It wasn’t far along the coast to get back to Dartmouth from Falmouth. In order to arrive before lunch on the 28th (our plan), we wanted to get along the coast as much as possible, so headed on to Salcombe.
The weather wasn’t as clear as for our arrival in the UK, so all of our pictures ended up being a little washed out.
Nevertheless, the sail was lovely, we followed a pretty straight line, avoiding a lighthouse, a bouy and a navy ship.
Our night in Salcombe was peaceful, and the harbour master recognized Hannah from before her paint job, so before we set off.
We didn’t have much wind leading Salcombe to Dartmouth, so had to motor most of the way.
We had prepared a flag chain to hoist for our final journey, which looked rather epic when we arrived in the Marina to a welcome from our families.
We unloaded most of the boat in a few hours, then headed out for lunch with the families. Heading back to Hannah the following day for a quick clean, and move back across the river dart to her trot mooring.
The boatyard that we leave the dinghy at when leaving the trot is up a side creek of the river and dries out totally at low tide.
We cut the timing of the tide far too tight (not used to all this tidal stuff after our year in the Caribbean), and Kathryn had to wade through the mud in the final meters so that we could pull the dinghy to the dock.
We set off in some rougher weather, 3m large swell and up to 20 knots of wind. Due to this Kathryn wasn’t feeling great, but at least we saw lots of dolphins and were going nice and fast.
The general plan was to set off in this worse weather and have it drop down to something nice within a day or two. Sail most of the way, and as we approach the UK have a lull, before the subsequent low pressure would start to catch us, and then boost our way into the English channel.
All of this weather planning ended up being fairly accurate and we mostly sailed as planned with a couple of days of motoring in the middle and made it into the UK after 9 days.
On the way we saw these interesting cluster-type things that at the time we thought were some kind of jellyfish, but it turns out were Gooseneck Barnacles in a little cluster.
The blender that we bought in Velas came in handy once again. We still had leftover frozen fruit from our last smoothies to blend along with some fresh stuff, so we had mid-crossing smoothies!
We ended up watching quite a number of films in the cockpit during this passage, so popcorn was also needed.
We came toward England quite close to the Isles of Scilly, and this was the first land we saw, we were almost home. One more night sailing along the English coast and we came in for our approach to Falmouth in very light winds the following morning.
We anchored in the corner of the inner anchorage area, and were the closest boat to shore. It turns out that it was “Armed forces day” and there were quite some celebrations going on, including a flyover of the red arrows just after we anchored, and a parade through the streets of Falmouth. This started to explain the presence of 3 naval boats in the harbour too.
Our friends Tom and Nat arrived in Falmouth shortly after to whisk us away for brunch, and evening BBQ on the beach, and a nice evening in a land bed, which was absolutely great!
Just a few more hops along the English coastline till Hannah is back in her home port of Dartmouth.
Off we set to Horta in the morning. When first getting out of the marina it felt like the wind was really going to work in our favor, and we were making good progress to Horta. The forecast was for the wind to totally swing around and come from Horta, and for it to drop quite some before we were scheduled to arrive.
In reality, the wind swing happened much earlier, and there was no real period of light winds, so after a few minutes of sailing, we found ourselves tacking to Horta through changeable wind directions and choppy swell. This turned into one of the wobbliest curvey tracks we have sailed to date (see below and don’t judge!).
On our journey to Horta, we also crossed paths with Artemis, who was heading from Horta to Velas. We managed to come quite close to each other as they were gull-winging downwind and both got some good snaps of each other.
Artemis gullwinging to VelasHannah Penn from Artemis
Arriving in Horta we anchored on the edge of the anchor field. We counted another 30 or so boats at anchor, and it’s crazy to think a week before during the low pressure that passed over the Azores there were around 80 boats at anchor, things must have been tight!
After checking into the Azores finally, we headed to Peter Sport Cafe, a rather iconic and long-standing (104 years) cafe/bar in Horta that has been frequented by many a sailor over the years.
For people sailing the Atlantic, Café Peter is more of an institution than a café. With its bright blue facade and orange sign, it serves as a currency exchange, yachting club, hobby, post office, tourist attraction and even as a charity on many occasions. (…) “
in Travel Section of “El Monde” San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1982
Upstairs they have a small whaling museum with a large focus on whale teeth, bones, and also the history of the cafe. Of course, not just whale teeth, but rather art on and with the teeth and bones of whales that has been performed for many years, a tradition called Scrimshaw.
Sperm Whale jaw bonesWhale made of whale boneAlex Thompson on a toothCollection of whale tooth and bone carvings and sculptures
Our next job was to explore the area around the harbor a little, and we were recommended a hike up to the closest point which was also next to a local Caldera. Here we also walked past some old whaling factories, now turned museums, and you can see the ramps that they would have used to winch whales onto land from the sea.
Whale factory rampCaldera near Horta
We wanted to explore as much of the Azores as possible but were also aware that we needed to be back in the UK for July, and time was starting to feel tight. So rather than sail to Pico (the island next to Horta), we got a rather cheap ferry one morning to bus around and explore with Saga.
Here we went to another whaling museum that included a short film we could watch as well as quite a few rather graphic pictures from the time of whaling still in the Azores, which only came to an end in the mid 1980’s.
Small boats being towed out to catch a whaleA whale on shore about to be cut up
Originally we wanted to also sail to Terceira, but as the weather continued evolving, we decided we had better head back to the UK sooner rather than later to avoid more motoring and arrive with plenty of time so as not to rush the last few days of our adventures.
This meant leaving directly from Horta early on the morning of 15th June. But before departing we wanted to partake in the tradition of painting the harbor wall with a small mural for our crossing ahead. This is something we have seen in many other ports, but haven’t found the time to get painting to date.
We managed to have one more night of food, drinks, fun, and conversation before really starting to prep for the crossing back to the UK.
As part of this night, Sam from Blue Note was going around Peter Sport Cafe trying to get people to dance. In doing so, he found someone else in the bar from Devon, UK, and brought them over to our table, as we are also both from Devon. The world is a small place, and this turned out to be someone Kathryn personally knew through horse-related living arrangements!
We will gloss over our winch fix the evening before leaving, as well as restocking the boat with fuel and food, as you readers must be bored of this by now.
Needless to say, the Azores was great fun, but the next step is the rest of the Atlantic crossing West to East, back to the South coast of the UK.
Flores, the easternmost island of the Azores archipelago, is a captivating destination known for its stunning natural beauty. With lush valleys, dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and secluded beaches
In 2019 the Port of Lajes das Flores was partially destroyed by Hurricane Lorenzo, and efforts to rebuild are still underway. A result of this means that the harbor was not fully protected by a breakwater, and inside the harbor, there are only minimal pontoons for use. You can find some images of the destruction and plan for the future in this article.
Escapade and Saga, 2 Dutch boats we know, were already moored in the harbor and had the situation all figured out. We were not able to moor in the main body of the harbor, but were able to use the inside quay wall and also optionally the outside quay wall. Anchoring was also an option, but we really wanted to be moored!
We started off rafted up in 4 columns, and over the next few days, 3 of these rafts would be 3 boats deep, with the outermost raft being 2 deep. So 11 boats on the inside harbor quay wall. Upon leaving there were 2 boats also rafted on the quay wall next to the anchorage, and 3 more boats in the anchorage itself.
The harbor master is lovely, and after a few days of being on the quay wall, we were informed that a new rule would be in place for future boats visiting, where they would only be able to stay on the quay wall for 48 hours before needing to move on. The quay wall is high, so expect to used your dinghy to get to the ladders!
Step one for us being back on land, food (that we didn’t have to cook), and bed (that isn’t rocking around or leaning over)!
We tidied the boat, did laundry (5EUR wash and 5EUR dry), and had a lovely free warm shower.
Boats we knew continued to arrive the day after us, bringing the full list to include us, Blue Note, Extress, Saga, Escapade and Atlas.
Walking up the hill to the small supermarket we got a little taste of what the other Azorean islands were likely to look like. Rather beautiful.
Unfortunately, as we spent our first days exploring the area around the harbor, the weather forecast looked like it was going to turn and push a large low-pressure system over right over the Azores, and sending swell straight toward and probably into the Flores harbor.
Most of us decided that we wanted to leave the harbor before this weather in a few day’s time, so started planning a departure, but also a quick tour and hike around some of the most beautiful nearby locations.
We found a tour and taxi number on the wall which lead us to Sílvio Medina who is easily contactable via WhatsApp, Email, Telephone etc. After some negotiations for hike length and pickup time our Friday plan had formed. Starting with an early morning boat shuffle as some people in the rafts wanted to leave, followed by a 9:30 am pickup, driving tour of the 4 large lakes, hike to a waterfall, and back down to a town for pickup. And then, head off to the other islands overnight.
Firstly from Miradouro Lagoas Rasa e Funda we could see Lagoa Funda das Lajes and Lagoa Rasa, two lakes that are at dramatically different heights.
Next, we had another 2 large lakes, right next to each other. These were Lagoa Funda and Lagoa Comprida which are very different depths and also very different colors!
We were dropped in a car park where we could both start our main hike down into Fajã Grande, but first, hike up to a waterfall called Poço Ribeira do Ferreiro (Alagoinha). There was a beautifully maintained path to the fall, and a large still lake just beneath it.
The hike then took us through some of the greenest lands we have seen since being in the mountains of Santo Antão in Cape Verde. So many green fields, cows, European wildlife, water, and high green cliffs.
We continued down toward Fajã Grande, where we could see one boat at anchor and another that was just leaving to avoid some swell.
Just before reaching the town we stopped at one final waterfall.
Overwhelmed with our first “long” walk of the month, we headed into town to our pickup point for a burger and drink right next to the ocean.
We stopped in at the shop again on the way to the harbor, picking up some frozen pizzas for our night sail, and arrived back at the harbor at around 3pm and started getting ready to leave. We topped up our water tanks with a few jerry cans full of water, had a final on-land shower, and cast our lines to start heading on to the other islands.
After 30 minutes the lines and fenders were stowed, pizzas were in the oven, and the dolphins were back, escorting us on our night motor sail (not much wind at all).
And at the time of writing this, we are roughly 3 hours from our next port of call 🙂
It’s currently the 8th, and we are indeed leaving the BVIs today ⛵⛵⛵.
As we are writing this post we have already been sailing for an hour, and are currently still within internet range and the protection of the islands.
Come 10pm (6hour time) we should be out in the open ocean for the first time in quite a while.
Our day in Road Town was a success, and our marina time was well worth it.
We went out for a final on land dinner last night, that we also didn’t need to cook (lots of cooking coming up during the crossing), and got an early night.
The hunger had really set in, so we failed to get any picture of our main courses. But you can see the pizza that we also ordered, in preparation for having leftovers to take with us.
During the morning of the 8th we did 3 washing machines full of laundry in the marina, bought an additional 200USD of food including fresh veggies, stowed the dinghy, generally cleaned the boat up and put things away, filled out water tanks for the last time and downloaded as much entertainment as we could from the internet!
As 2pm approached we had a little dip in the marina pool, had our first and last on land showers for quite a while, paid up the marina fees and got the Hannah on the move!!!
Good bye to the BVIs, and helllow open ocean.
We will be blogging on the way with help from Ollie (who joined us in Antigua), so keep an eye out for posts in the coming weeks.
Remember, you can follow us using the various tracking links / maps at the top of this site (Predict wind and Garmin will be the best while crossing), and you can even send us messages there.
This is one of our favorite anchorages in the BVIs, well protected and nice and flat, shore tieing with friends and a nice sandy bottom to land the anchor in.
We had a BBQ and bonfire on the beach. Burgers, salads, lobster, and steak.
We have had a lot of fun on SUPs and dinghies in this little bay, but we recently added fenders to the club for in-water beers.
One new addition to the dinghy fun was the invention of dinghy baseball. We were all playing so have no pictures, but let me try and paint a picture.
Take 1 SUP and 3 dinghies. The batter has a dinghy and uses a dinghy paddle to hit the ball with. The thrower is on a SUP tied to a shore tie line. The ball must be hit out into the bay and the batter must then untie and drive the dinghy around a boat and a bouy coming back to the shore tie line. The team of fielders has 2 dinghies and must retrieve the ball and get the batter out by making the ball hit them before they get back to the shore tie line. Probably not the safest sport, but very fun!
We were all running rather low on beer, but managed to grab a free 6 pack from a nearby charter catamaran 🎉, all it took was a little dinghy trip (with Tomas being towed still in his fender chair). They were however Bud Lights…
More great food was also had, we probably ate a whole pack of bacon in a day and a half across three meals. With freshly baked bread we made a magnificent breakfast sandwich. Also a bacon salad, and a tasty potato bake thingy.
The snorkeling in the bay isn’t super interesting, but the water is still, very clear and there are a few things of interest.
One thing we have recently been spotting is a turtle missing a leg!
But also these interesting little jelly things, known as “Crown Jellies”.
One not so great moment of the week was when Kathryn went into the aft cabin to get some chocolate M&Ms, and spotted a large cockroach on the ceiling. We managed to quickly catch it with a boat hook and a bowl and kill it off the boat, and while looking closely at it in the bowl we are pretty sure it was a male, so we shouldn’t have any future cockroach problems. Our only guess is that while filling up with fuel and water at the fuel dock a day or so prior it must have hopped aboard 😓.
We are writing this on the 7th May at 8am, and we have not yet checked the weather this morning, but last night it looked like we would be leaving on the 8th May (tomorrow).
It’s not ideal, with high pressures and low wind zones dominating the first week of sailing, but we should have enough wind to get going, even if we lose it in a few days. The forecasts are still quite changeable, so we will see how it goes!
The weather routing on Predict Wind still doesn’t look ideal, but at least one route on departure planning for tomorrow takes us in the direction we want to head.
Time for one last trip to the shop in Road Town, then heading to a Marina for 1 night if they have space, showers, laundry, a meal out perhaps, and then checking out and setting off in the morning!
We have been watching the weather looking for the right window to start the Atlantic crossing either to Bermuda or the Azores now for some time now, but no apparent window presented itself. So we must spend some more time exploring the BVIs!
The Little Harbour anchorage that we still occupy was slowly transforming, from our monohull haven to a catamaran party.
In fact, once our 3 monohull friends had left, they were replaced by an 80ft catamaran (that slightly blocked our sunsets 🥲)
Continuing to snorkel the bay, we had one of our best octopus encounters to date.
Octopuses can be difficult to see while snorkeling because they are masters of camouflage and have the ability to change the color and texture of their skin to blend in with their surroundings. They are also able to contort their bodies into tight spaces and hide in crevices or under rocks, making them hard to spot. In addition, octopuses are generally nocturnal creatures, so they may be less active and visible during the day when snorkeling is most common. Overall, the combination of their camouflage abilities, hiding behaviors, and nocturnal nature can make octopuses challenging to observe while snorkeling, but with patience and careful observation, it is still possible to catch a glimpse of these fascinating creatures.
Just as we were about to hop back onboard Hannah after a snorkel session, we saw it! This is a Brazillian Reef Octopus.
As the day drew to a close, the folks on the 80ft catamaran next to us cracked out their electric hydrofoil board to have some fun on too.
Over the next few days, we would sail all the way around the island of Tortula, head off to a little snorkel spot for 1 night, and arrive back in Little Harbour some days later.
We once again met up with Blue Note, Extress, and now also Atlas in Brewers Bay, where we once again enjoyed a floating SUP bar near the beach.
No evidence of this SUP bar, however, there is evidence of other beach and boat-related antics.
We spent a few days in the bay, relaxing, having a beer or 2, and snorkeling around.
Flat fishElkhorn Coral – Endangered species
On our last day in the bay, a catamaran that had anchored nearby came over and gave us a bunch of their leftover food from their 2-week trip, as they were about to return the boat (what lovely people). This included desiccated coconut, wraps, red cabbage, numerous limes, potatoes, onions, sauces, seasoning, wine, sparkling wine, some tins, pasta/pasta sauces, crackers, and more…
We took these supplies and tried to split them up a bit among the other monohulls so everyone got something🙂
Even since leaving Portugal, we have had a jar of francesinha sauce that we have been meaning to use. Finally, we had all of the components together, freshly baked bread, the sauce, a strip of steak, eggs, cheese, and some other meats.
Now our creation doesn’t quite live up to the one we ate in Porto, the presentation was hard, but it was damn tasty.
Continuing to sail around Tortula we anchored near Blue Note for another night, sharing the free wine from the catamaran and finally sharing one of our “famous” tinned Fray Bentos pies with them, along with roast carrots, peas, cheesy mashed potato, onions, and gravy.
We then had a leisurely sail around to Norman Island which we had heard had some good snorkeling.
The next day we had another short sail back to Little Harbour, and the total calm and stillness of this great anchorage.
Quite unplanned, but a few minutes later, both Blue Note and Extress arrive in the anchorage as well, with Atlas arriving the following day.
Time for some more relaxing time in Little Harbour, waiting for the weather to do something… Currently, there is very little wind for multiple days on the trot, we might however be able to use this to our advantage and have a break a few days into the sail.
We have created quite a little schedule for ourselves over the coming days as we are on a list to get hauled out of the water on the 23rd of February and the last big day/night of Carnival we want to attend in some way is on the 19th in Fort du France.
Between the 19th and 23rd we need to:
19th Attend Carnival
Sail to Dominica
Sail to Terre-de-Haut to meet Teulu Tribe (another British ketch)
Sail to Guadeloupe Marina ready to get hauled out
First job, Carnival!
The parade walked a circuit around the whole of Fort du France, and we mainly watched from a large patch of grass near the dinghy dock, where ours, Extress’s and lots of our other boat friends’ dinghies were tied to.
We had decided to sail to Dominica on the same day as the carnival, well in reality this was just after midnight. So we headed back to the boat after lots of celebration at around 9pm eating some dinner and heading to bed.
Lying asleep in bed we heard some sound outside and went to investigate. Extress had rowed all of the way from the dinghy dock to Hannah to try and steal our boat flag (ensign). They rowed not only to make less noise but also had a broken outboard engine. Unfortunately for them, they made a bit too much noise in the process of stealing it and we heard and were able to keep it! We actually did a lot of flag “swapping” in Sal, Cape Verde but we forgot to write about it… Maybe next time Extress 😉
Midnight rolled around, our alarm went off, we had a little nibble and pulled up anchor.
To our surprise, we pulled up quite a large rock stuck under the rollbar of our Mantus anchor. We actually saw another boat have this problem a few days ago, but with a much larger rock, they basically pulled up half the sea bed!
We managed to get rid of the rock, pull up anchor, and be on our way.
Extress radioed us a few hours later to see how the sail was going and played us a little tune. The night started off calm, and with the main and Genoa out, we were making good progress in the flat seas with Adam on watch and Kathryn sleeping.
When the time came to switch roles, the sun was just rising, the wind picked up and we started coming out of the shelter of the island, so Kathryn had a bit more of an exciting sail, and Adam a bit more of an exciting sleep. Time to reef.
We arrived early afternoon into the same mooring area as Danae who were just one mooring buoy over.
We arrived over a festival weekend so most things had closed for the festivities but we managed to get a local guide to take us on an intense day of hiking with a refreshing dip in a gorge after.
The boiling lake trail is a volcanic hike to a thick grey lake at the top with an intensely boiling centre, supposedly well over 100 degrees in the centre and still over 80 at the edges. The trail leads to a flooded fumarole, a type of volcanic vent that emits steam and gas. The Boiling Lake is the world’s second-largest hot lake and is filled with bubbling greyish-blue water that’s heated by the magma beneath the surface.
The hike was about 15km in total and my phone thinks it was the equivalent of climbing up and down 239 flights of stairs!!
The first part of the hike was through dense rainforest, all the plants were vibrant greens and even some pink-leaved ferns.
After a little while the environment changed to more open mountainous views overlooking both sides of the island before dropping back down to a milky-coloured stream that ran over smooth rocks.
After yet another steep climb up we came out looking at sheer rocky cliffs stained with a rusty brown colour from all the minerals in the volcanic rock
As we descended another stream formed from a spring in the mountainside, as we got closer the smell of rotten eggs was intense from the sulphur bubbling out of the rock. The volcanic activity here causes the water to boil in many places along the little stream and you can even boil eggs in it!
Some areas were safe to touch so we got to experience the warm water.
As the stream continued it collected in natural pools in which you could bathe if you want, we didn’t really want to smell that bad for the rest of the day though so just admired them from the shore!
We finally reached the boiling lake summit and we were greeted with thick steam rising out of the lake. Every so often enough breeze would come through a blow the steam away for long enough to have a good look into the crater. The power coming from the centre was amazing, no wonder so much of the energy generated in this area comes from thermal power!
After the hike back again It’s safe to say my legs were dying for quite a few days, totally worth it though.
Hidden deep in the verdant wilderness of Dominica at the end of the Boiling Lake trail lies the enchanting Titou Gorge, a picturesque gorge formed from molten lava that cooled and split apart, it was then smoothed by a pristine river and waterfall. It’s a serene oasis that feels like a secret paradise, sheltered by towering cliffs, lush vegetation, and a stunning waterfall that cascades down into the dark pool below. With a life jacket, we swam through the clear, cool waters and marvelled at the natural beauty that surrounds them, enjoying the cold waters after a strenuous hike.
We got back to the village in time to see a little bit of the festival and its incredible costumes before heading back to the boat for a well-earned rest.
These festival celebrations were a little different to what we had seen before, each event we have gone to has slowly added more and more speakers and bigger trucks. Some of the trucks here were so loud, we really could have done with ear defenders and to think that the first event we went to in Saint Anne was mainly just instruments like drums etc.
We had to leave for Guadeloupe the next day but in the evening SV Danae snapped a great pic of us on our mooring just before all the light disappeared.
Onto Guadeloupe next and the fun of hauling the boat out in a foreign country 😲 stay tuned for next time!
On the 22nd of January, Daisy was flying into Saint Lucia in the south of the island.
We picked up anchor from our final anchorage in St Vincent and headed slightly upwind to Saint Lucia on the 21st to be ready.
As the evening drew closer, we hadn’t managed to make it as far upwind as we would have liked, so headed to a more downwind anchorage, between the Pitons.
The Pitons are two iconic volcanic peaks located on the southwestern coast of Saint Lucia. The Gros Piton stands at 2,619 feet (798 meters) tall, while the Petit Piton is slightly shorter at 2,438 feet (743 meters). These stunning landmarks offer a breathtaking backdrop.
Photo courtesy of Anna
On the following day, we sailed to the anchorage near Hewanorra airport, paid an extortionate amount of money for checking into the country (as it was a Sunday (oops)), and collected Daisy from the airport! At least the customs officer gave us a ride to the airport…
We sailed from the south, past the Pitons, up to Marigot bay (a well-known hurricane hole on the island).
The anchorage wasn’t amazing, and we had to anchor on a rocky bottom. Adam dived in to make sure that the anchor was adequately secured for our overnight stay, and Daisy also jumped into the Caribbean water for the first time at anchor.
Our boat friends Atlas & Danae were also in Marigot bay, so we had a little catch-up with them. In the evening we headed for some food and drinks on land with Atlas who also had guests on board, so between the two boats we were 8 people.
The ribs here were amazing…
We set sail the following morning to head further north on the island.
On the way the wind was strong and we were tacking into it repeatedly. Kathryn noticed that the headsail winch looked a little wonky and upon closer inspection of the winch base noticed a small crack. So we quickly put the headsail away and motored on to Bois d’orange Bay.
The bay was quiet, and best of all, we were the only boat anchored.
Here Kathryn was left aboard to take the winch and winch base apart while everyone else (Anna, Daisy, Adam), headed to the beach. From the beach, we found a trail that headed up toward some civilization.
We started walking up through woodlands, then down toward a quarry, finally poking our heads out near some houses. Of course, we were initially aiming for a Bar, however, on the route, we found a lovely little Roti shop that was still open at the side of the road and also had drinks.
So we ordered enough Roti for the 4 of us, sat down with a drink while we waited, and then headed back to the boat before dark.
Another thing of note here would be our first sighting of a giant land hermit crab.
Arriving back, Kathryn has successfully deconstructed the winch and base (but we will come onto this more later).
We ate the Rotis on deck, admired the sky, enjoyed the tranquility, and then headed to bed.
The following day we had a very short sail north into the larger Rodney Bay (Bois d’orange Bay was on the south side of Rodney Bay). We anchored in the north of the bay near Pigeon Island and set out on a snorkel.
This was Daisy’s first Caribbean snorkeling experience (where we were expecting to see some fish etc). We snorkeled around for about an hour and saw all sorts of cool things.
There was an underwater desk with a fake computer on it (some kind of art or monument), fire worms and reef squids.
We had booked into the Rodney Bay marina for a couple of nights to celebrate Daisy’s birthday, so after returning for snorkeling we headed straight to the marina which was also within Rodney Bay.
Because we all wanted some relaxation and celebration, Kathryn headed to the local chandelier with the winch base to see if they would be able to fiberglass in some reinforcing around the cracked area. They obliged and at the end of our stay, we managed to put the winch and winch base back together.
To celebrate Daisy’s birthday we headed to Sea Salt restaurant (an excellent choice). The meal really was amazing and we all had lots of fun. Cocktails, and some of the best restaurant-cooked food we have had in a while. Fancy and expensive.
From here we headed on to Martinique, but that’s for the next post!
And don’t worry, we will be coming back to Saint Lucia too, to drop Daisy at the same Airport.
We set off for our 100nm sail from Bridgetown, Barbados in the afternoon to give us a little daylight before sailing through the night and arriving with plenty of daylight the following day. This was Anna’s first night-sail experience so we were keen to have a fairly relaxed downwind sail. She took it all in her stride without even a hint of seasickness, Woop woop!
We set out with a fully reefed main and gull-winged genoa as we expected a brisk 20 or so knots, all went perfectly to plan and we were in view of the islands as dawn came around. We did end up a little farther north than first planned, due to wanting to maintain our sail plan, which meant the wind pushed us to where it wanted! Although this actually made the transition from deep water to shallower water around the islands easier, and then the sea was flatter on the west side of the various islands.
We stopped at the island of Canouan to check in, get some local currency (now Eastern Caribbean Dollars) and stop at a little beachfront cafe for some lunch. They even had a cute treetop table that we had to try, but aborted halfway through eating when a torrential downpour came through and everyone made a beeline for the cafe interior.
We knew sy_danae and sy.artemis were already a little way south of us on Union Island so naturally we set off again for a few miles more to reach Chatham bay. It was a busy anchorage but luckily there was room for us to squeeze in close to Danae.
We were very glad that the sea bed was sand (the best holding for an anchor) as the bay was incredibly gusty, one minute there would be no wind and Hannah Penn would bounce forward on the anchor chain and then there would be 30+knots. Interestingly when a gust comes and the boat was not already pulling back on the anchor, the bow will get pushed downwind, meaning you’ll turn sideways onto the wind, and then as the chain tightens, the boat gets slow motion whiplash as the bow is pulled back around.
This happened every half an hour or so all day and night, so we definitely set our trusty anchor alarm!
After being happy with how the anchor was holding, we headed to shore with everyone to have a great catch-up on how everyone’s Atlantic crossing went, and how many things got broken! We think Danae did the best in terms of not breaking anything but it catches up with them at a later date, stay tuned for our time in St Lucia for the story!
So during our chatting, we got onto talking about dinghies flipping over, which Artemis had experienced a couple of times now.. with their engine on…
The next morning a couple came by and knocked on our hull, about something, and you’ve guessed it, we forgot to take the engine off the dinghy before we went to bed, a gust had flipped it in the night and we looked out to find a sad looking little propellor sticking out of the water.
Time for the dinghy engine resuscitation procedure!…
I cleaned the seawater out with lots of fresh water and then got to work taking it apart and meticulously cleaning and re-greasing everything to prevent corrosion. For a while, the gear had been fairly stiff and we thought this service would be exactly what it needed. So all back together and working perfectly we set off to pick up Michel from Artemis for a snorkeling session, we got to their boat and changed from forward to neutral, loaded him and gear in, and went to change to forward only to find it was jammed in neutral :|not ideal!
We all went in his dinghy and afterwards I took the engine apart for the second time that day!… now we have a dinghy engine permanently stuck in forward, so slightly more useful than neutral but still not ideal. Beggers can’t be choosers I suppose!
After a mildly stressful day we were looking forward to a Full moon party on the other side of the island so we sailed (with motor too because we were running late and didn’t want to arrive after dark) to clifton harbor. The mooring field was packed and as the sun had just about set we got ourselves on a bouy instead of worrying about anchoring.
View from southeast side of Union island, heading towards Clifton Harbour
It turned out the party was canceled for some unknown reason so we all went to the Happy Island Reef bar instead and had the place to ourselves, it was a lovely time to talk to other boats we hadn’t seen since before the Atlantic ocean
More island exploring to come as we head to Tobago Cays and lots of others.