N18:00:47 W063:42:45 In the Middle of the Sea
Bob and Elizabeth Frearson
Sun 3 May 2015 21:14
Last nights blog upload was reciprocated with a Grib download. Study of this dubious weather outlook showed an awkward picture with winds continuing to be light (ie non existent) and from the south east for the next day but then promise of better blasts and moving to the east for the day after that. It is 130 odd miles to Tortola, which requires an overnighter, and it is just so much easier, more fun and altogether a happier experience with wind. Dilemma. Should we stay at Saba for a day and be more likely to have a decent crossing to Tortola the next or just press on and hope. We thought we would sleep on it but probably best to wait for an improvement.
It was curry night on Windy last night! Perhaps a tad hotter than originally planned but it certainly cleaned the sinuses of any after effects of the waterboarding and was the perfect excuse for an extremely cold gottle of geer, pronounced thus because of paralysed lips. Fortunately the basmati rice took the sting out of it (and Uncle Ben’s microwave in a bag turned out much better than my recent Madhur Jaffrey attempts that turned out like porridge). In terms of sleeping arrangements, Bob had so enjoyed his night on deck that he thought he would repeat the experience whereas I decided to move in on the empty bunk. When used alone one can spread out like a starfish which provides optimum stability. I slept very well indeed. Something obviously didn’t work out with Bob’s dog bed and he slept fitfully.
We awoke to real wind and decided that rather than risk our lives and attempt to board Saba for the day we would probably be best to strike while the iron was hot and go for “the big one”. We waited until after breakfast, just to be sure that it was real and not just kidding, then rushed about, hoiked the dinghy on board and were ready to go.
We set off and got those sails up as soon as reasonably possible and slipped along quite nicely at 5 to 5.5 knots with a 10 to 12 knot wind. It isn’t spectacular by any means but at least it is sailing. The wind is, once again, right up our chuff so for comfort and optimum sailing speed we are slightly off course with the main tied out with the gybe preventer. (We gybed, deliberately, when the driver complained that the sails were blocking out her sun but unfortunately the change of course did nothing to change this most inconvenient situation). All this morning we had big rollers but they have calmed down to just an ordinary Caribbean sea, large ish waves but long and easy. Lunch was a calm affair (a replica of the rather nice smoked duck salad that Bob had had at La Saladiere and rather enjoyed) and we have both rested afterwards in turn ready for the long night. It is hard to sleep with the whooshing and wobbling of the waves and the slapping and slamming of the sails. There have been great swarms of sea birds, gathering presumably for a feast, far more together than we have ever seen before and a lovely sight remarkable enough to poke Bob from his prone position to take a look. And so we sploosh along very happily, no engine noise to disturb nature’s natural music. I still find it amazing that we can send this to to everyone while in the middle of nowhere!