The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sun 15 Apr 2018 10:42



13:05N 59:57W


So far we've done 585 miles with 90 miles to go to St Lucia. We did 145 miles in the last 24 hours.  We have 30% cloud cover and 15 knot NNE winds.  We’re on a beam reach sailing at 6 knots with ½ knot current against us and 2 metre seas.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


14 April 2018   French Guyana to St Lucia (Day 4)

It was another pleasant, mostly sunny day with 18-24 knot winds varying between East and ENE.  There’s still a lot of Sargassum Weed about, but we’ve not encountered any huge mats like a few days ago.  However, there was a lot of weed on our decks this morning, so I took a stroll around and lobbed it all overboard.  I had to clear out one of our deck drains, which was clogged up with the stuff.


Depressingly, we had a 1 knot current against us all day, but by sunset, it had dropped to half a knot.  I’m hoping that the current will be more favourable as we get closer to our destination.  At 19:00, we had 165 miles to go, so we’d have to average 6.9 knots to arrive in daylight, which was unlikely.  However, it’s no problem to arrive in Rodney Bay at night because it’s a huge open bay.


The good weather continued into the night and, at our 22:00 watch change, we could clearly see the loom of Barbados, 35 miles ahead of us.  Our route took us within 15 miles of Georgetown, but after much agonising, we decided to skip Barbados.  We’ve read that the only anchorage is Carlisle Bay, which is mostly very rolly and is a hectic tourist destination complete with manic jet skis and pirate ship party boats.  Hmmm, I don’t think so.


On my 1-4 watch, I added the final sections to my Alba Owner’s Manual.  It’s been a long term project that has occupied my mind on all of the night watches since we left Namibia two months ago.  It’s a brain-dump about how we use and maintain all of the equipment on Alba.  There’s a lot of kit on a cruising boat, so it’s turned into a 180 page Word document.  I now need to edit it and add some diagrams & photos, which will be a little on-going project for the next month.