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Published: January 4th 2009
perthamina is in the middle of this photo anchored in Falmouth harbour for new year.
Year and a catastrophe at sea.
We did not want to stay too long in Jolly Harbour so motored down to Falmouth, the weather was a little stormy but the sea very calm. We anchored in Falmouth and just carried on getting the boat ready for sea, a much easier job than normal. Which was just as well because for this first week Alan’s arm swelled up and was unusable. We decided the best thing was for him to totally rest it and certainly after a few days it has got a lot better.
New year was a really nice meal in Trappas, a great little restaurant, and then fireworks and a live band in English Harbour, it was a great atmosphere, and the group really good. Just as we were leaving we bumped into Corinne, from Weymouth. She is on a boat called Jewel.
We also met Atilla again, on his boat scoundrel and went for drinks with him. Alan filled his air bottle.
Antigua to Guadaloupe
We set off a 6 am, the night before the wind started blowing, but just typical caribbean trade winds. Because of Alan’s arm I winched up the sails
New years eve
Alan watching the fireworks at midnight in English Harbour, Antigua
which makes me realise how unfit Im! Still soon get boat fit. We were about 8 miles out when he remembered he had forgotten to pick up the epirb and fire extinguishers which were being worked on. So turned the boat round and headed back to Falmouth.
10am we were setting off again, the wind was gusting between 20 and 25 knots and quite a big sea running. The boat was romping along, sailing well surfing down the waves. We were about 18 miles from Guadaloupe when we suddenly slowed down, 5 knots, then 3 then 2. It was quite rough so Alan put a harness on to go and investigate while I tried to get the sails in, which was really hard work with the wind in them. I managed to get the foresail in eventually. We were attached to a massive net which was miles out behind us. We managed to winch it on board after about half an hour, and Alan finally cut the rope. There was still something attached under the boat so we did not dare start the engine. Luckily there was a lot of wind so we put the sails back on and carried
on, both exhausted. There are a lot of reefs off the end of Guadaloupe, but we managed to sail quite close tothem, we were worried about getting into deshaies, it is a bay at the end of Guadaloupe but the wind blows across the island and out through the anchorage, so we would have to tack in and there is not much room, and we are slow tackers. (they are big sails) and Alan had not much strength in his arm. Just as we were about 3 miles from the anchorage we went through a huge accelartion zone and the wind blew about 30+ knots, we started to reef the mainsail and there was a terrible bang and the reefing block flew off the mast. Alan managed to jury rig a block and we slowly started winching in the sail. As we entered the anchorage Alan went down below to see if the propeller could be moved, and as it appeared to be free we decided to risk the engine. We could still hear something banging against the hull, we thought it might be another string of buoys.
It was blowing like stink out of the ancorage, we motored forward very gently and all seemed ok. We dropped the anchor at the first opportunity switched off the engine, launched the dinghy and alan jumped over with his mask and snorkel. He came up with a great big metal bar and some rope which was wrapped around the rudder.
We went to check the anchor and it dragged across the bay. So pulled in, and try again. We were so tired by then. The second time it held beautifully, but because of the flukey winds caused by the mountains, the boats were all at different angles, really strange, so it was hard to see if you were in a good position. As it turned out all was fine.
We went into the little town, so dark, and found somewhere to leave the dinghy. Tried to change our gas bottle, with no success, discovered I could speak a little french and then realised that we were both so tired we had to go home. We had a simple tea and by 9.30pm both in bed totally shattered. What a first trip!! Still who said sailing was fun
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