling us to maneuver into the shallow waters of Martinique after dark. We hope to see the contours of land in the far distance before sunset and further approach our anchoring spot at Martinique before midnight local time (CET -5 hrs).
This means another 40 miles to go westwards plus 4-5 miles up north into a 'fjord' shaped bay just south of the populated town Fort de France, searching for a suitable anchoring spot near some infrastructure facilities. It seems we even may drop anchor before the pubs close. We are happy and in fine mood, and we DO deserve a beer before the pub close...
Last days log:
Day 22    140 nm
Day 21    131 nm
Day 20    137 nm
Day 19    127 nm
Day 18    151 nm
Day 17    119 nm
Day 16      96 nm