Our passage across the Atlantic from Brava, Cape Verde to St Lucia in the Caribbean was a speedy 12.5 days.
Once we hoisted our sails and sailed through the first night the Captain gave the orders to hoist every sail we had… and more! First the studdin’ sails were hoisted. These 2 sails extend the Topsail and t’gallant sails on one side. In this case we were sailing on starboard tack so we hoisted extra sails on the starboard side of the sails. Then we hoisted the awning as a lower studdin’ sail to extend the course. After that we used the Tres Hombres Rum banner to create a ‘bonnet’ sail which was attached to the bottom of the course sail (the largest and lowest of the square sails). We then used an old sail from the little ship the Pierius Magnus to extend the mainsail and hoisted the Optimist sail above the Royal square sail. Once we had every bit of canvas hoisted we were making 6 knots average in 10 knots of wind!
Still the canvas hoisted wasn’t enough for Captain Arjen and he requested that I start work on a Raffi sail (probably not correct spelling) which is a triangular sail to hoist above the royal square sail.
Two days into the crossing we celebrated Christmas day, my first at sea. We celebrated with shots of Rum and a leisurely day on deck with no maintenance and some songs. And New years eve was celebrated in a similar fashion.
For New Year our cook Rianne wasn’t very well so the task of celebratory supper fell to the crew. Leo, Signe, Alan and Francois prepared a delicious selection of canapes including devilled eggs and pizza washed down with a rum punch.
On New Years day we celebrated Gerrit’s birthday. Rianne prepared a very gooey creamy chocolate cake to celebrate.
As the voyage progressed the wind increased until we were clipping along at 9-10 knots in Force 5/6 winds. At some points in the crossing we were making the top hull speed of 11.5 knots.
With high hopes we cast the fishing lines every morning. It wasn’t until the last days that we caught something. Here is Francois, the second mate posing with an iridescent Mahi Mahi AKA Dolphin fish.
Originally we had been intending to sail to Barbados. However the crossing was so swift that Arjen decided to go to St Lucia first for a bit of a holiday. We will be in Barbados until the 22nd of January as we are participating in the ‘Round the Island’ Rum Race on the 21st and it was decided that 16 days in one port would be too much for the crew. The change of plan to visit St Lucia was very welcome!
On the 5th of January we sailed into Rodney Bay, St Lucia.
Our next ports of call will be Barbados, Tobago, Grenada and Bonaire.
Many thanks to Ingo Westphal, Sail Trainee, for supplying some of the photos for this blog