Safena Log 7th - 19th Jan 2020

s/v Safena's blog
Simon Ashley
Thu 23 Jan 2020 17:02
After a whirlwind month at home for Christmas, two Birthdays (including my 60th!) and a wonderful New Years Eve party, we arrived back to Safena in Jolly Harbour, Antigua, excited to escape the freezing UK weather and continue the Caribbean sailing season. The intention was to prepare Safena and leave within a couple days heading north. This was not to be!

Fortunately, we arrived back to a beautifully clean and polished yacht thanks to our day worker, Max. The teak also looked fantastic! The first evening we arrived we met up with the Moors from Silhouette. We had not seen Ian since Las Palmas so this was a great reunion.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast was not good for the next week or so. Strong F6-7 easterly winds and rain. The marina and moorings were filling up with yachts escaping the unseasonal weather. Sure enough, for the next few days it was blowing very hard and there were an endless stream of squalls with heavy rain every two to three hours for days! This is not what we expect in Antigua in January not that I expect anyone to feel sorry for us!!!

On top of this, Nina and I both developed the most dreadful viral illness. Nina became unwell first with a bad chest / flu-symptoms. I followed about two days later. We haven’t both been ill like this for years. We really couldn’t do much and just laid low. It was a just as well we couldn’t sail anyway due to the weather and at least we were tucked up safely in the marina. This illness seemed to go on for ever. Even when we started to feel better, the lack of energy remained for days. We didn’t go out to eat for ever a week, that’s how serious it was!

Slowly, we did manage to get a few jobs done and sorted a lot of stuff out, things that we had not had time to do until now. This was good. Also, William from The Signal Locker came and replaced the wind transducer and fitted an external GPS beneath the deck in the starboard lazerette. One notable job is I think I have fixed the clunking noise from the autopilot ram. I sent a video to Lecomble and Schmitt. They, rather impressively, noticed from this slight movement of the ram unit’s mounting block where it is mounted to the floor by four bolts. Sure enough, I got down into the lazarette and discovered these four bolts were not fully tight! I corrected this and hopefully it will resolve the problem that has been bugging us since our passage to Curacao.

Eventually the weather improved although still a lot more rain than usual. We decided not to to set off until we both felt fit enough to sail the yacht. This is the first time ever we have spent two weeks on board in a marina. Cabin fever soon set in and escape from Jolly Harbour was very much on the agenda!