The Final Chapter
01 October 2009
It is Thursday October 1 and local noon (GMT/UTC -4). We have 281 nautical miles to Annapolis and should arrive about noon on Saturday morning.
Over the past three days we have been bashing our way into a steep swell with headwinds varying between 10 knots and 35 knots. It has not been much fun! However, we have relatively flat seas again and only a very light breeze from our starboard forward quarter at the moment, with the prediction for the wind to swing to the southeast tonight, become light and variable for about six hours and then start building from the south-southeast into Saturday morning.
In the blog comments I was asked why we cleared into the BVI's in Virgin Gorda and not Tortola. The answer is simple - we have no tender and in Tortola yachts are expected to anchor off the ferry jetty and use their tender to go to the customs and immigration offices or take the chance of going alongside the ferry jetty and being chased away before you can clear. In Virgin Gorda you simply dock in the marina next to the customs and immigration office (you get one hour free docking), walk over a field, do your clearance and then walk back to the boat and sail to Tortola. The customs and immigration staff in Virgin Gorda are also far more friendly and it is a pleasure for a yachtsman to deal with them.
Right, back to the present (and future). On arrival in Annapolis we will have sailed 7573 nautical miles. We departed Cape Town on August 6. On October 3 we will have been away for 58 days. Of that, we lost 9 days in ports (actually about 9.5 days), which means the delivery took 49 days at sea. This equates to an average of 154.5 nautical miles per day or an average of 6.44 knots for the entire trip. Not bad for a small 38 foot sailing catamaran!
What about the boat? This boat is different from most other catamarans I have delivered. It is slightly narrower than the norm, if there is something as a "norm". She is also light and a person feels the buoyancy when in large seas. Remember always, she is only 38 foot. The internal layout is very good, offering far more space than the Leopard 40 in the saloon and cabins. She sails well, having quite a large rig for a 38' cat. The rest you will have to see for yourself as there will be two at the Annapolis boat show and, I am lead to believe, one at the Cape Town boat show.
This is the last blog entry for this delivery as I have to start packing up my communications gear and getting the boat ready for handover. I hope you have enjoyed sailing along with us on this delivery. And for those that have a betting streak and bet we would not make it in time for the show, sorry you lost your bet. So, we aboard A4001 wish you well - greetings and fair winds from Hardy, Andries and myself, John.