Day 14: Almost there and we got Usain!

Mon 10 Dec 2012 16:20
Dear all, 
after some fantastic sailing we booked a new 24-hour record of 220 nm! This even when we really slowed down in the night by reducing sail and making the boat easier to steer.
Because of the waves we had to steer by hand and had 2 man in the cockpit every watch. We now have 150nm left to the finish. We expect to finish at sunrise, is there a better time..?
And despite of our mindblowing speeds, we caught the Usain Bolt of the seas: a beautiful bluefin tuna!! Sashimi and tuna steaks are on the menu for today!
Now that we are close to the finish I would also like to ‘introduce’ to you the crew of Leeway :
- Rien, a guy I have known  since we were kids, we grew up at the lakes of Loosdrecht, he did not really have offshore experience, but now he crossed an ocean AND he loves it (thanks to Loes for lending him out).
- Nanno, a guy I really know all his life... navigating, cooking, steering and as we all know him, walking around with a BIG smile all day.
- Haico, some 18 years ago he bought his first X and almost since then a very good and reliable friend. I think that untill now we must have sailed 20.000+ nm with eachother.
- Eugen, the Swiss X-Yachts dealer, a real easy and good guy to have on your boat. He also crossed the ocean for the first time, proved that he is not just a mountain lake sailor and learned a lot of Dutch words (and decided his next boat will be named “Sleurhut”)
- Kees... due to some very serious illness he is not here, we all missed him, get well soon please!
- and finally me, Rob, proud skipper of Leeway and the one who enjoyed sailing with these guys.
Thanks guys, for helping me to get Leeway to the Caribbean. I can hardly wait for them to leave (...) and to have my mate Marja on board again. Marja and me sailed Leeway from Holland to Gran Canaria and have enjoyed our trip tremendously. Due to some problems we started a bit late but sailing together in the south of UK / across Biscaye / around Spain and Portugal and finally to Gran Canaria via Madeira was magic.  Now the Carib awaits.
Finally offcourse our boat: Leeway, an Xc 50, after a lot of performance and racing orientated X-Yachts we opted for one with more comfort. Items as generator/watermaker/airco’s/big freezer/big tanks/ lots of anchor chain etc were easily put into this Xc (c for cruising). I still cannot understand what those guys at the X design team have done.... our fully loaded cruiser crossed the ocean within 2 weeks, no problem with 210/220 nm a day and a topspeed of 19.1 knots!  Believe it or not we were putting up the bimini in a 17kn surf! The boat feels strong and safe under all conditions. Great job at X !
Tomorrow we will tell you all about our arrival and first rum punches at Rodney Bay, we hope the bar opens early! 
Best regards,