1 Dec 2014

[Cruise News] Second Atlantic crossing .... A summary

New and bigger boat, quicker crossing.  Well that was the plan: 18 or 19 days at a steady 7 knots.  The reality didn't quite work out that way with nature conspiring against us to deliver SW winds for the first week when we wanted to go south-west, and then not giving us the consistent trade winds when we finally got down to the Cape Verdes to blow us across to the Caribbean.  Plus an incorrect installation of a key piece of equipment needed for downwind sailing didn't help.  So between the natural and man-made shortfalls it actually took us 2.5 days longer this time.

On the plus side the three of us worked very well as a team, covering our watches and thinking creatively to work-around any mechanical hitches along the way.  I loved having the SSB radio this time which allowed us to speak to other boats in the rally (nice to know their actually are other boats out there) and to send/receive emails throughout.  Incredibly this works better after dark ... less active ions in the atmosphere apparently!  We ate well but our collective bread-making skills left a lot to be desired .... thank heaven for part-baked bread.

We didn't experience the same dramatic sunsets, meteor showers or marine life, but we had one spectacular lightning storm which ran parallel to us through the night before moving south to engulf us at dawn  We saw more boats this time, and once again had one pass within a few feet of us out in the middle of nowhere.  One other storm so us experiencing wind speeds of more than 50 knots with 5m seas, but Tumi and her crew sailed through brilliantly.

I think because it was our second crossing it didn't feel such a big adventure but that's not to take anything away from the achievement of crossing the Atlantic for the second time (third for Paul of course!).  And now we've got a winter in the Caribbean to look forward to  .... lucky us!