And it did seem long in the beginning! But in the end, it was only further and more days travelling then what we did before. After arriving after 16 days and nights and 2059 nm in Barbados we didn’t feel any different than arriving after one or two nights. Luckily.
Big waves and big respect
Well, we also have to say that apart from some nasty waves coming over and shaking us through we most probably had the perfect conditions to cross the atlantic. In the first few days we had around 5 to 7 beaufort, then the wind became less between 4 and 5 and most of the times the waves also calmed down a bit.
For the first time in the whole journey, we had the feeling that we have time – finally. There was always time to sleep for Reto and time to clean up the salt water coming over, to cook, to prepare the fish (more on that further down 😉 and also to read or to do nothing for me 😉
With the moon on our side
Most of the watches especially during the nights were just enjoyable and I always felt very grateful.
In the middle of the trip we had full moon, therefore we could enjoy the full program around full moon.
When the moon was out, we had like a spot light on ourselves and the waves around us, when it wasn’t we could watch and enjoy the numerous stars.
Of course, sometimes we were also fighting with the sleep, for me then it always helps to wash the dishes or make some exercise or when the conditions allow it, to put the alarm clock and just sleep for the next 15 minutes…
Now what about our fishing? Well, luckily I have written it down, because after 10 fish in 16 days I cannot remember any more details…
As a summary we caught (and got on board until the kitchen) 4 mahi mahi (some say dolphin fish) – the same that we already got on the way to Cabo Verde – but in addition we lost one just in front of the boat, then we lost another one who jumped onto the bathing platform and in that moment lost the hook and I was not able to get ahold of it and the most stupid thing was the one that we already had hit on the head and cut the throat, but then it was shaking so much and fell into the water… Then in addition we caught 4 “greater amber jacks”, but one of them we let free again because we found it was to little still.
Together with the 13 kg of potatoes ( thanks to Jim! who shared with us a large bag of potatoes ) we had the standard menu for most of the days fixed… at lunch we had potato salad and fish carpaccio and for dinner either boiled or pan potatoes and fish filets quickly fried in olive oil.
Some time in the second week I said “finally today we will have a nice omelette instead of always these fish carpaccio’s…” and we both had to laugh. We would never have thought to catch so much fish that we would prefer an omelette over it 😉
After one of the mahi mahi catches we had a huge dolphin family passing by, and during 15 minutes we only watched all these dolphin swimming back and forth, jumping and spinning around themselves and enjoying the waves like surfing. Once the dolphins were gone, we immediately had another bite by one of the small amber jacks – we almost felt stressed 😉
Then the algae became more and more and when they started to come in patches, we knew it was time to take the fishing rod in. Once we had the line catch one of these larger patches of algae, and we had to cut the line, there was no chance of taking it in!
Squalls – the new challenge
Then in the 5 last night finally the so-called “squalls” (shower cells with heavy rain and strong wind) kept us busy. Since we could see them coming most of the times quite well on the radar screen, we could escape most of them, only very few went over us, but then we always had already stored away the sails. Like that the last nights became more and more busy and we in the consequence more and more tired…
Also from a technical side, we only had two small leaks, the stronger one through the screws of the bathing ladder – who would think that that is possible – but there were around 100 liters of salt water in the last compartment at the back of the engine room and it went over so the engine was with sea water…
Arrival in Barbados
In summary we are happy and grateful to have had such a safe passage and that we arrived well, all three of us (She San, Reto and myself ;-). Well the last challenge was to keep the boat from being damaged while clearing in at Bridgetown deep water harbor – the place is really not constructed for small yachts and Reto had to work hard on keeping her safely protected by 13 fenders and towed up with 6 ropes in the swell up and down and over and out.
Then after clearing in the anchor fell in Carlisle bay and we enjoyed the arrival beer like never before.
The next day we celebrated Reto’s birthday and started to explore Bridgetown. We will stay some more days and then most probably head on to Grenada, where we will meet with my family at the end of the month.