St Kitts to Antigua

Ocean Science's blog
Glenn Cooper
Fri 6 Jan 2017 15:32
An early kick-off out of Basseterre harbour, motoring NE through the St Kitts/Nevis channel to try and get a better angle to sail upwind back to Antigua. The big hill on Nevis is still blanketed in cloud. And here's a mini-factoid - the Spanish called the island Nuestra Senora de las Nieves, Our Lady of the Snows because of the cloud, and over the years it became Nevis.

NE into the Atlantic and into some heavier seas before turning right, when Incident Number 3 happens. The shackle on the headsail halyard shears and the headsail drops. We head into the wind and get the sail on deck, while Glenn hangs on at the bow and fixes an new shackle to a reserve halyard (the original one having disappeared inside the mast). Tricky job, then we have to get the sail threaded into its carrier and hoisted, with the wind blowing it all over the place. We must have lost well over an hour sorting this out. Then the wind turns against us and we have to motor sail for the rest of the day, arriving into Antigua after midnight, a sail of 17 hours, a bit longer then we expected. Pretty bumpy all day.

We come into Galleon Bay, next to English Harbour. A very pretty mooring, as we found the next day, but choc-a-bloc with parked boats and tricky in the dark to find a good place to anchor. Eventually all is OK, and so to bed.

Wonder of wonders, Gabriel and Charlie's pal David is staying at Galleon bay and comes out next morning in a nice big tender to run people ashore - our defunct speedfreak thing still hanging in disgrace. Charlie is actually flying out this afternoon to LA via Miami for a 3 month job secondment, and needs to do immigration stuff ashore (there is no Schengen in the West Indies, just lots of paperwork). David's tender means that we can get people ashore and do other stuff like dump some rubbish (one has a fairly intimate relationship with rubbish on board).

Charlie will schlep off this afternoon ("Parting is such sweet sorrow...") and we will be 5 for a while. Initially we will, I think, motor round to Falmouth harbour where we can moor alongside a quay (this is about twice the price of a stern-in mooring, but messing around with the tender and passerelle is too much of a pain)

More to come, including, I hope some pictures - and including one of the sheared shackle. Although it is stamped with the correct marine grade of stainless steel, it looks a bit manky and might well be a counterfeit

I have the boat to myself as I type this in the sunshine at 11am, everyone else being ashore. The only UK news of which I aware is Spurs 2 Chelsea 0, and the fact that it is chilly in London. Sorry about that